I am reposting this review from 2010 because Evolving in Monkey Town is on sale for $2.99 on Kindle.
I picked Evolving in Monkey Town on the recommendation of John Armstrong. It is a clever title. Rachel Held Evans grew up and went to college in Dayton, TN, the home of the Scopes Monkey trial. The book traces Rachel Held Evans as she is taught to be certain of her faith but eventually begins to question both her faith and God.
In many ways this is a simple book, it is the story of faith growing up from learned from others to owned by the author. In other ways this is a much deeper book. The fundamental questions that starts Evan’s questioning is the death of a Muslim woman. Does God really condemn people that have not ever heard the Gospel to Hell/ This is a question that David Platt explicitly answered in Radical (my review). Platt’s answer was one of my biggest frustrations with his book, although the practical working out of the results of my answer are not that much different than Platt. Evan’s answer, on the other hand, doesn’t really seem to get around the answering the question. Or rather, by the end she re-frames the question. Although I agree with her answer more, the practical working out of her answer is less satisfying than Platt’s. I guess I am frustrated both ways.
Along the way, I find myself amused by her forthrightness. Her questions are different than mine, but as my faith grew and matured it also “evolved”. I think that everyone’s does eventually. This is a story that many could have written. But I am glad that it was Rachel Held Evans. Her writing and truthful working out of her faith made this a book worth reading.
If you want another opinion, try this review from Kyle Reed.
Related Bookwi.se Book Reviews
- A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master” by Rachel Held Evans