A couple of months ago I endorsed Another Gospel – A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity by Alisa Childers. Another Gospel is the fascinating story of Childers’ encounter with progressive theology, the dangers she perceived in the movement, and her subsequent return to a more conservative community of faith.
This month I am endorsing a book that comes from the opposite end of the theological spectrum between conservative Christianity and progressive theology. Rachel Held Evans, an Alabama native, was a shining star in the progressive cosmos until her untimely death in 2019. Raised within conservative evangelicalism, Evans became a powerful voice within a community of Christians for whom conservative Christianity no longer resonated. She was both loved and despised as a result. When she died, multitudes of Christians flooded social media with testimonies of how Rachel enhanced their faith. There were also Christians who believed that her death may have been an act of God designed to protect the church from apostasy.
When Rachel died in 2019, Jeff Chu took Evans’ unpublished essays and unfinished work in progress and developed Wholehearted Faith (HarperOne). It is a book for those who may be filled with doubts, for those who harbor unwelcome questions, for those who cannot honestly embrace doctrinal certitude. It is for those who are terrified as their faith deconstructs, for those who no longer feel at home in the church of their youth. It is for those whom Jesus loves when the church does not. But I am not endorsing Wholehearted Faith for Rachel’s intended readers. I’m endorsing Evans’ book because every conservative Christian should read it.
Every progressive Christian should read Another Gospel, and every conservative Christian should read Wholehearted Faith. Read the other side. While the writers present very different views on important matters of faith, their love for Jesus and their deep desire to honestly practice their faith are present on every page. The authors reflect two communities within the one body of Christ.
-Darrel Holcombe, Owner
Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts
Colonial Promenade, Alabaster