Dissecting the Bible is a hot undetaking these days, and Rachel Held Evans is the latest to ask questions like “If the Bible isn’t a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired?”
This new book of hers, then, is a quest to better understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read.
In typical Rachel Held Evans style, she draws heavily on her own experiences to make this stand out as a fine memoir, but she also makes use of original poetry, short stories, soliloquies, and even a short screenplay.
She also relies heavily on recent and ancient scholarship, a lot of which should be tracked down as a follow up to Rachel’s work here.
Through it all, she rightly encourages the reader to learn “the mysteries and contradictions of scripture (aren’t) meant to be fought against, but courageously engaged, and that the Bible by its very nature invites us to wrestle, doubt, imagine and debate.”
Along those line, this book is a great introduction to questions that people may be having about the Bible, giving voice and lending credence to them for those who may still be afraid to broach them, and others who might think its contents are outdated and of no value to the present world.
For further reading, I’d immediately point people to Rob Bell’s “What Is The Bible” and anything by Pete Enns as where to turn next.