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“Once upon a time . . .” Who doesn’t want to read a book that begins with those words? That is how Rachel Held Evans begins her recently released book Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again. Evans invites the reader into the imaginings of her own heart and mind.

She wonders about all those Bible stories of her childhood and youth, stories filled with miracle and possibility, with giants and angels and donkeys that talk. As in her earlier book Searching for Sunday, Evans allows herself to name her doubts and wonderings—this time about a text that seemed to be proof for or against certain ways of being and understanding. Evans frees herself to discover a way of reading the ancient texts, not as a science text or instruction manual, but as a story of God’s love for the world.

With the craft of a storyteller, Evans unpacks biblical themes: stories of deliverance and resistance, wisdom stories, the Gospels’ news, and letters sent to churches. Her rediscovered love for the stories is contagious, and her ability to speak into a contemporary context is inspiring. Inspired is an invitation to pick up the Bible again and hear God tenderly say, “Let me tell you a story.”

Recommended as a book study, as an excellent resource for teachers, and as a gift for anyone who needs to be invited into loving God’s story again. (Thomas Nelson)

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