Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn't want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals--church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.

A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.

I've become interested in this book after I've seen a bunch of people I follow on social media talking about it and recommending it. I thought to myself, even if this book is not exactly my type, I'll just give it a try and see how it goes. After reading it, I must say I understand why so many people were impressed by it. The writing is quite catchy and beautiful. It caught me for a while as well. Until it just got weird and confusing to me.

What I really liked about this book was the writing, the author clearly has her way with words, she is a good writer. What I didn't like about it was the message. It felt confusing to me. I mean, I get the part where the author opens up with her experience with the Church. There are a bunch of people that have bad experiences with the Church. And I empathized with her. The confusing part was the part where she encourages readers to keep trying to love the Church, but then continues with her negative talk about it. I just felt like her ideology isn't exactly coherent. At times I felt like she kept contradicting herself. I honestly didn't get what she was saying: stay with the Church, and keep trying? or just get out of it and try to find a better one (or start a better one)?

At times, it seemed to me like she was very quick to judge the Church. Although her thoughts on cynicism I thought were goodBeing a book about the church  I expected her ideas to be accompanied by Bible verses/references to sustain them. But there were very few Bible references/passages throughout it. Also, when she inserted controversial ideas, like the Church loving and accepting the gays/lesbians, she didn't backed it up with any Bible reference. 

I believe every person has the right to an opinion, so I won't get into everything that I didn't agree with, because my rating wasn't based on me agreeing with her ideas anyway. I wanted to keep it objective. I've decided to give it a 3 star rating only because I was impressed with her writing. Evan's writing really sounds good but underneath it I just thought it was incoherent and confusing most of the times. All in all, it was a good read, but I don't feel like I can recommend it.

Rachel Held Evans is a New York Times best-selling author whose books include Faith Unraveled (2010), A Year of Biblical Womanhood (2012) and Searching for Sunday (2015). Hailing from Dayton, Tennessee - home of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 - she writes about faith, doubt and life in the Bible Belt.
A lifelong Alabama Crimson fan, Rachel is married to Dan. Her preferred writing fuel is animal crackers and red wine.

:: I have requested this book from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The ideas expressed here are my own.