Living the Questions Conceptual Elements

Rachel Held Evans,”Living the Questions” Moody Coliseum, Wednesday 3:00-3:50

Design:
Rachel not only designed her her Powerpoint presentation that corresponded with her speech, but her speech followed a chronological order to show certain events that affected her faith as she grew older. She started when she was a child attending her Christian school, and always winning her “Best Christian Attitude Award,” and went through her struggles with doubt, and trusting God even today. Each story was very concise while being on the lighter side, even though she dealt with a difficult topic. She was able to obtain, and keep the audience’s attention.
Symphony:
Mrs. Evans spoke on the topic of doubt, and the questions we, as Christians, ask of God. She confessed in front of the crowd that she, herself, has a constant struggle with doubt, and with trusting God. She began her speech by asking, “How much faith is enough?” She didn’t give her answer to the question right away, but it did give a good segway into her topic.
Mrs. Evans then began to delve into her own struggle with faith, and how she has dealt with it. She brought up different verses that showed that even the disciples of God in the flesh (Jesus) had questions. It was great to have an example of those who walked next to God incarnate on a daily basis, and yet they still had questions of faith, but Jesus didn’t chide them for what they were saying. Jesus was fine with answering the disciples questions, even though Jesus called them, “Ye of little faith.”
Narrative:
A good majority of Mrs. Evan speech was about her own personal struggles. She told the audience so many stories of how her struggle with doubt helped define her as a Christian. One story in particular stood out to me. She told a story of her in college when she witnessed a video of a Muslim woman being executed because she was charged with murdering her husband. She was in shock of how much suffering this woman had seen in her lifetime, but Mrs. Evans was also confused on how she would suffer even more in the life to come because of the religion, and lifestyle she chose. Mrs. Evans wanted to know how could God let that woman suffer as much as she already had, and even more.
Mrs. Evans continued to tell stories like that, and how each event shaped, or affected her.
Empathy:
Mrs. Evans was able to speak of doubt because it’s a constant struggle for her. So many events in her life have affected her life, and her trust in God.
Meaning:
This session was named “Living the Questions,” for a purpose. Mrs. Evans spoke of doubt, and trust in God, and questions. She wanted to let the audience know that questions are okay to ask. It is absolutely okay to ask questions. When she spoke of the disciples asking questions, it seemed like it made it better for Christians today to ask also. The meaning of Mrs. Evans’ session is that it is okay to ask questions about religion, faith, and God. She touched on a few verses like Matthew 17:20 when Jesus tells his disciples that if they have faith the size of a mustard seed they can move mountains, and even though that verse was reassuring, one thing Mrs. Evans said stood out to me more than anything else: “When your God is that big, your faith can be that small.” God is big enough to move mountains from spot to spot, and when He’s big enough to do that it’s okay for you to ask questions!
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