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Deconstructing Deconstruction

Exaggeration and ambiguity were part and parcel of the Emergent Church movement. The difference between the Emergent Church and the Deconstruction movement is that the Emergent Church asked ambiguous questions about such things as the doctrine of hell, penal substitution, the exclusivity of Jesus, etc. The Deconstructionism movement ultimately gets to all those questions, but it does so by means of outrage over the intersection of race, gender, class, and sexuality–proposed systems of oppression of certain groups in society and the church.

When we hear calls for deconstruction, we should ask the following pertinent questions:

Is this individual calling me into a deeper study of God’s word on this subject?

Is this criticism driving me into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, as the only Savior of sinners?

Is this a fair critique of a certain church, denomination, or ministry? Or is this criticism being unjustly applied to the scope of the object of criticism?

Where might there be exaggeration and ambiguity in the critiques being levelled at churches, denominations, and ministries?

What if any part of this exaggerated and ambiguous critique is valid? If any part of this criticism is valid, what biblical corrective is offered? Is the proposed biblical corrective truly in accord with the clear teaching of God’s word?

How does the Lord approach the spiritual condition of His churches? Am I seeking to treat the church as the bride of Christ?

Am I reacting to historic Christian doctrine because I believe it is biblically deficient, or because I have bought into the conclusion that they must have been formulated in order to maintain abusive or oppressive control of others?

In a day when many are being led away from the truth by the deconstruction movement, it is incumbent on us to ensure that we are not being deceived through exaggerated and ambiguous rhetoric. We have a dire need to saturate our minds and hearts with God’s word so that we will be better prepared to offer valid criticisms and valid biblical solutions wherever they are needed. We must be ready to be critiqued and offer critique wherever it is needed. However, we must resist the urge to paint with too sweeping or too nebulous criticism. The end goal of our critique of a church or denomination is to help it be faithful to God, His word, and His people. If we love Christ and His Church, we will seek to do so for His glory and the good of the souls of His people, rather than abandoning the hope of the gospel to which we have been called.

This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.