Deconstruction has certainly been a common term for a while, with its hashtags often heralding an exit from the Christian faith of the Scriptures. This article from The Gospel Coalition claims that there are 4 reasons for Deconstruction:
— “Church Hurt,” a term that I believe diminishes the significance of the atrocities that are taking place in churches.
— “Poor Teaching,” saying, “Today’s deconstruction allows bad teaching to have the last word.”
It depends, I suppose, on how the deconstruction takes place.
— “Desire to Sin,” saying, “It’s a bummer if someone’s dealing with church hurt and you hand him a stack of apologetics books to read. Those same books will be useless if, beneath the surface, he really just wants to justify his sin.”
It would be almost unbelievable to me to think that a stack of apologetics books would be useful for someone dealing with betrayal by the church if it weren’t that this is TGC. (But of course, we dare not be empathetic, lest we encourage him or her in sin, right?)
— “Street Cred,” saying, “Doubt is hip.”
But doubt about what you’ve always been taught can be and usually is a very, very important part of the faith journey.
For some, “I’m deconstructing” means, “I’m deconverting” or “I’m walking away from the Christian faith.”
But when you look at the real meaning of the word, you’ll see that it means taking something apart (in this case, teachings) brick by brick, as it were (the “construct” part of the word), even down to the very foundation if necessary, in order to see if the structure is sound. And “soundness” would have to be soundness as compared to . . . something.
So, for others, like my husband and me, it can mean, “I’m reexamining the structure I grew up in, which called itself Biblical Christianity. I’m removing the bricks, brick by brick, all the way to the foundation, and seeing how the bricks line up with the Word of God.” (We would add later, “And with the Christian life promised in the New Testament,” but that didn’t happen at first.)
If we look at it this way, then I would agree with others who have said that this is exactly what Martin Luther did with his Roman Catholic faith before leaving the Roman Catholic religion completely.
Back when Tim and I were going through this process, we didn’t think of it as “deconstruction”; in fact, the term “deconstruction” wasn’t around (just as social media wasn’t around). All we were trying to do was understand who God was and what His Word actually meant.
So it took us a while to see that what we had gone through did match with the actual meaning of this term.
My journey was slightly different from Tim’s but complementary, and as we both progressed, we discussed what we each were learning, so that we definitely were making the journey together. Here is our story, told from Tim’s perspective. Continue reading “Our Christian Deconstruction Journey (guest post by my husband, Tim Davis)”