Mondays in Monkey Town

Christians have all the answers…or at least, they believe their answers sufficient for any crisis—marriage, loss of employment, natural disasters, and perhaps, even the current gulf oil spill(this usually leads to the game of blame shifting toward the executive branch of the national government).

ALWAYS ANSWERS, never questions.

What does one do when the scaffolding of answers comes crashing down underneath the burden of questions—questions about faith, the Bible, even the goodness of God? How does one sort through the pile of rubbish?

HOW DO WE MAKE SENSE OF A FAITH CRISIS?

This is where the answers cease, and the questions begin.

What attracts me to Rachael’s writing is the similarities between our two faith experiences—both products of Christian homes, Christian college educations even the same major in English. I began reading Rachael’s blog because I loved her simple, elegant, intellectual way of creating a discursive space—a community of those who ask questions. A community for those displaced, thrown out, or guilted out of the evangelical community…a place to ask questions, be heard, and perhaps, heal from the wounds left by those who come in the name of Christ.

Her book Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions continues in the same spirit and refreshing writing style as her blog…no simple, bullet point answers, merely an openness of her faith crisis.

In “Evolving in Monkey Town,” Evans introduces the reader to wide range of faith challenging characters—June the Ten Commandments lady, Adele the Oxymoron, and Sam the Feminist—while skillfully interweaving her story of faith as it intersected with these characters. As I was reading this book, I found a kindred spirit in Sam the Feminist when she said:
“Now, I’ve got no problem with Jesus. But it seems to me that if evangelical Christians were the only ones to have God all figured out, then they would be the kindest, most generous people around.[...] Most Christians I know are only interested in winning arguments, converts, and
elections(201).
With these simple words, this character and this book put into words all the turmoil of feelings, doubts, and lack of answers that have been mulling inside my faith journey. Rachael has written a book that has provided me with a place of solace, healing, and encouragement—that not all followers of Christ are using their faith has a weapon; some are living out their faith through questions.

Related posts:

  1. Would You Be my Friend if….I were a Feminist?(pt 2)
  2. Why?
  3. Evolving in Monkey Town: Looking Forward to this!
  4. Would You Be My Friend if….pt.1
  5. How do you DEFINE the grand “ism”s of our culture?

7 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Books, Christianity, Faith, Feminism, Musings, Reading, Women's Rights

7 Responses to Mondays in Monkey Town

  1. Joni Boetticher

    Just read this book over the weekend and also loved it. :)

  2. And there goes my idea for a belated birthday present…We will have to discuss it VERY soon.

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  4. Very interesting. I will have to check this out. Just had a conversation within the last week about real Christianity and how it is a lifestyle not a religion. Its more appealing to people if we walk the walk than just scream the talk!

  5. I believe if we love more, speak less, and practice kindness, then we would truly see a grand shift in our Christians lives. We would be the physical hands and feet of the gospel. What concerns me most is how exclusionary American Christianity is becoming, and I love how this is addressed in this book.

  6. “A community for those displaced, thrown out, or guilted out of the evangelical community…a place to ask questions, be heard, and perhaps, heal from the wounds left by those who come in the name of Christ.”

    That’s the thing right there. How to build a community, when the one you’ve known all your life no longer makes sense.

    I think you’re right about kindness and patience. Just plain gentleness works wonders.

  7. Building the community takes the work of gentleness, opening up, listening, In my experience, I have been preached at, hurt, and abused my the Bible and Christians. I love what the blogosphere does since it gives us question askers a community. Unfortunately, we need the real-flesh and blood community…I have yet to find one. Hence, the reason I blog.