I find myself moderately in sympathy with Rachel Held Evans on a number of questions: i.e. not always in agreement, but finding the areas of disagreement to be reasonable enough. But nothing makes me as sure she deserves to be heard as the uncharitable responses which her work generates, of which the link is a mild example (I have seen others that doubt whether she's a Christian). Most of these reviews have a characteristic form: include many quotes, ignore any context which might be relevant to what's being said, and impute the worst possible motives to any action (she only did various things for a month because she doesn't take the Bible seriously!).

People: she's almost certainly right that the willingness of major Christian bookstores to carry titles (or, rather, their willingness to not carry certain titles) has an effect, even largely unobserved, on the sorts of books that get written and published. And that's a bad thing (those unclear on why should refer to The Captive Mind. Or perhaps Persecution and the Art of Writing). Also: if there is any one characteristic of American Christianity writ large, it's the inability to see that our personal lifestyle choices are not the only valid options for everyone else: gospel and culture are not the same thing, "I have become all things for all men..." etc. But hammering away at her does reinforce the idea that American orthodox Christians are people who are narrow-minded, distrustful of those who do not look and speak and think they way they do, and particularly threatened by women for whom any of those are true (someone could do useful work by looking through criticism directed at her for examples of 'mansplaining,' of which I think there'd be no shortage). So people: chill out.

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