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Third Thursday Resources

Doubt, Deconstruction, and Discipleship


In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.
The Divine Conspiracy has revolutionized how we think about the true meaning of discipleship. In this classic, Dallas Willard, skillfully weaves together biblical teaching, popular culture, science, scholarship, and spiritual practice, revealing what it means to "apprentice" ourselves to Jesus. Using Jesus’s Sermon of the Mount as his foundation, Willard masterfully explores life-changing ways to experience and be guided by God on a daily basis, resulting in a more authentic and dynamic faith. 
Is there a way to walk faithfully through doubt and come out the other side with a deeper love for Jesus, the church, and its tradition? Can we question our faith without losing it? Drawing on his own experience of deconstruction, Swoboda offers tools to help emerging adults navigate their faith in a hostile landscape. After Doubt offers a hopeful, practical vision of spiritual formation for those in the process of faith deconstruction and those who serve them. 
Theologian Joshua McNall encourages readers to reclaim the little word "perhaps" as a sacred space between the warring extremes of unchecked doubt and zealous dogmatism. To say "perhaps" on certain contested topics means exercising a hopeful imagination, asking hard questions, returning once again to Scripture, and reclaiming the place of holy speculation as we cling to a faith that stands distinct from both pervasive skepticism and abrasive certainty.
What if the rise of secularism is good news for the church? For decades, we set our hopes on technology, politics, and the appearance of peace. We wanted to believe we were headed somewhere better—that progress was happening. But now as our technology ensnares and isolates us, our politics threaten to tear us apart, and our cultural decline continues to accelerate, people are understandably distressed. But throughout history these periods of decline traditionally precede powerful spiritual renewal—and even revival. What if all the bad news in this world is actually good news for the church? Discover why there’s reason to be wildly hopeful and how to prepare yourself and your church to be a part of renewal now and in the future.
The question of what makes life worth living is more vital now than ever. In today's pluralistic, postsecular world, universal values are dismissed as mere matters of private opinion, and the question of what constitutes flourishing life--for ourselves, our neighbors, and the planet as a whole--is neglected in our universities, our churches, and our culture at large. World-renowned theologian Miroslav Volf and Matthew Croasmun explain that the intellectual tools needed to rescue us from our present malaise and meet our new cultural challenge are the tools of theology. A renewal of theology is crucial to help us articulate compelling visions of the good life, find our way through the maze of contested questions of value, and answer the fundamental question of what makes life worth living.
Alisa Childers never thought she would question her Christian faith. She was raised in a Christian home, where she had seen her mom and dad feed the hungry, clothe the homeless, and love the outcast. She had witnessed God at work and then had dedicated her own life to leading worship, as part of the popular Christian band ZOEgirl. All that was deeply challenged when she met a progressive pastor, who called himself a hopeful agnostic. Another Gospel? describes the intellectual journey Alisa took over several years as she wrestled with a series of questions that struck at the core of the Christian faith. After everything she had ever believed about God, Jesus, and the Bible had been picked apart, she found herself at the brink of despair . . . until God rescued her, helping her to rebuild her faith, one solid brick at a time.


This Cultural Moment (Episode 1)

From Season 1 titled, "What is Post-Christian Culture?" In our very first episode of This Cultural Moment, we explore the secular, progressive, post-christian culture in which we live and ask how followers of Jesus are meant to engage. Be sure to subscribe and listen along each week as we continue this discussion.

The White Flag Podcast (Episode 35)

The White Flag (hosted by Jonathan Moynihan) is a podcast for people who feel restless in their faith and overwhelmed by the noise and pace of our postmodern world. In this interview, Jonathan sits down with pastor and author, Josh Butler, to discuss his passion for "paradigm shifting" and helping people be honest with God and themselves. Specifically, we dive into the growing trend for Christians to "deconstruct" their faith, and what cultural tensions are at play as we navigate living faithfully in difficult times.

Theology in the Raw (Episode 821)

A.J. Swoboda joins Preston Sprinkle to discuss his own journey of deconstruction and reconstruction, progressive vs. conservative Christianity, politics, and our cultural moment. A.J. has a Ph.D. from University of Birmingham (U.K.) and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies and World Christianity at Bushnell University.


1. What is the difference between “good” deconstruction and “bad” deconstruction?
Do you see a difference? And what is the difference?

2. Is it possible to question your faith without losing it? And, can it actually be important?

3. What are the experiences or realities that have caused you to question your own faith?

4. Can you tell a story of a time when you walked through deconstruction and came out the
other side with a stronger faith? Why was that an important part of your story?

5. How have you (and how can you) walk alongside other people who are going through
deconstruction? What should we think about when being a friend to people walking through faith

6. Are there times that doubt can be good?