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In Which I Am A Big Chicken

January 7, 2013

Rachel Held Evans makes me nervous.

There, I said it. I’ve admitted it.

It’s not that I don’t think she’s a remarkable writer, blogger, and speaker. Her accomplishments are stupendous. Her insight and willingness to go deeper, push further, and not accept evangelical doctrine as fact without study, prayer and discussion is commendable.


But yet, she makes me nervous. I’m not a boat-rocker. I like the status quo. I’ve never been one for the squeaky wheel. I am not confrontational or ground-breaking, or even brave. Quite honestly, I’m afraid if I get too on board with Evans, or read her newest book  A Year of Biblical Womanhood, that it’ll sow seeds of discontent in me that I really don’t wish to have. Or worse, what if I disagree with her conclusions? Does that make me a coward, anti-feminist, or ignorant?

I love my church. I have rarely, if ever, felt subjugated in this church as a woman, and I know that Evans is fighting for what is right in today’s church. I’ve heard her book to be funny, brave, gutsy and insightful. But, still, I’ve avoided it, big chicken that I am.

Until it showed up on my desk over Christmas with a bright green ribbon and a note from my dear friend, Bethany.

I have great respect for Bethany, you see. We come from the same stock, she and I. The same roots. We grew up in similar circles only a few years apart. She gets me. She also is funny, brave, gutsy and insightful and she’s not afraid to challenge doctrine, or challenge me.

What else was there to do but read it? And so I am. 

RHE headcovering

Three chapters in so far, and I’m finding it to be funny, brave, gutsy and insightful.  A wealth of food for thought. I disagree with her about some things (I have always loved Proverbs 31 and later this week I’ll explain why) and whole-heartedly agree with her on others (“a gentle and quiet spirit” is not an ambition only of women, but of all Christians, men and women alike). As such, I’ll be writing about the book for the next few days, and over the next few weeks. Feel free to comment, argue, rage, whatever. Consider reading for yourself about the book, and why it’s so remarkable, on her website.

Have you already read it? What did YOU think? 

On Wednesday I’ll tell you why Proverbs 31 has never made me feel guilty. Actually, quite the opposite! In many ways, it set me free.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Melody permalink
    January 7, 2013 8:41 am

    Adelle, I will be getting this book. I have often wondered about how applicable some of the doctrine that was written so long ago is to life today. Sometimes I feel horrible just having these thoughts….what a horrible Christian am I?? After Richard died I looked up every passage about being a widow. Deuteronomy is very interesting where it says I should marry my husbands brother. Look up some of the things that are said about being a widow when you get a chance…boy was I puzzled. Am I some kind of heathen to wonder and sometimes disagree with scripture?? I believe Jesus is my Lord and savior. Am I wrong to have questions about some of the things I read in the Bible. I remember that when I first became a Christian I was told by someone to be careful about what other churches may believe because basically only our church knew the truth. I will be looking forward to your future posts. I think you are brave!! Much more brave then I as I only admit all this to you. Melody Sent from my iPhone

    • January 7, 2013 8:46 am

      Melody, one of the things I just read in Evans book last night basically said if the Bible doesn’t bother you, she wonders if you’ve even read it. I always understood the Old Testament to be necessary for understanding the context of Christ, but not applicable in terms of law. Jesus threw out the old law – turned it on its head in so many ways, so I’ve never really felt burdened by any of the laws of the OT! I’ve already got three posts queued up on this book and I’m only on Chapter 4! I do think the CofC has been arrogant in the past (IN THE PAST) to make claims as being the only bearers of the truth! Thankfully, that has never been the belief of THIS church (as in the one I attend) and as such, I never grew thinking that way.

  2. Bethany permalink
    January 7, 2013 8:50 am

    I am so excited about this! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the book, whether you agree or disagree. I look forward to your next post on Proverbs 31. It sounds like you may have arrived at the same conclusion as Evans, but from very different routes! And thanks for the kind words. I think the same of you, which is why I was so excited to have a hearty discussion with you about this book. Hugs!

  3. Kassandra permalink
    January 7, 2013 10:21 am

    You got me interested to find out more. Eagerly waiting for your upcoming posts especially now that I DO have some spare time 😉

  4. Lisa permalink
    January 7, 2013 12:49 pm

    Brian bought this for my kindle and I’ve been meaning to start reading it- your blog inspired me to have at it! I’m glad you are sharing your thoughts and fears- I love your posts:) I’m inspired that Rachel Held Evans is willing to start difficult conversations and ask questions- I know her first book was very freeing for Brian. To pondering…. and wonderment… and our freedom in Jesus:)

  5. Christi McGuire permalink
    January 7, 2013 7:24 pm

    I’m so excited–I can’t wait to read more of your posts on this! I’m so with you–I’m a total chicken. (I’m also scared to death to read Jen Hatmaker’s “Seven”!) You may just encourage me to pick up the book, too!

  6. January 7, 2013 11:26 pm

    Good for you, Adelle. I’ve got the book, enjoy Rachel’s writing, but haven’t dug into it yet. It’s on a pile with about 10 others I want to read/need to read/have committed to read. I’ll be interesting in your observations.

  7. January 7, 2013 11:26 pm

    Um…make that interesED in your observations….sheesh.


  1. In Which Proverbs 31 Set Me Free « Adelle Gabrielson

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