Faith deconstruction

This page last updated October 1st, 2020
Demolition of building

When you just can’t go on

Are you feeling like the christian faith you once believed is coming apart? Then this page is for you.

Do you feel like you can’t question your faith in your church, or if you do, you are either misunderstood, or not given an answer? Then hopefully this page can help you.

Some times we just need to sweep the floor clear and start afresh. Build our beliefs from the ground up.

I have found that there are reasonable answers to most of the questions we can ask about christian faith. Answers that don’t require us to ignore science or evidence. Answers that may take us to a different place to where we once were.

I don’t believe we need to feel any sense of apprehension about all this. Rather we can feel excited to be on a new journey of discovery.

This page and the links at the bottom will hopefully give you a start.

A crisis of faith?

Christianity is growing in other parts of the world but declining in the once-christian western world. That’s the bare statistics. But of course it is more than just statistics – it is people just like you and I who are losing faith or rejecting the faith they were raised in.

There are many reasons why a person who once identified as christian may question or reject that belief, for example loss of confidence in the Bible, the evil in the world and God’s apparent unwillingness to change this, the arguments of atheists, the bad behaviour of christians and churches, materialism, doctrines they now find unbelievable, etc.

These problems lead to doubts, and doubts lead to a review, and sometimes rejection, of beliefs they once didn’t question. This process is sometimes termed deconstruction.

Deconstruction

The term deconstruction means “the systematic pulling apart of the belief system you were raised in” to determine what is still believable in the light of everything else you know. (It can mean something different for academics – see note.)

Typically, faith deconstruction occurs when doubts and questions are not answered by our christian teachers (whether ministers, authors or podcasters) and we start to wonder if we have uncovered a fatal flaw in our christian belief.

Those who give up their belief easily, happily and willingly have probably not deconstructed, but simply demolished. Deconstruction is more of a process of investigating, considering and grappling with concepts and truths until we find an answer that is satisfying.

Deconversion vs reconstruction

Deconstruction can be a path that eventually leads out of belief into agnosticism or even atheism, but it can also be a path to reconstruction of a new faith that is built on a solid foundation of evidence and well-researched truth. Thus some people see faith deconstruction as a slippery slope to atheism, but others see it more positively.

Deconstruction and reconstruction have been positive processes in my life and christian faith. I often say “doubt can be the gateway to new understandings”, for that has been my experience. My faith is much richer and more solidly based than it once was.

Deconstruction and reconstruction on this website

This page is the gateway to a discussion of many issues related to faith deconstruction and reconstruction, such as reasons to reconsider our christian belief, how to go about it, the many issues deconstruction may raise and how they may be resolved, and what a reconstructed faith may look like.

My experience and ideas will probably not be the same as yours, but if you are on a journey to review or reconstruct your christian faith, welcome! I hope you find something helpful here.

Read more about faith deconstruction

References

 

Note: the academic idea of deconstruction.

Philosopher Jacques Derrida suggested that language conveys meaning inadequately, and so needs to be “deconstructed” or analysed to determine its true significance. The concept has been applied to christian faith, with the thought that religious belief and religious texts are human constructs that can or should be deconstructed to find what has value.

I think this academic meaning is less relevant to what most christians experience and I am discussing here.

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