It seems fitting to review this book right now, considering that it is currently Banned Book Week. I have a feeling that many who consider themselves Christians, particularly those of the Fundamentalist kind, will consider this book proper reading only for the godless. It may even be banned in those circles, because this book encourages questions. In fact, in one place, the author even states that "In the end, it was doubt that saved..." her faith.
As is often the case, I ordered this book somewhat skeptically. However, I'm a firm believer in attempting to broaden my horizons, so I figured I would give it a try. Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed it. Rachel Evans grew up in "Monkey Town", the place where Clarence Darrow so famously argued for evolution. She grew up a Fundamentalist, attended a Fundamentalist church, then went on to attend a Fundamentalist college. Her father is a full-time theologian. Basically, she ate, slept and breathed Christianity. Until, one day she questioned. Then she continued to question - and that is how this book was born. It is the story of how a solid Fundamentalist came to realize that questions and new ideas are not a danger to her faith.
The book is well-written, and makes no apologies for her current beliefs. It is an interesting and compelling look at how sometimes, change can be the catalyst for a stronger faith. Anyone who has doubted their faith, whatever that faith may be, could certainly find something to relate to. Even if you have never doubted, the honesty and encouraging message is certainly worth reading.
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About the reviewer
Beth C. (biblioholicbeth)
I'm a SAHM of two, a board member of my son's charter school, and an avid reader. I am also an Amazon Vine member and the wife of a retired Coastie.
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Eighty years after the Scopes Monkey Trial made a spectacle of Christian fundamentalism and brought national attention to her hometown, Rachel Held Evans faced a trial of her own when she began to have doubts about her faith. Growing up in a culture obsessed with apologetics, Evans asks questions she never thought she would ask. She learns that in order for her faith to survive in a postmodern context, it must adapt to change and evolve. Using as an illustration her own spiritual journey from certainty, through doubt, to faith, Evans adds a unique perspective to the ongoing dialogue about postmodernism and the church that has so captivated the Christian community in recent years. In a changing cultural environment where new ideas threaten the safety and security of the faith, Evolving in Monkey Town is a fearlessly honest story of survival.