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Inspired
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again | Rachel Held Evans
If the Bible isnt a science book, instruction manual, or position paper, then what is it? New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans invites readers on a journey of rediscovery as she explores the magic of the Bible, engaging the old, familiar stories in new ways that honor the past and enlighten the present. Is the Bible relevant to modern people of faith? This is the question Rachel Held Evans, bestselling author of Searching for Sunday, found herself asking, launching her on a quest to understand better what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. What she discovered changed her forever. Drawing upon recent scholarship and literary analysis, Evans creatively retells our favorite Bible stories, explaining their contexts and possible interpretations, and then connects these ancient stories to our present-day ones. Using her well-honed literary instincts and experience in both evangelical and mainline Protestant traditions, Evans discovers a way of understanding that avoids noncommittal liberalism on one hand and strident literalism on the other. Readers are invited to fall in love with Scripture all over again without checking their intellect--or their imaginations--at the door.
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BookInMyHands
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Pickpick

If you don‘t believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible (I don‘t) and think it is often used as a weapon by Fundamentalist Evangelicals (I do) and are still a little fascinated by it (I am) then this is a great read for you too.
I love Rachel Held Evans and still mourn that she passed so early. I loved listening to the audiobook read by her ❤️💔.

Tamra I agree with you and I like the idea of exploring the historical and cultural meaning of biblical stories. Really of all spiritual texts and oral traditions. I‘ll have to check this one out. 14mo
MeganAnn Yes! Exactly what you wrote is what I was trying to articulate to my mom a few months ago. I‘ll have to pick up a copy of this to read and then maybe pass along to her. 14mo
29 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

Lately, I‘ve been feeling cynical and doubtful, and RHE always helps with that. I just hate it that this is her last book. 😢 #audiobook #hoopla

AvidReader25 Breaks my heart that she‘s gone. 1y
BookInMyHands She visited the university near me once and I got to see her speak, and then talked with her and a group of friends after (one of my friends is a well-known blogger). I‘m still shocked that she‘s gone 💔 1y
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Megabooks @BookInMyHands what a wonderful experience and especially precious because she died. 💜 definitely far too young. 1y
rachelm 😭❤️ 1y
Megabooks @rachelm 💜😢 1y
Enchanted_Bibliophile Just started this one yesterday, and I'm loving it! I was so shocked to hear of her passing. 1y
Kangaj1 There is a new one coming that she was working on before she died. It is called Wholehearted Faith. 1y
Megabooks @Enchanted_Bibliophile I‘m so glad to have found her books on audio on hoopla, and yes, it was so shocking. 😢 1y
Megabooks @Kangaj1 oh fantastic!! I‘ll have to keep an eye out! Thank you. 1y
97 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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Beccacraft
Pickpick

This book looks at the historical contexts and cultures that influenced the Bible & sheds light on what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. This perspective provided me a platform for engagement in and with the Bible and fellow believers again, leaving space for doubts, interpretations, and debates. I not only learned a lot about ancient literature and cultural norms that influenced the Bible‘s writers, but also renewed a deadened faith.

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howjessicareads
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I read 20 books in February!
25% NF (met my goal, yay!)
45% BIPOC authors (surpassed my goal, woot!)

Didn‘t really enjoy the right hand three on the bottom row. But otherwise had some great reads. Will do a separate post with favorites! #howjessicareads2021

Freespirit Amazing! 2y
Crazeedi Well done!👏👏🎉 2y
52 likes2 comments
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behudd
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Reading Evans the *affirmation* I felt that not only did someone educated think similarly to me but she also had sources to back her (us) up was a balm. She doesn‘t let you just sit in your agreement, tho.She challenges you to learn more, go deeper, live the faith, ask your cynical questions, yes, but also work to find the answers - she voices understanding but doesn‘t let you off the hook. I know I will be re-reading it again & again.

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behudd
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“Once upon a time, there lived a girl with a magic book.”
#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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howjessicareads
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This is really good! But listening to Rachel‘s voice makes me a little sad. I can‘t believe it‘s already been almost two years since her death. #audiopuzzling

britt_brooke Beautiful puzzle! 2y
GloVerdino I think I have that puzzle too! 2y
Scochrane26 I haven‘t read this one yet. Maybe I‘ll do audio, but I agree that it‘s bittersweet to read her books now. 2y
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Megabooks So sad! 2y
howjessicareads @GloVerdino @britt_brooke - it took me forever! But the final product is 😍😍 2y
57 likes6 comments
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KarynGood
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Happy belated birthday, @BookishTrish I sent you a gift but mailed it to myself. 🙄 It will be on its way to you shortly!

BookishTrish 😍😂😍😂 3y
17 likes1 comment
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intothehallofbooks
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I‘ve been holding out on starting this book since it is Rachel‘s last. Her books and speaking have been so, so important to me over the past several years. I was raised in a strict Pentecostal household and church. She was raised similarly. So I feel not-so-alone when I read RHE‘s stuff.

I‘m reading along and discussing with a real-life friend. Buddy reads are such a treat!!

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bookshapedheart
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I read most of this book and will finish it when my audiobook hold comes in. She doesn‘t avoid the difficult things about the Bible but instead asks to look hard at those stories that seem to undermine humanity. This book has been a light in my often difficult faith journey. Love her take. She will be missed

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ELH
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I have never participated in a #readathon before. I know I won‘t get #24b4monday with work and family, but the hubby will be away and I just might trying staying offline all weekend to see how much reading I can actually get in! I really want to finish the two books on the top of the pic. Anything on the bottom is bonus!

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jcalyn5
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#7Days7Covers #CoverCrush Day 4

7 days, 7 covers you love, no explanation. Try to tag someone new each day.

Anyone else interested, consider yourself tagged as well!

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jillrhudy
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Pickpick

This is her final gift. It‘s genius. I cried at the end, when she wrote about everything she would teach her baby. Thank you Rachel, for showing a path back to the Bible for the skittish, the triggered, and the enraged, before you left us. 😭 #theology #christianity #resistance #faith #hope #inclusion

Crazeedi 😢 3y
SamanthaMarie Rachel was an incredible author and Inspired was my favorite of hers to date. She is one the main reasons I''m still a Christian today. 3y
jillrhudy @SamanthaMarie between her and Nadia Bolz-Weber I‘ve hung in there 🙏 3y
16 likes3 comments
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jillrhudy
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”While Christians tend to turn to scripture to end a conversation, Jews turn to Scripture to start a conversation.” #quotsyaug19

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AvidReader25
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Pickpick

The Bible is full of miracles, harsh truths, parables, and more. The author is open and honest about her struggle to align those truths with our current culture. She discovers that it‘s the stories in the Bible that she connects with. Jesus brings truth home by presenting a story as an example. In that way, it‘s easier for people to connect and understand. In the end, the questions don‘t disappear, but neither does the faith.

CherylRussell I have this on my TBR pile. 🙂 3y
AvidReader25 @CherylRussell I was on the waitlist at my library for a long time! 3y
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Court7
Pickpick

Good choice for a devotional.

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BarbaraJean
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What makes the Bible‘s miracle stories so compelling is the idea that God cares about people‘s suffering, not simply their “spiritual blindness” or “spiritual poverty” but also their actual blindness and actual poverty.

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BarbaraJean
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The gospel means that every small story is part of a sweeping story, every ordinary life part of an extraordinary movement. God is busy making all things new, and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has opened that work to everyone who wants in on it. The church is not a group of people who believe all the same things; the church is a group of people caught up in the same story, with Jesus at the center.

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saguarosally
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I can‘t help but be reminded of the time Google Maps tried to guide me directly into the Mystic River. Boston is the most horrible place in which to try to follow a GPS. The GPS probably just laughs at you and says good luck, it‘s Boston. 🙄😂

ValerieAndBooks Yes!! My son went to school in Boston (loved visiting!) but the GPS couldn‘t keep up with all the turns!! (edited) 3y
saguarosally @ValerieAndBooks The whole region is like this. I‘m just waiting for Google to send me into another river. 😂 3y
32 likes2 comments
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BarbaraJean
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Jesus is what the living, breathing will of God looks like. This includes compassion for the poor, esteem for women, healing for the sick, and solidarity with the suffering. It means breaking bread with outcasts and embracing little children. It means choosing forgiveness over retribution, the cross over revenge, and cooking breakfast for the friend who betrayed you.

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BarbaraJean
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Jews believe these questions are up for debate, instructive not only when we arrive at an answer, but when the ensuing discussion reveals something important to us about our faith, our community, and ourselves. While Christians tend to turn to Scripture to end a conversation, Jews turn to Scripture to start a conversation.

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BarbaraJean
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Pickpick

It was bittersweet to read this when I did, with Rachel Held Evans‘ passing last month. I have such respect for her & her writing; her voice was so needed & it‘s missed greatly. I had a rough start with this—I loved the humor of her intro, but her tone early on tended toward condescending (kind of “oh, those silly views I used to hold”) and I struggled with that. But as she got into the meat of the book, I resonated with her more & more. ⤵️

BarbaraJean I so appreciated her nods to genre & culture & context, reflected in her creative interludes between chapters. And I am so thankful for this fresh take on the Bible—not afraid to wrestle with the difficulties the text presents, but offering a passionate, engaging love for the text that is, well—inspiring. (And I couldn‘t resist taking a picture with the stacks of Bibles I amassed over my years growing up in church & going to a Christian college!) (edited) 3y
45 likes1 comment
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tjwill
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It‘s a beautiful day for reading outside! It‘s hot, but there‘s a nice breeze blowing. I also may have taken a nap on the front porch. #summerbreak #teachersofLitsy

Centique It looks beautiful! 3y
61 likes1 comment
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dariazeoli
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As I was finishing my morning walk, I found these roses had bloomed in the front yard! I think they count as inspiring.

#BFC #bookfitnesschallenge

hes7 How pretty! 😍 Way to go! 👏🏻💪🏻 3y
TheSpineView Yes!😍 3y
wanderinglynn Beautiful! ❤️ 3y
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Tamra Gorgeous! 3y
BookwormAHN 🌹💕 3y
Itchyfeetreader Stunning roses - can almost smell them from here ! 3y
62 likes6 comments
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BarbaraJean
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FZ: Job has a porn addiction?
E: According to Bill, everyone has a porn addiction.
B: Yep. Because of feminism.

😂

I‘m getting back into this one today. I miss Rachel Held Evans.

49 likes1 comment
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dariazeoli
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I finished my third audiobook at lunch yesterday and started the tagged one on afternoon break. I‘m also glad I got my 3 half hour walks in at the start of the week, because late last night I woke up nauseous 🤢

This morning is lemon ginger tea as I prepare for a work meeting in a few hours. Thanks to my fellow #BFC peeps for leading by example: rest is important to our fitness, too!

#bookfitnesschallenge

mabell So true - rest is important! I hope you feel better soon! 3y
wanderinglynn I hope you feel better soon! 💚 3y
BookwormAHN I hope you feel better 🌺 3y
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julesG Feel better! 3y
TheSpineView Yikes! Stomach stuff is the worst. Feel better soon! 3y
AmyG Feel better! 3y
cobwebmoth Hope you're feeling better soon! 3y
alisiakae Hope you feel better soon! 3y
Caterina Hope you get plenty of rest and feel better soon! ❤ And enjoy the audiobook, Rachel Held Evans was a gem. 💕 3y
Clwojick Feel better soon! Ginger tea is a godsend when I‘m ill, so hopefully it helped you as well. 3y
Megabooks I‘m sorry you‘re feeling sick! 3y
Read4life Feel better, Daria! You‘re doing great on the challenge. Take care of you 💙 3y
72 likes12 comments
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teresareads
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Rachel Held Evans' death last week moved this to the top of my TBR. Feels like good reading for Eastertide.

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hwestfall
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This book has been on my shelf for months. After Rachel Held Evans‘ unexpected passing I pulled it down. This book is a joy to read!

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Mike.Hall
Pickpick

I really loved the new take on the Bible story that this book presented. A lot of Religious people may not like that.

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KathyWheeler
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We went to Barnes & Noble before we saw Avengers: Endgame (which was great). Here‘s my book haul. I especially wanted to get Inspired after reading about Rachel Held Evans death.

rretzler Wasn‘t Endgame wonderful (and heartbreaking)? 3y
25 likes1 comment
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saguarosally
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I usually don‘t care about celebrity deaths but this might go a bit higher on the TBR just about now.

Heideschrampf How christian-y is it? Would it be interesting for an atheist, too? As social study? 3y
saguarosally @Heideschrampf I suspect from everything else it could well be of atheist interest. Go for it! 3y
Heideschrampf @saguarosally great, onto the TBR list. Thanks for the recommendation! 3y
SleepyDragon I had never heard of her before today, but just added three of her books to my GR TBR, including this one. Though I noticed my library only has a copy of Searching for Sunday. Sigh. 3y
38 likes4 comments
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BarbaraJean
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Rachel Held Evans‘ words have resonated in my life in powerful ways. Searching for Sunday was encouraging & healing as my husband & I processed a painful separation from our church. And I‘m currently in the middle of Inspired, during a season of re-examining/re-evaluating my perspective on the Old Testament. I was heartbroken hearing of her passing today. I‘m thankful for the legacy she leaves—but what a great loss! My prayers are with her family.

MrBook My prayers as well. 😕 3y
TheBookHippie 😭😭😭I am seriously gutted. Her words were a balm for us all. 3y
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LauraBeth
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Gutted by the tragic loss of Rachel Held Evans. I was on the launch team of her last book, not because of how much I love books, but because of how much I loved her and what her voice meant to me. I genuinely feel like a light just got extinguished, but I also feel like this tweet speaks truth to the influence she had.

JamieArc I was so sad to see this. She was an important voice in the world. 3y
MallenNC Very sad. 3y
TheBookHippie I am gutted as well. 3y
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KathyWheeler I have loved her books and I was so sad to see this. 3y
CouronneDhiver 😢🖤 3y
MaureenMc 😔 3y
Chrissyreadit I am so sad to learn she died. 3y
Suet624 Your post and that tweet just made me cry in a restaurant. You are so right. A light has been extinguished. But you and I (and many others) are still here. Let‘s do our best to offer an illumination that she‘d be proud of. 3y
LauraBeth @Suet624 You‘re so right - we should strive to continue to illuminate. Rachel sincerely wanted people to feel loved and included, and while we‘re still here, we can carry on with that mission. ❤️ 3y
LauraBeth @JamieArc Her voice was truly an important one and will be missed! 3y
LauraBeth @MallenNC I‘m just so shocked over it. 3y
LauraBeth @TheBookHippie such a huge loss for a lot of people who really admired her. 3y
LauraBeth @KathyWheeler I love her books as well - I‘m going to miss her writing. 3y
LauraBeth @CouronneDhiver one day we‘ll see how all the pieces fit together ❤️ 3y
LauraBeth @Chrissyreadit It‘s such a tragic loss 💔 3y
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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
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RIP dear Rachel. You helped me become a progressive Christian and I will always be grateful!

Karisa Gone way too soon. 😥 3y
Susanita 😢 3y
DaveGreen7777 😞😢 3y
44 likes4 comments
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beccamlvn
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Saying many prayers for this wonderful author. I had the opportunity to hear her speak twice last year, with Nadia Bolz Weber (whom I adore!), and I am just astonished at the massive curveball life has thrown her way. She helped to grow and inspire my faith and the faiths of many. I pray she comes out of this ordeal as best as she can, and that her family can find some peace.
(ETA: She has now passed away since originally posting this.)

Bookwormjillk How sad. 3y
Chrissyreadit I‘m so sorry to read this. I enjoyed her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood very much. 3y
Scochrane26 I had to look up what was going on with her. Hope she pulls through. I had forgotten that she wrote A Year Of Biblical Womanhood, which I really liked. 3y
DebReads4fun So sad. 3y
48 likes4 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
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I‘m offering some suggestions to help you shake up your reading choices in your small group at church. Time to read some female authors outside of women‘s ministry.

https://bookriot.com/2019/03/15/expand-your-small-group-reading-at-church-try-a-...

@bookriot #amwriting

CouronneDhiver 🙌🏽🙌🏽 4y
38 likes1 comment
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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
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Pickpick

I was slightly sceptical that I would like this but it was really good. She gives a great overview of the biggest problematic issues related to the Bible without being overly verbose. I actually started reading my Bible again regularly while reading this book 😂 I can recommend it to sceptic and saint alike.

Crazeedi Reading the bible with fresh understanding is always good. Immerse oneself in the Word, and we find answers we need 4y
64 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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sarahjane1077
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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
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As someone with a sometimes-complicated relationship with the Bible, I'm really enjoying RHE's take. But this happens continually throughout the book - whenever she quotes an author, she uses the past tense, not the present. In academic/non-fiction writing, you use the present tense, no? When referring to something written in a book by that author, I mean. Driving me crazy!

MommyWantsToReadHerBook @BarbaraJean please correct me if I'm wrong! 4y
tournevis @MommyWantsToReadHerBook @BarbaraJean It's complicated. For English, I have been taught both. In French, it's easy, you use present tense as past, but in English, it depends on the source. If you quote the author, you use past tense, but if you quote the book you can use present. If you write your own text in the present tense, your quotes can be past tense. It's not fun. I don't like writing academic things in English. 4y
Elma RHE is one of my favorites. I haven't read this one yet though. 4y
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KarynGood Have wanted to read RHE but haven‘t figured out which one to start with. 4y
SamanthaMarie I loved this book :) I too, have a complicated relationship with the Bible at times and I really appreciate the care and respect she gave it while being honest about what it is, what it isn't. Etc. 4y
BarbaraJean @MommyWantsToReadHerBook I‘m inclined to say you‘re right, as that‘s what I‘d been taught and also what I taught as correct when I was teaching Freshman Comp/College Writing classes. I‘m intrigued by the complexities that @tournevis outlined—I‘ve never encountered those specifics. 4y
tournevis @BarbaraJean @MommyWantsToReadHerBook Basically, I think it's this: there's the rule you may learn in first year, and then there's the breaking of said rule when you know what you're doing, and then there's what academics do when they write and publish. There could also be, in the case of the tagged book, that the editor changed whatever the author put in her manuscript 4y
ulrichyumiodd We definitively use the present at my university. Also, contrary to @tournevis, I prefer academic writing in English rather than in French! (edited) 4y
tournevis @ulrichyumiodd When I'm writing, I prefer French. Reading, I have no preference, though. 4y
MommyWantsToReadHerBook @BarbaraJean thank you for the confirmation! The present is also used at all South African universities and @tournevis, you completely confused me lol. I just find this so irritating while reading this book! 4y
MommyWantsToReadHerBook @SamanthaMarie definitely. I really can't cope with any overly simplistic explaining away of issues and I have actually learned so much already in this book - and I have a theological degree! 4y
KarynGood Thanks @MommyWantsToReadHerBook! Will definitely check it out! 4y
50 likes1 stack add13 comments
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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
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Starting to get into this one!

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captainpunchmerica
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Really enjoying this one so far - amazing insights and storytelling

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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
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Haha I just realized that I didn't actually get a book for Christmas this year! But that's okay as I bought two books for myself yesterday 😊

Amiable That's even better --because you got exactly what you wanted! 👍🏼 4y
MommyWantsToReadHerBook @Amiable definitely, at least within what the Kindle deals had to offer! 4y
Tamra Mrs. Claus leaves me books under the tree. WINK 😹 4y
MommyWantsToReadHerBook @Tamra okay now I get the Mrs Claus thing! 😉 4y
78 likes5 comments
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BarbaraJean
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My first Bible was one of those Precious Moments volumes that boasted blond, doe-eyed David on the cover, two baby lambs resting in his arms, and a sparrow perched on his staff, the shepherd boy blissfully unaware that in a few short years he‘d be delivering 200 Philistine foreskins to his father-in-law as a bride price. Inside were all my favorite biblical heroes and heroines depicted as children. (Well, almost all of them...⤵️

BarbaraJean ...The artists failed to include Jael, whose precious moment involved assassinating a general by driving a tent peg through his skull.) 😂 4y
30 likes1 comment
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Kangaj1
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Grad school has me crazy these days, and I‘ve been in a reading slump, but this book is so good...

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sherri
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Pickpick

Having heard plenty of literal interpretations without room for questioning, I appreciated Inspired for its ability to question and reframe these stories. It‘s worth a read for Christians and questioners.

#netgalley #InspiredBook

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Mitch
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You guys are all so awesome. For my 50K giveaway I invited you to share your reading life with our Litsy family in just 5 words. They‘ve all been brilliant and inspiring to read. From the ambiguous to the pithy, from the comic to the educational. You‘re all such a thoughtful and inspiring lot! Thank you - keep ‘em coming! #50kreadinglifegiveaway

Kalalalatja It was so hard to pick just five! 😅 4y
Mitch @Kalalalatja I had my own 5 all sorted in my head until I started reading everyone else‘s! 🤣 4y
wanderinglynn Yes! I‘ve read so many good ones. It‘s been inspiring. 😀 4y
Mitch @wanderinglynn 😍👍🏼😍 4y
LazyDays This is such a fun idea! 4y
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jcalyn5
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“...Paul spent so much time in his letters arguing for grace over law. He wasn‘t speaking in some abstract way against religious legalism or ‘salvation by works,‘ nor was he damning the entire Jewish community... Jews and Gentiles are now one in the family of God... Every New Testament letter authored by Paul or in his name begins with ‘grace and peace to you,‘ a combination of the Greek word charis (grace) with the Hebrew word shalom (peace)...”

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jcalyn5
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“So the question for modern readers, then, is whether the point of the New Testament household codes is to reinforce the Greco-Roman household structure as God‘s ideal for all people, in all places, for all time, or whether the point is to encourage Christians to imitate Jesus in their relationships, regardless of the culture or their status in it.”