In my last post, I suggested that the although the notion of deconstructing our faith is becoming more popular, and although I sympathize with many of those who are advancing such ideas, I am not sure that it is the proper term or a healthy endeavor.
Instead, I would contend that we should focus on reconstructing—which incorporates and expands on deconstruction.
Unfortunately, many are skeptical of the whole deconstruction movement. Which raises the question: “why do we need to reconstruct?”
Gospel and the Kingdom
I think we need to reconstruct because we have too much wrong! I am sure this will raise a few eyebrows and perhaps cause others to reject my claims before I am allowed to make them.
That we have much wrong is evident from the fact that most Christians cannot define or explain the most basic elements of the Christian faith: such as the Gospel or the Kingdom.
Of course, many think they can define and explain “the gospel” but at the end of the day the most common description of “the gospel” usually consists of some sort of consumeristic description of “what Jesus did for me so I can be saved and go to heaven”: such as, “the gospel is that Jesus died for my sins and if I believe in Him I can be saved”—which btw is true but this is not where we should begin with discussing “the gospel.”
The gospel after all is not about me or you! It is about Jesus! (see my posts on “What is the Gospel?” Post 1; Post 2; Post 3; Post 4; Post 5 )
Any definition of the gospel that does not begin with Jesus as Lord and with a denial of self is by its very nature a distortion of the gospel.
Secondly, “the gospel” pertains to the Kingdom of God:
Jesus’ first words in the Gospel of Mark, which Mark says is “the gospel of God” (Mark 1:14), are about the Kingdom of God: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15).
Yet, sadly most Christians have little to no understanding of the Kingdom of God.
Thus, as I said in my last post: “I am more and more convinced as I study the Scriptures that the Western church, which I am a part of, has got a lot wrong!”
There is no doubt that many Christians today, especially young people, are disillusioned with the Church
NB: they are often disillusioned with the “Chuch” and not with “Christianity”; but at the end of the day disillusionment with one often leads to disillusionment with the other
They are disillusioned by the money that mega-churches are bringing in and spending on themselves.
They are disillusioned by the Church’s lack of concern for social issues.
They are disillusioned every time a high-profile Christian leader falls into immorality or makes a fool of themselves by using their platform to say or do stupid things.
They are disillusioned when Christians seem more concerned about preaching to others than to themselves.
NB: I will address some of these issues in more depth in the coming months.
The process of deconstruction must include then a reconstruction.
If we merely deconstructed, that is, if we only tear down the old structure, we would end up homeless.
At the same time, the process of reconstruction with regard to Christianity, should not simply be to rebuild the home but to evaluate which items from the old home are we going to keep, which are we going to dispose of, and which ones are we going to replace.
This is significant. We cannot simply rebuild the structure and then resume everything else as it was.
As I noted earlier, we should begin the process of reconstruction with the fact that God is the Creator of all things: He is good, and humanity was made in His image in order to manifest His rule over the creation.
I then argued that we must also understand that Eden in Genesis 1-2 was a temple and that New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22 represents a restored and glorified Eden.
I then added that we should understand the incursion of “sin” into the story not in terms of a “fall” but a “failure.” Humanity failed to fulfill its mission of ruling as God’s image bearers because we chose to make ourselves god and determine good and bad (or right from wrong) on our own terms.
This should serve as the foundation for our reconstructed home.
At this point, many Christians attempt to rush in and attempt to fill the home with all its accessories and various amenities.
I would suggest, however, that we need to finish the frame, put up its walls, and finish the roof.
It is my conviction that the process of reconstruction must center around Jesus.
The story centers on Jesus.
In order to reconstruct a Christian worldview we need to recognize the centrality of Jesus in the story.
In saying this, I should note that this too is problematic. How so?
The fact is that we come to the table with a preconception of Jesus and His teachings that may also need to be part of the deconstruction/reconstruction process.
Where then do we go?
I think we need to go from the beginning of the story, to Jesus, and then to the end of the story and work our way back.
Jesus and the New Creation
Jesus as the Image of God
Before I jump to the end in my next several posts, it behooves us to note that Jesus connects the whole story together. Jesus is both the true humanity that fulfills what God intended with humanity in Eden and He is the beginning of the New Creation.
One of the ways that Jesus connects to the beginning of the story is that He is presented as the true Humanity. Paul says: “He is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15).
Note that Jesus is not said to be made “in” the image of God (see Gen 1:26-27). Instead, Jesus is the Image of God.
This means that when Genesis says that we are made in God’s image, we might say that it is the Image of Jesus that we are made in—He is that Image!
NB: this is not to deny that the image in which we are made is the image of the Trinitarian God.
This means that understanding Jesus is mission-critical to forming a Christian worldview—understanding who He is; what He did; and the nature of the kingdom that He proclaimed. He is the true human doing what we were made to do! And we must understand Jesus through this lens.
Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of the New Creation!
In addition, in Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension, the kingdom of God has come and the New Creation has begun!
Herein lies another problem. Namely, in order to understand the significance of this we must come to terms with what the New Creation means.
This is where we will move to next week!
Once we have done this, then we can return to the topic of Jesus and begin to see how the pieces all fit together (and why I think that much of western Christianity has constructed it all wrong).
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 There are a number of problems with the idea of “deconstruction” as it is being used today. For one, the term has several different meanings—some of which seriously undermine the Gospel of Jesus. Second, as I noted in my last post, “deconstruction” is essentially a negative term and needs to be counter-balanced with an effort to reconstruct. The goal then is not to simply deconstruct.
 If a home, for example, were to be remodeled in order to become more energy efficient (new windows, roofing, and the like), the occupants of the home would not be able to live in it during much of the process. In fact, all of the furniture and the occupants’ personal items would need to be removed.
 Herein lies another potential problem. Namely, that we assume that the book of Genesis says what I think it says.