Listen and subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google | Wherever you listen
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter with the best New York podcasts.
Growing up, Rachel Held Evans was a keen evangelizer of her faith, the kind of kid who enjoyed sitting next to an atheist. But when she felt doubt, that feeling of certainty began to crumble. “We have been to all these conferences about how to defend your beliefs, how to get an answer to what you believe,” her sister Amanda Held told Eliza Griswold. “So having questions was especially troubling because we were taught to have answers.” Hero Evans started blogging and then wrote a number of bestsellers about her beliefs, beginning with “Evolving in Monkey Town,” in which she wrote the Jesus in whom she believed separated from the conservative doctrine with which she had grown up. Her work has reached millions of Christians who have left evangelical churches since 2006. . . you become an agnostic or an atheist, ”explains Griswold, but many Christians turned away from politics and still clung to their beliefs. She calls Held Evans “the patron saint of this emerging movement”. After Held Evans died of a sudden illness at the age of 37, her last, incomplete manuscript was completed by a friend, Jeff Chu. Griswold traveled to Held Evans’ hometown of Dayton, Tennessee to meet with her widower Dan Evans, as well as Chu and others. “I think people get so excited about their work [because] she gave words that people couldn’t say for themselves, ”says Evans. “It won’t stop for her just because Rachel died. There will be one less traveler. One less person to translate for you. But more people are being born every day. “