Evolving in Monkey Town, by Rachel Held Evans
Rachel is a gifted writer. In this, her first book, she eloquently shares her ‘evolving’ story of faith in twenty-one short, but riveting chapters. The playful backdrop setting is the east Tennessee town of Dayton – the site of the Scopes trial in 1925 where the states’ anti-evolution law was challenged. Rachel places this town back on the controversial list with this book.
The author is the daughter of a pastor. She is well versed in a conservative theological approach to all things Christian. Yet, along the way, troublesome world events began to elicit questions that her cherished religious worldview could not adequately answer. Throughout her book Evans unfolds her consequential, divergent journey of faith.
Unlike Sarah Sentilles’ ‘Breaking Up With God’, Rachel redefines and repostures her relationship with God, retaining her faith. Yet,it is an unfettered faith. Chapter by chapter of her life experiences led her to greater appreciation for the Christian faith, but not her inherited version of that faith. And where she is today is not the end of her spiritual evolution.
If the reader has been raised in a traditionally southern Christian culture, yet has questions, Rachel’s book will be a welcomed read. You will find much that resonates. Don’t be afraid to question. Don’t assume that doubts will necessarily lead you to hell. Maybe, as this book reveals, you will discover a more vibrant faith in God. or, maybe, Rachel’s book will encourage you to travel even well beyond Monkey Town.