Sunday, May 31

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

According the Pew Research Center, the percentage of professing Christians in the United States is shrinking. While that particular study was release after Rachel Held Evans released Searching for Sunday, it still illustrates a part of the point she makes in her new book more people, especially young people, are leaving the Church (and which she outlines in her prologue). In the following chapters she tells her own story about what led her to leave the Church and then what led her joining the Church again.

I’ve previously read Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womanhood and am an occasional reader of her blog. While I do not find myself agreeing with everything she writes I do often find myself sharing the same sentiment’s she does. She is a strong writer and describes her feelings towards the Church in a way that easily allows you to understand where she’s coming from.

We need to stop building our churches around categories and start building them around people.

Searching for Sunday is broken into seven parts, each one centered around one of the sacraments, as Evans describes her story. While elements of this story may have popped up on her blog, or in her earlier books, I still enjoyed reading them again here.

One of the standout chapters for me was “What Have We Done.” Here Evans takes a look at the injustices created or supported by the Church, from the crusades, to the using the Bible to defend slavery, to pushing against interracial marriages. She does not write this to show that the Church is evil or bad, but it does illustrate that the Church is not perfect. If we idolize the Church, or use Biblical teaching as a weapon, it can lead down dangerous paths. But this is not the end. She finishes the chapter looking at the times that the Church fought injustice, from William Wilberforce’s move to end slavery, to the priest who served slaves suffering from leprosy and smallpox, to those who marched in favor of civil rights for all people, regardless of their race.

In a way that chapter embodied the book for me, as it seems that when Evans left the Church she was focusing on the former. Then, as she searched for the Church again she began to find the later. Not everything in the Church is fine and rosy, and to pretend otherwise would be dishonest.

Searching for Sunday may not resonate with everyone, but Evans strong writing brings clarity and understanding to her positions.

4/5 Stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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