Faith Deconstruction Can Be a Search for Answers or a Search for Exits

Christians should encourage doubters’ questions. They should also discern what those questions might be seeking.

Wrestling with Christian faith—questioning, doubting, reforming, and even falling away from it—has been part of the Christian tradition as long as there’s been a Christian tradition. Christianity asserts some big claims about the world, and a healthy faith can mean wrestling with these claims at some point along our faith journey. The result can be a more robust faith, even if it is a somewhat reformed faith.

But this is certainly not how it goes for everyone. Sometimes one can’t get past an objection that calls the truth of Christianity into question. Other times, living by ethical claims that run counter to current cultural norms proves too heavy a burden. Sometimes the sheer audacity of the claims of Christianity leads people to dismiss them as unbelievable and unserious. And then there’s the presence of scandal and abuse within the ranks of church leaders. With church-related trauma all too common these days, some people simply want out.

These experiences, often lived out on social media and other online channels, travel under the banner of faith deconstruction. Deconstruction is one of those terms that feels familiar, even if most people know little about its roots. While it began as a term of art with 20th-century postmodern philosopher Jacques Derrida, I suspect most faith deconstructions aren’t being informed by a study in Derridean semantic theory! Today, deconstruction may refer to a wide variety of experiences.

To help with the confusion, Alisa Childers and Timothy Barnett offer their new book, The Deconstruction of Christianity: What It Is, Why It’s Destructive, and How to Respond. As their subtitle makes clear, Childers and Barnett take a critical stance toward the deconstruction …

Continue reading

Read More

This post was originally published on this site

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.