Join us under the Big Tent

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Confession: I get super jealous when everyone’s talking about a big conference I really want to attend but can’t because I’m a poor writer from a small townYou know how it goes. First comes the tweets, then the impassioned status updates, then a wave of inspired blog posts from the happy attendees whose lives have been changed by what they heard. I pretend to be excited for them, but deep down I’m green as the grass on the other side. 

Well today I have the chance to be at one of those conferences—Big Tent Christianity—primarily because I’m a poor writer from a small town whose publisher took pity on her and paid the way. (Gotta sell some books while I’m here, though!) 

I really wish everyone from our little online community could be here in Raleigh. So at the risk of inflaming jealousies, I’d like to keep you updated on what’s going on…and give you the chance to weigh in with your own ideas and questions. 

Thanks to the miracle of technology, I’ll be able to tweet through each session. You can follow me on twitter, or simply check out the little bird in the right-hand corner of the Web site. (You may have noticed that the poor monkey is gone. Killed off by the branding gods who say it’s time for me to move beyond all the monkey motifs and make way for the next book. May he rest in peace.) 

In addition, I’ll be checking the comment section regularly over the next two days, so please use it to respond to my tweets, pose questions for the speakers, or share your own ideas about Big Tent Christianity, theology, Bible, justice denominationalism, sexuality, and spirituality. Who knows? I may even get the chance to pose YOUR question to your favorite speaker. 

Here’s the schedule:


1:00-3:00 p.m. Big Tent Christianity
Philip Clayton, Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, Emmanuel Katongole

3:45-5:30 p.m. Big Tent Theology 
Tim Conder, Terence Fretheim, Jo-Ann Badley, Peter Rollins, Adam English


9:00-11:00 a.m. Big Tent Justice
Gareth Higgins, Hugh Hollowell, Anthony Smith, Victor Anderson,  Bruce Reyes-Chow

11:15a.m.-12:30 p.m. Big Tent Denominationalism 
Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Bill Leonard, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Tim King,  Shane Claiborne 

12:30-1:30 p.m. Big Tent Sexuality
Jay Bakker, Frank Green, Ian Markham, Brian Ammons

3:45-5:00 p.m. Big Tent Spirituality 
Christopher Copeland, Stephanie Spellers,  Spencer Burke,  Ian Cron, Tom Oord


What session strikes you as most interesting? Which speakers? Got any questions you would like to pose? Ideas you would like to share? I’ll keep you posted!

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