5 Awesome Rachel Held Evans Books

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy we may make a commission, at no additional charge to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

Rachel Held Evans was a formidable figure in contemporary Christian circles. Her New York Times best selling books tackled tough topics that many in the Christian sphere tend to shy away from, and her approach was refreshingly progressive. 

AT A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Rachel Held Evans Books

  1. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the ChurchOur Top Pick
  2. A Year of Biblical Womanhood
  3. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again
  4. Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
  5. What Is God Like? by Rachel Held Evans, alongside Matthew Paul Turner

She championed the rights of LGBTQ people, people of color, and women, and she fought for their acceptance in all roles in the church. She fiercely believed that God’s love was intended for everyone and campaigned tirelessly for much of her adult life against the harmful role of conservative American culture in Christianity. 

In 2019, Rachel tragically passed away at the young age of thirty seven, but she leaves behind her an incredible collection of work. If you’re interested in reading some of her books, here’s a selection of her best-loved titles to get you started. 

Best Rachel Held Evans Books

IMAGE PRODUCT
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
  • Author: Rachel Held Evans
  • Genre: Christian literature
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
A Year of Biblical Womanhood
  • Author: Rachel Held Evans
  • Genres: Biography, Christian literature
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again
  • Genre: Christian literature
  • Page count: 240 (Paperback)
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
  • Genres: Autobiography, Christian literature
  • Page count: 240 (Paperback)
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
What Is God Like? by Rachel Held Evans, alongside Matthew Paul Turner
  • Page count: 40 (Hardcover)
  • Reading age : 3 - 7 years
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →

1. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church 

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Check Latest Price on Amazon

Just like millions of other millennials Rachel’s age, there came a point in her life that she felt the church wasn’t really for her anymore. 

Church culture in America had begun to seem almost toxic to her; there were so many scandals, endless political battles, and a worrying amount of hypocrisy, and she admits she was tempted to throw in the towel. It all began to feel far away from Jesus and his teachings, and surely that’s what it’s all about, right?

But despite her misgivings and cynical viewpoint, there was something about church that kept drawing her back in. Each time she’d consider leaving, it was like God was giving her a message to stay. 

And so instead, she set out on a mission to understand the church, particularly the American Evangelical church, in the hopes of finding a new way to fit in. 

First published in 2015, this book takes the reader on a journey through seven sacraments; baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death, all with good humor, grace, and compassion, but above all else, honesty. The result is a powerful memoir that highlights many of the shortcomings of the conservative Christian community she grew up in, and gives us a vision of hope for the future.

2. A Year of Biblical Womanhood

A Year of Biblical Womanhood
Check Latest Price on Amazon

There was a time when Rachel Held Evans couldn’t even sew a button onto a pair of pants. She’d always seen herself as a strong-willed and independent young woman who would rather be out there in the world making waves than perpetuating gender stereotypes in the confines of the traditional family home. 

But after witnessing what she calls a traditionalist resurgence where many women her age were quitting their careers and swapping a big bank balance for traditional homemaking, she was intrigued. 

So she set out on a radical life experiment – a full ‘year of biblical womanhood,’ where each and every day she’d strive to stick to the Bible’s guidelines for women in the home, as strictly as possible. 

But it seems a lot has changed since the days of scripture, and Rachel’s quest for biblical womanhood is a lot more challenging than she anticipated. She learns to make her own clothes, she grows her hair long and covers her head in public, she obeys everything her husband says, and refers to him as “master.” She even takes a tent and camps outside her house during her period, just like the scripture instructs. 

The result is a fantastic mix of inevitable humor, alongside compassion, insight, and genuine contempt for the way in which women have had to suffer throughout the ages. 

As part of her research, Evans corresponds with an Orthodox Jewish woman and a polygamist wife to gain further insight into the way women live out the teachings of scripture across various religions. 

This book addresses some big questions; what does God require from a woman of faith, and can we reasonably be expected to adhere to these seemingly outdated laws in today’s modern society? 

3. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again

Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again
Check Latest Price on Amazon

Is the Bible meant to be taken literally, or is it more like a collection of metaphors? Are we to follow the stringent and undoubtedly socially unacceptable laws of Leviticus to the letter, or are they open to interpretation? 

These are some of the big questions which Rachel Held Evans tackles in Inspired. It’s a book that examines what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read and followed. 

She uses her own impressive literary experience alongside the most recent and highly regarded scholarly interpretations of biblical texts to uncover the mysteries of scripture. 

Evans lifts the lid on some of the most well known Bible stories and examines what they might mean, retelling them through a variety of creative poems, memoirs, short stories, and even a screenplay. 

She wrestles with common doubts that she and many readers share, and she doesn’t shy away from scriptures’ more daunting passages. 

Her conclusion is that the Bible is not a science book, nor is it an instruction manual; it’s a living, breathing book that is the one true vessel in which to join God’s work and service. 

4. Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions 

Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
Check Latest Price on Amazon

Reflecting on the controversial Scopes Monkey Trail, which took place in her hometown almost a century ago, Rachel Held Evans’ ‘Faith Unraveled’ examines her own questions of faith, scripture, and scientific advancement. 

Raised in a culture that was often at odds with mainstream accepted science, Rachel tells how she struggled throughout her life with the big questions that the Bible raises. In order to maintain her relationship with God and stay strong in her faith, Rachel realized that she’d have to evolve in her own beliefs. 

In this eye-opening memoir, Evans challenges the spiritual reader to ask big questions of their own. It invites us to look under the skin of the fundamental Christian narrative in a way that many communities have long shied away from. First published in 2010, Faith Unraveled was met with both praise and controversy and has been hailed as a must-read for any liberal American Christian. 

5. What Is God Like? by Rachel Held Evans, alongside Matthew Paul Turner 

What Is God Like by Rachel Held Evans, alongside Matthew Paul Turner
Check Latest Price on Amazon

This beautifully illustrated book, due to be published two years after Evan’s death, was fully realized by her bestselling author and friend, Matthew Paul Turner. 

Whether it’s through Sunday school or just through hearing about God at home, most children have big questions about the nature of the Lord during their early years in faith. This book strives to answer those questions in a gentle, loving, and honest way.  

‘What Is God Like?’ is a beautiful display of metaphors and images. Through direct quotes from the Bible, children learn that God is a star, He’s a Shepard, He’s a Gardener, He’s a father, and so much more. 

This book is a wonderful way to introduce your little ones to God, so they can begin their own personal walk with Him from a young age. 

Conclusion

Rachel Held Evans was a powerful progressive voice in an often overly conservative Christian world. Her books continue to welcome people from all walks of life to walk closely alongside God. If you’re a Christian who hasn’t read her work yet, these books are a great place to start. 

Check out these other great posts!

9 Excellent Anger Management Books of All-Time

10 Must-Read Books for 8th Graders

7 Interesting Books Like Percy Jackson

10 Best Tablets For Reading

Leave a Comment

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!