A few weeks ago, The Gospel Coalition released a book about deconstruction called Before You Lose Your Faith. Yes, those predominantly Reformed Churches who believe the Bible is the Word of God, that men have headship over women, that humanity is “corrupted in every aspect of their being,” and that on the cross Christ propitiated God and “bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins,” don’t want you to deconstruct your faith.
I wonder why.
Now, they are entitled to their opinion. They can believe, as they say in their book, that the solution to your doubts is not less Christianity, but more Christianity (Introduction). They can say (ironically, given that these are Reformed Protestants) that the solution to your deconstruction is recovering “Christian Orthodoxy” (Chapter 1). But the way I see it, all this is just another way to say: Don’t deconstruct. Believe what we believe. We’ve got the corner on truth.
Honestly, the way they approach deconstruction makes me wonder if any of them have deconstructed anything. And if they have, do they think their experiences are the only valid ones? Because to my mind, if people have been burned by the Church, if they’ve been traumatized by harmful doctrines that shame them for their sexuality or gender, then no, the solution is not more of that type of Christianity.
That’s why a group of us wrote a book called Before You Lose Your Mind: Deconstructing Bad Theology in the Church. It’s meant to be a real resource for people who realize they are deconstructing. Because that’s the thing that The Gospel Coalition misses: You don’t choose to deconstruct; you realize you are deconstructing. We get that, which is a part of why we issued a response.
We also get that our faith shouldn’t be about making sure each and every one of us checks off the doctrinal box of so-called orthodoxy. That’s why within the pages of our book, the contributors have different perspectives. I know because I’m personal friends with many of them. We don’t all agree on everything. Hell, there are some things we really disagree on. But agreement isn’t necessarily the point. Listening to one another with empathy and compassion, in order to embrace our differences, is much closer to the point.
Again, that’s why we think our book is a much better resource for deconstructing Christians. It’s not meant to be an answer to all your questions. It’s just a collection of thoughts – good thoughts – from some really amazing theologians, artists, poets, scholars, intellectuals, misfits, heretics, and whatever the hell you want to call me. And at the end of the book, you can agree or disagree or do a little of both. And that’s okay. It’s your faith journey, and we’re not gonna tell you where you have to end up (unlike other people).
With all that said, allow me to include the quick synopsis found on the back cover, so you can get a more detailed snapshot of what this book is all about:
So, you’re deconstructing your faith?
It can be painful. It can be scary. But the good news is that you’re not alone, and you don’t have to lose your mind in the process.
It doesn’t matter whether you are questioning hell, penal substitution, or the end times; or you’re troubled by how politics has invaded the pulpit; or you’re uncomfortable with the way Christians treat people in the LGBTQ+ community; or you’re just not convinced that the Bible is really inerrant, infallible, or inspired. There are many reasons to find yourself deconstructing Christianity.
Before You Lose Your Mind features contributions from Brandon Andress, Michelle Collins, Derrick Day, Brandon Dragan, Matthew J. Distefano, Jason Elam, Maria Francesca French, Keith Giles, Mark Karris, Matthew J. Korpman, Josh Roggie, Rev. Dr. Katy Valentine, and Skeeter Wilson.
This book was created to give you hope for your journey from faith to doubt and back again. To a place where embracing mystery is what true faith is all about.
Because the opposite of faith isn’t doubt. It’s certainty.
So, pick up the current Amazon best-seller Before You Lose Your Mind today. The price can’t be better. It’s $9.99 in paperback and only 99 cents on Kindle. And no, that’s not a sale price. That’s the price, price. Cool? I thought so.
If you wanna get to know me better, please follow me on social media. I’m pretty active on all platforms:
Also, if you’ve been digging my work on here, and want to see me be able to continue writing as close to full-time as humanly possible, please take a look at my Patreon page at www.patreon.com/mjdistefano. Even $1 a month helps bigly!!!