Rachel Held Evans, the Hugely Popular Christian Writer Who Challenged the Evangelical Establishment, Is Dead at 37

Rachel Held Evans, a popular innovative Christian author and speaker, died Saturday morning (May 4) at age 37 after a short illness.

Evans had been in a medically induced coma for various weeks and never returned to an alert state.

Writer and collaborator Sarah Bessey tweeted that Evans used to be surrounded by shut friends and family at the end, and the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber shared that pals have been at Evans’ bedside Friday night, supplying “our touch and tears and song. I anointed her with oil.”

Her husband, Dan, knowledgeable followers and supporters of his wife’s loss of life on her website.

“This entire experience is surreal. I hold hoping it’s a nightmare from which I’ll awake. I experience like I’m telling any person else’s story,” her husband Dan Evans wrote in an replace on Evan’s blog.

“I cannot express how lots the aid ability to me and our kids. To all and sundry who has prayed, called, texted, driven, flown, given of themselves bodily and financially to assist ease this burden: Thank you. We are privileged. Rachel’s presence in this world was once present to us all and her work will long survive her.”

On April 14, Evans, who was in particular talented at using social media to join with her readers, tweeted that she had been admitted to the hospital with a “flu + UTI combo and a severe allergic reaction” to antibiotics, asking for prayer and — with the attribute humor she frequently used to defuse challenging conversations — lamenting she would miss “Game of Thrones.”

Later, in an update on her website, Dan Evans, said that she started out having “unexpected symptoms” while receiving cure for an contamination and that physicians located her brain was once experiencing consistent seizures. Doctors had positioned her in a medically precipitated coma while working to determine the reason and treatment, he said.

Evans is great known for her famous weblog and best-selling books, together with New York Times best-seller “A Year of Biblical Womanhood,” ”Searching for Sunday” and, most recently, “Inspired.” She also served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

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In her books and blog posts, she wrote openly about her belief journey, which led her from Bryan College — a conservative evangelical college known for advertising trust in a literal, six-day advent — to the mainline Episcopal Church. Along the way, she chronicled her faith, doubt, honest questions and evolving beliefs with a experience of humor.

That didn’t come barring controversy, such as pushback from more conservative Christians over “A Year of Biblical Womanhood,” which celebrated an egalitarian view of women’s roles in each marriage and the church.

But in her writing she not often lapsed into us-versus-them arguments, alternatively imparting vision of the church as a region with room for everyone.

“This is what God’s kingdom is like: a bunch of outcasts and oddballs gathered at a table, no longer because they are rich or priceless or good, however because they are hungry, because they said yes,” she wrote in “Searching for Sunday.”

“And there’s continually room for more.”

Readers shared on-line that they diagnosed themselves in her words.

number of girls said throughout an on line prayer vigil they would no longer have pursued ministry if no longer for Evans, and others stated the solely reason they had hung onto belief amid doubt was due to the fact of Evans.

Fellow writers praised Evans for sharing the massive platform she has built, both on her blog and at “Why Christian?” and “Evolving Faith,” the conferences she co-founded for evolving or revolutionary Christians who aren’t positivewhere they belong on the spiritual landscape.

Rozella Haydée White, a train and consultant, tweeted about how Evans had cheered her on as White released her first book, even presenting her recommendation on insurance, and pastor and author Nate Pyle tweeted that as he prayed for Evans, he mirrored on “how plenty of my writing career is due to the fact of her encouragement and promoting of my work.”

“My guess is that it’s real for many, many people. She embodies graciousness and generosity in amplifying the voices of others,” Pyle said.

And in the midst of Evans’ illness, Bessey tweeted she was once reminded of her friend’s very own phrases in “Searching for Sunday”:

“There is a difference between curing and healing, and I agree with the church is known as to the slow and toughwork of healing. We are referred to as to enter into one another’s pain, anoint it as holy, and stick around no rememberthe outcome.”

Evans’ last weblog post appeared online on March 6, Ash Wednesday in the Christian calendar. It is a day of repentance and solemnity that marks the establishing of Lent, which leads up to the joyful Easter celebration of resurrection. She wrote:

It strikes me today that the liturgy of Ash Wednesday teaches something that nearly everyone can agree on. Whether you are part of a church or not, whether you believe today or your doubt, whether you are a Christian or an atheist or an agnostic or a so-called “none” (whose faith experiences far transcend the limits of that label) you know this truth deep in your bones: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.”

Death is a part of life.

My prayer for you this season is that you make time to celebrate that reality, and to grieve that reality, and that you will know you are not alone.

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