Salvatore Anthony Luiso: Thank you for this article, which was difficult for you to write. I respectfully disagree with the notion that "the one without a true conception of God cannot genuinely love". I would say that no one, other than God, can love perfectly, and that the better one's conception of God, the better one can love--although not necessarily the better one will love. Although I agree that "God is the One Scripture declares is love", I do not agree that "love is God". That said, I much appreciate your willingness to criticize Rachel Held Evans and her teachings so soon after her death, and to warn about them. Despite the fact that she died only a few days ago, I do not believe it is improper to criticize her and her teachings now. To the contrary: With so much undue respect and praise flooding out for her, the time calls for standing for the truth amid the flood. Whatever her intentions, however good they may have been, Evans was a dangerous, deceitful, and destructive author. However good her personality, character, and skills may have been, they do nothing to mitigate this fact. The fact that her writings were so highly regarded, admired, loved, and influential during her life should have been troubling to anyone who was familiar with them and who regarded and loved the Scriptures as God's word. One should be saddened by her death, and yet still abhor the dangerous falsehoods about God, sin, sexuality, and salvation which she spread. One should be sympathetic toward her family, friends, and followers, and yet deplore the popularity and pernicious influence of those falsehood. One should be sympathetic, too, toward those who are and will be deceived by them. I'm surprised and dismayed by the number of positive assessments of her that have been published in the so-called "Evangelical" section of Patheos since she was put into a medically-induced coma last month--although I know that one need not be an evangelical to have a blog there. I'm not surprised, but dismayed, to see that Mark Galli, editor in chief of Christianity Today, ended his apology for the publication of John Stonestreet's tribute by referring to Evans as "this dynamic sister in Christ". These are signs of the confusion and carelessness about sound doctrine among self-identified evangelicals in America.
Sarah Flood: If Evans was deceitful (and that would assume you know her motives and that they were bad; one may be unintentionally mistaken, but deceit is intentional), how exactly could she have "good character"? Do you have evidence of this deceit or are you just assuming she actually thought differently than what she said and lied to people intentionally? I didn't agree with Evans on everything (for different reasons than you), but she never struck me as anything but honest. Honestly mistaken, perhaps, but honest.
Salvatore Anthony Luiso: Among Merriam-Webster's definitions of the word "deceive", this is the first: "to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid". I believe an honestly mistaken person can unintentionally deceive others. Regardless as to whether Evans was honestly mistaken, or dishonest, I believe she deceived others through her writings. I do not need to know her motives to believe this: I can simply know that she promoted falsehoods which misled her readers