Looking at what’s taken place over the last 20 years, you don’t have to be a theologian or sociologist to recognize the church isn’t healthy.
There are sex abuse scandals rocking virtually every denomination, even churches not connected to a denomination. There’s a lot of questioning or wrestling with—or even abandoning—fundamental Christian doctrines and ethical and moral stances. We’ve got examples of toxic leadership poisoning churches. The number of well-known, respected Christian leaders being discredited by falling into some kind of sin—it’s been like dominoes the past decade. And then there are the questions of what faithfulness looks like in politics and how we discern truth from error in a world of social media battles.
Internal threats of heresy and compromise. External threats from government—the pressure to change our beliefs. There are social issues like race relations, where the church has a messy history that many would prefer to ignore.
If the evangelical movement is about renewal and reconciliation, shouldn’t we, of all people, be in the thick of the action as emissaries of a loving God who sees us all as beloved image-bearers?
It’s hard to find one sphere of the church across the board right now where we’d all say, “Yep, that’s really healthy and that’s going good.” All this stuff is killing is our witness.
In the years to come, as we survey the apocalyptic destruction left in the wake of God’s decision to humble and expose our sins, as we recommit ourselves to removing rot wherever we see it (in our own lives as well as in the church), we will be called on to build. To reconstruct. To restore.
That’s why I’m excited to introduce my new podcast: Reconstructing Faith.
For 12 episodes, beginning next Thursday, October 6, we’ll be addressing the church’s credibility crisis, reflecting on the challenges of today while learning from church history and the church around the world. We’ll examine the phenomenon of “deconstruction” and “deconversion,” the toxicity of social media, sex abuse in the church, chastity and “purity culture,” abuses of pastoral authority, and the American Dream, as well as current conversations about race and how Christians should engage in politics.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey and consider what you can contribute to the task of restoring and rebuilding the church’s witness so the world would experience the majesty of Jesus. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple, Google, Stitcher, and Spotify.
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