Deconstruction & Reconstruction
As someone who has been through the process of deconstructing my fundamentalist "Christian" upbringing, I know it can be terrifying to start the process. It may start with a seemingly innocuous question like, "What does it mean that 'Jesus saves'?" but then everything can snowball until finally you're left questioning even the existence of God! You can go here to read some of my thoughts on what it means to de- and reconstruct your faith.
If you're in the process of deconstructing your faith, and feel like you're adrift in an unfamiliar sea of questions, I want you to know: you are not alone. Many, many people are going through this process, especially as new conversations are being had about issues like spiritual abuse and religious trauma. When I began my journey, I read a couple of books and joined a few Facebook groups; but for years, I just wandered in the wilderness looking for answers and trying to figure out which voices to listen to.
So here I have a list of some of the resources that I have found most helpful. There are links to podcasts, websites, blog posts, and more. At the end is a list of names of people whose viewpoints I have found helpful - you can Google their names to find articles, interviews, and information about them. I will keep this list periodically updated, so feel free to check back to see if there are new resources that might be helpful to you on your journey!
I hope that you find that your journey leads you to a deeper understanding of and relationship with the God of the Universe. And I hope that some of the voices here can help you on your way!
Word of Life Church - Pastor Brian Zahnd
I recommend Brian Zahnd and Word of Life Church to any and everyone. Wherever you are in your de- or reconstruction journey, these sermons will likely resonate with you. Be prepared for some hippy-dippy appreciation for Creation and lots of Bob Dylan references, but WOLC does not rely very heavily at all on experimental or even terribly liberal viewpoints. Click the buttons below to find some of my favorite sermon series from Word of Life.
The Bible for Normal People - Peter Enns
The Bible for Normal People does presuppose a non-literal stance on Scripture, but the hosts of this podcast dig deep into the language, culture, and context of the Bible. I recommend it to anyone who can appreciate the presupposition of Biblical interpretation being a necessary part of reading the Christian Scriptures. Click the buttons below to find my recommended first episodes for newcomers.
The Liturgists Podcast
The Liturgists is a podcast hosted by people who, over the course of several seasons, are undergoing faith transitions themselves. By the time of the fifth season, one of the hosts has decided to no longer identify as a Christian. The hosts presuppose "liberal" stances on issues like LGBT+ affirmation, feminism, and evolution. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in diving into the thoughts of people who have come out of fundamentalist Christianity. Click the buttons below to find my recommended first episodes for newcomers.
These are some books that I have read over the course of my deconstruction which have been influential to my new understanding of faith. Before choosing which - if any - to read yourself, please read reviews and do some research on the authors, as I will not be writing disclaimers for every author or individual work.
Jesus Feminist - Sarah Bessey
Searching for Sunday - Rachel Held Evans
The Ragamuffin Gospel - Brennan Manning
The Divine Dance - Richard Rohr
Sacred Rythms - Ruth Haley Barton
The Message - Eugene H. Peterson
Common Prayer Pocket Edition: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
Versions of the Bible
I have found these versions to be more gender-inclusive than not, though I have yet to find a Bible that accurately translates the oft-touted "anti-LGBT” clobber passages.
New Revised Standard Version - “Life with God Study Bible” by Renovare is particularly good
Common English Bible
Our Bible App - an LGBT+ inclusive Bible app for IOS & Android
Other Names to Consider
Austin Channing Brown
Diana Butler Bass
Barbara Brown Taylor
Cindy Wang Brandt