The Legacy of Rachel Held Evans

In a brief but prolific career, a young writer asked whether evangelical Christianity could change. In doing so, she changed it.

Comments: 12

  1. Another very interesting podcast, but what might be even more interesting is an investigation into why she died from an allergic reaction to antibiotics?

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful coverage of Rachel's work and life. As a Christian, one of my few criticisms of the New York Times is that coverage of Christianity often seems to be either misunderstood or misrepresented. My fear is that this turns many Christians away, thinking that the Times is anti-Christianity or even biased in its coverage. It's encouraging to see good, thorough, thoughtful coverage like this.

  3. Thank you for telling a bit of Rachel's story. I've been reading her work since stumbling across her first book, Evolving in Monkey Town, shortly after it came out. Her many contributions include demonstrating that evangelicalism isn't a monolith, encouraging women and those in the LGBTQ community to acknowledge their gifts and claim their places in the Church, and assuring all who would follow Christ that doubt and faith can certainly co-exist. Those of us who've been blessed by her example can honor her by finding our own ways to follow it.

  4. Meghan Markle, as she was known, is a Duchess. She is not a princess.

  5. I listen to the Daily every single day. I am also someone who was significantly touched by Rachel Held Evans life in ways similar to those you depicted in this podcast. Thank you for honoring her memory and recognizing just how important she was to many of us. Hearing her voice again was an inspiring start to my morning.

  6. Rachel challenged evangelicals, but she did not succeed in changing evangelical Christianity. She was so disheartened by its impassivity and dedication to patriarchal ideals that she left evangelicalism behind. I am so sorry her voice of faith and reason is gone. But let’s get real: the institution outlasted any spirited challenge she mounted.

  7. This story was fascinating. It was great to hear how many people were able to reconcile their sense of identity with their faith. I was really surprised and concerned, though, that both Rachel Evans and those who read her blog weren't able to find this point of view before. Her line of thought is not at all new and readily available in any internet search. I would truly like to know what they had found before and try to figure out how they could have missed other writings, churches, and even an entire denomination devoted to this approach.

  8. What a powerful listen. What a powerful life. I encourage anyone who wants to live a faith-rich, compassionate life to listen to this piece and use it to inform your next steps. I'm grateful for this piece, NYT. Thank you Michael, Luke, Andy and team for featuring the legacy of Rachel and bringing her story to a new audience through your thoughtful podcast.

  9. I am a queer Christian and I listen to The Daily every single day. This is the first time I felt so compelled to leave a comment and to thank the NYT for honoring the legacy of Rachel Held Evans. Like those featured in the podcast, RHE has been an incredible inspiration/ally/and advocate to me especially having grown up queer in an evangelical church. Her courage and bravery to speak up and ask questions changed my life. Thank you for giving her this powerful feature. I am grateful.

  10. As a pastor at a church in New York City that recently transitioned away from evangelicalism and its exclusionary practices, I'm so encouraged to hear RHE's story told here! We've learned firsthand what's involved in leaving behind biblical literalism and, instead, embracing a fully inclusive faith. We are so grateful for her courageous example and thoughtful encouragement. Thanks NYT for the podcast.

  11. Excellent listen. Thank you.

  12. The first time I heard the name Rachel Held Evans was in May on The Daily podcast. Tears streamed down my face when I heard Rachel fearlessly saying aloud many things I’d questioned. It was how she stood in her truth while STILL being a believer. Until that moment I’d believed that ”questions” meant I wasn’t faithful enough or worthy of being a Christian. But questions are okay, I can have questions and still believe and more importantly, I’m not alone. She leaves an impression on this world that will live on forever. Few have the same fearlessness and wisdom. Rachel’s fearlessness changed my life. I know now that questioning is okay and even as I question I worthy of Jesus’s love. I’m praying again and believing. I’m sure there are thousands of stories just like mine. Thank you, Rachel. Your witness brought me back.