Rachel Held Evans’ sudden and tragic death in 2019 left her readers grieving the loss of this young female voice that was challenging, outspoken, and progressive. But Evans' passing was mostly grieved because she gave expression to the questions that others, particularly women raised in evangelical Christianity, are often afraid to ask or find difficult to articulate.
Wholehearted Faith was in its writing stage when Evans died. Her husband, Dan, invited friend and writer Jeff Chu to work with Evans’ raw manuscript. In addition, Chu drew on presentations, posts and journal writing to flesh out the text. The resulting book is a wholehearted expression of Evans’ faith.
The book contains two parts. The first, bearing the book’s title, provides a memoir-type reflection on a variety of elements in Evan’s faith formation, from childhood Awana awards for memorizing Scripture to giving the valedictorian speech for her graduation. Each reflection holds a confession of faith that has room for the doubt and wonder that Evans has become known for. Evans professes ‘yes’ to a God who loves all his children and the creation.
The latter half of the book is a collection of essays “on the Christian life.” Reminiscent of Inspired, each chapter leans into Scripture as Evans explores how “the stories of Scripture are interwoven with my story right down to my name.” There is a poignancy in the reading as her own life ended abruptly while writing a text full of expectancy.
Evans offers a strong tether, without resentment, to the faith of her childhood she had to reimagine in her adult years. This posthumous collection is a gift and encouragement to all who love her and those yet to discover her writings. (HarperOne)