Faith Deconstruction (Part 3)

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Written by Alan Vink

Categories: Pastors Blog

Comments: 0

Dear Pastors

Faith Deconstruction (Part 3)

The last two blogs on Faith Deconstruction has clearly touched a sensitive nerve. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Thank you to all those who have taken a few moments to interact with David or me.

Hence, I thought one more blog on this subject might be useful. You might be asking why is Vink writing on this again? Here is why? Conservative Evangelical Christianity has provided the world with many good things that I and all of us should rejoice in. As a matter of fact it ‘saved’ my Father and Mother in 1959 which changed the whole trajectory of our family. Today I am an unashamed card carrying conservative evangelical. This is my tribe and I am very grateful for it.

However, (and this is almost a redundant comment) like all things it too has been subject to ‘The Fall’. That means it has been corrupted. CEC has deviated at times from all that is good and pure and truthful. It has taught things and done things that are not what God intended or wanted. As a result it has hurt people and messed up a lot of people’s lives. To be clear it is some of CEC’s Doctrines and Practices that have done this. It is NOT Jesus. These are not one of the same.

Friends, I believe we must learn from our mistakes. And what better way than learn from people who have ‘deconstructed’ or even walked away and also from ‘case studies’ as in the case of Mars Hill.

This week I am drawing your attention to two superb resources on this subject. The first is by Dr Scot McKnight. Scot is an American New Testament scholar, historian of early Christianity, theologian, and author who has written widely on the historical Jesus, early Christianity and Christian living. He is currently Professor of New Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lisle, Illinois, USA Scot has recently written on this subject. Just yesterday he wrote this excellent blog titled ‘Beyond Deconstruction’.

“Our series works with the reality of deconstruction and that many today claim they are in a “phase of deconstruction.” I have not been able to determine just exactly what they mean by deconstruction but the general point is clear. They find the Christian faith as they have experienced it to be inadequate. Whether it is some intellectual problem (science vs. Genesis 1-2 and the creationism they were taught) or the hypocrite problem (well-known pastors collapsing) or social problem (why can’t the church get on board with universal health care?), they are finding the church falling short. The credibility of the church’s claims is withering for them. As one parent told me the other day, “My son is SO OVER the whole church thing.”

The second is a bonus issue from the ‘Fall of Mars Hill’ podcast series that you can find here.
It’s called ‘I Kisssed Christianity Goodbye’. Here is the introduction to this episode. (1 hr 3mins)

“After almost two decades, Joshua Harris left ministry battered and exhausted. A few years later, he left the faith altogether. In this bonus episode of the podcast, we try to understand why.

Love it or hate it, if you grew up in a youth group after 1997, you probably had to reckon with Joshua Harris’s I Kissed Dating Goodbye, his treatise on dating and courtship. The book sold millions and made him, in Collin Hansen’s terms, an “evangelical boy wonder.”

At 29 years old he became the lead pastor of a Maryland megachurch and a rising star in Sovereign Grace Ministries. But when that movement was torn apart by controversy, conflict, and accusations of a systemic cover-up of child abuse, he found himself reeling, unsure of his calling and convictions. He left ministry in 2015, and in 2019, he announced that he no longer identified as a Christian.

In this bonus episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, we’ll explore Josh’s story as a contemporary of Mark Driscoll, someone who was his polar opposite in temperament, and whose struggles in ministry led to a divergent outcome. We’ll talk about faith, doubt, and celebrity, and discuss how Christians might think about their own doubts and deconstruction, recognizing them as a normal part of the Christian life”.

I so hope that this short series will be helpful and act as a guide as we continue to lead our churches in ‘The Way of the Master’.


Alan Vink is currently the Executive Director for LeadershipWorx. Prior to this role he has been the Executive Director of Willow Creek Association NZ (WillowNZ), a Baptist pastor (23 years), Bible College teacher, and church consultant.

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