Christian Deconstruction and Doubt: The Good, Bad, and Ugly.

*This blog post is a follow-up to Episode 119 of the Provoke & Inspire Podcast: “Episode 119: Herding Cats, David the Laser Praiser, and Useful Christian Doubt and Deconstruction!"*

To listen to the full episode click here.

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is the Director of Come&Live! and is the younger son of David and Jodi Pierce. Come&Live!’s vision is to create a worldwide mission community that will provoke and inspire Christian artists to use their God-given creativity to revolutionize the world for Jesus.
Instagram: @nzbenpierce
Twitter: @benalanpierce


Type “deconstruction” into the iTunes search bar and you will find no shortage of podcasts called by the same name or dealing with the topic.

We live in the age of Christian deconstruction.

The question is, why?

There is no simple answer, but rather a confluence of factors that are worthy of differentiation and analysis. As with most things, the baby is likely to be sitting somewhere in the middle of the bathwater. In order to find the truth in the mess, I think it’s important to avoid oversimplifications and false dichotomies. Not all doubt is directionless, negative, or unthoughtful; likewise, deconstructing faith isn’t inherently noble nor useful.

I hope to cover the most pertinent factors below.

I think, in part, we are in this place because our culture tolerates discussion but rejects the truth. Modern society is deeply influenced by a postmodern dismissal of absolute truth and is especially suspicious of traditional sources of authority (e.g., the Bible and the Church).

Many Christians have been influenced by this secular mindset and have created their own form of postmodernism. This has given rise to the ubiquitous spiritual deconstruction seen in blogs and podcasts across the internet. In many ways, Christian doubt and deconstruction are just conformity to modernity.

It’s also possible that it reflects a large number of Christians who simply no longer identify with a traditional view of the faith. Not long ago, it was socially beneficial to be a Christian. This was the dominant mindset, and to align with it was to be in the majority.

Furthermore, the Christian faith was seen as the foundation for moral behavior and decency, and the church, a place to meet a spouse and do business. Believing in God used to be advantageous and so most did.

Today, there is an intense social cost to being a Christian. To be a follower of Jesus in modern culture is to be considered anti-scientific, narrow-minded, and homophobic. This is a high price, especially for those who are superficially religious, and it has led many to abandon their faith, and others to doubt and deconstruct it.

After all, if the goal is cultural congruence, then one must either alter or ditch a faith that increasingly doesn’t fit. Many have chosen the former, and this is in large part why we are seeing the explosive growth of spiritual deconstruction.

But not all doubt and deconstruction is bad. Human beings have the tendency to add things to Jesus that don’t belong. In the book of Acts, the early church struggled to detach human ordinances from the essence of what it meant to follow Jesus.

History is rife with extra-biblical barriers being imposed on people trying to know and obey God. Today, being a Christian has suddenly become about fashion, music style, and politics. This baggage obscures what it means to follow Jesus and should be ditched and altered. Healthy spiritual deconstruction will lead to a clearer understanding of who God is and what it means to follow Him, making it an invaluable tool for every Christian.

Doubt can also serve as a powerful impetus for pushing beyond a superficial faith. New York City-based pastor Tim Keller says, “A faith without some doubts is like a human body without antibodies. It is susceptible to attack.” In this case, doubt and deconstruction are not only positive but critical.

Many grew up in a church culture that didn’t challenge its congregants to think for themselves, and those that did were often ostracized. The Church is guilty of pushing many people into intense seasons of deconstruction, which is almost always the logical outcome of a faith without a firm foundation.

Now more than ever, the world needs to witness followers of Jesus whose words and lives mirror the person they claim to follow. Healthy doubt and deconstruction can be part of the refining process that produces precisely those types of believers, but we need to be cautious.

Before tearing something down, we should ask what exactly we are hoping to build in its place.

Is the goal to know and obey the God of the Bible, or to reconstruct Him into a deity of our own making? Do we wrestle with our deep questions in order to find the truth, or do we revel in attacking a belief system we simply don’t agree with anymore?

It’s ultimately a question of motivation. If used for the right reason, deconstruction becomes a critical surgical tool necessary for excising the biases and baggage that stand in the way of seeing and obeying the one true God.


Related items

  • If Timothy Had Instagram... (Part 3)
    “Your public profile matters” (1Tim.2:8-10; 3:1-13)

    This is a big one - possibly the largest challenge and most important theme when it comes to our social media engagement. How you portray yourself publicly matters. The impression you give to others matters.

  • Episode 155: Why Have Our Prayers Become a Dead Ritual?

    You’ve heard the regulars talk about the importance of praying and seeking God many times on this podcast, but what does that look like? How do we seek God with a desperate heart?

    Ben, Chad, David and Luke continue the discussion around this subject and why it seems to have become a dead ritual. They share their personal experiences on the matter and then give some practical examples of how you can grow in your personal prayer life.

    Oh yes… and David returns to Virgin Man in his Random Story…

  • Episode 154: Finding Jesus in the Midst of Anxiety - Featuring Matty and Brittany Mullins

    While in Hawaii for a Provoke&Inspire conference, David, Chad and Ben sit down with Matty (Memphis May Fire) and Brittany Mullins (Beneath The Skin) who share their stories, Matty's struggle with anxiety and panic attacks and how God has been working through their lives to tell others about Jesus.

  • Episode 153: If God Takes His Hand off Me for a Second, I’m Dead!

    In this week’s edition of the Provoke and Inspire Podcast, the guys turn their attention from understanding the secular culture to how to go about reaching them. They dive into the critical topic of prayer and ask the question “why is it that for so many of us prayer has become a dead ritual?” This is a crucial conversation for anyone wanting to reach the secular world for Jesus!

    Oh and David relives the infamous ‘no sex tax’ kerfuffle.

  • Episode 152: Rachel Hollis and the Age of Me - Featuring Courtney and Jodi Pierce.

    Jodi and Courtney Pierce come on the podcast to talk about Rachel Hollis’ latest book, Girl Stop Apologizing. They look at some of the positives of this self-help book along with the importance of having godly ambition, while also discussing the dangers of a mentality that says: “You can do anything you want in life, if you just work hard enough.”

Sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE digital copy of "Revolutionary, Ten Principles That Will Empower Christian Artists to Change the World" by David Pierce.

Please wait