Before You Lose Your Faith: Deconstructing Doubt in the Church
Edited by Ivan Mesa
Published by The Gospel Coalition
Review by Joel Gilbert
Over the last several years, there have been many evangelicals who have “deconstructed” their faith and moved beyond the Christianity they once knew into uncharted territories. Some would identify as ex-vangelicals (ex-evangelicals), others would simply say that they are “deconstructing” their faith in order to settle on something that makes sense in different ways to them.
Before You Lose Your Faith is a book written by sixteen different authors, many of whom have gone through a time of deconstruction only to reconstruct their faith in a stronger, biblical sense. These authors have shared their personal experiences and have reflected on common trends and misconceptions in society in order to help doubters navigate the murky waters of deconstruction. The authors have penned a book that is also designed to help strong believers understand what doubting brothers and sisters are facing.
While I have had doubts in my personal walk at different times, I’ve never really been drawn into the idea of deconstruction. This book helped me to understand a bit more about what some of our brothers and sisters are facing as they wrestle with doubts. The authors address a variety of hot topics as it pertains to deconstruction including progressive Christianity, the desire to be counter-cultural, the biblical sexual ethic, race, politics, social justice, science, anti-intellectualism and more.
Since each chapter is written by a different author, the tone and emotion of the book changes frequently. Sometimes it felt a bit preachy and almost condescending. At other times the book felt pastoral and compassionate. As you read it, press through the difficult sections and try to soak it all in. If you are doubting, I hope you’ll find your doubts heard and addressed (or at least acknowledged). If you know someone who is doubting, I hope you find a bit of perspective in order to compassionately understand and care for them in the midst of this season of their journey of faith.
One of the things I greatly appreciate about this book is that it challenges us to consider the community of faith, the church. When the church is doing what it was designed to do, doubts and questions can be expressed, heard, explored, understood, and addressed in the context of a biblical and loving community. The authors encourage conversation and questions. They encourage community. They encourage us to look to Jesus with other brothers and sisters who care for us, in order to emerge from the season of doubt and deconstruction with confidence and conviction.
Categories: Book Review