A deconstructed faith reconstructed

Book review: ‘Another Gospel? A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity’ by Alisa Childers

Another Gospel book cover progressive Christianity

Until two years ago, I had never heard the term progressive Christianity.

That was after I decided to study Christian apologetics in earnest, not just as a pursuit I wanted to take up “someday.”

Being married to an atheist will do that to a girl.

Sure, Bruce and I had been married more than 20 years by that point, but I’m also an author and a blogger, and after years of blogging about this and that “with Jesus as the foundation” (but rarely front and center), I didn’t think my website was serving anyone. I decided I needed to start sharing my faith more openly and deliberately.

But to do that I needed to firm up why I believe — not just what I believe — and be able to articulate it.

I don’t remember exactly how I discovered Alisa Childers. Seems I reached out to Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg on Twitter, and Mark (with whom I’d had private conversations in the past) recommended Alisa.

I sought out her podcast, visited her website and immediately subscribed to both. On a business trip in October 2018, I binge listened to the podcast for about six hours in the car and my hotel room.

She talked about progressive Christianity vs. the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I had never heard anything like it.

The thing that struck me most about Alisa was her approach to people who disagree with her.

Polite and respectful. Firm in her beliefs, willing to debate skeptics, but more interested in reprehending the idea, not the person. Always respectful toward the person.

That idea, respecting people who are different from me, was the theme of a book I started writing a few years ago. (Another result of being in a spiritually mismatched marriage — a book I’ve titled “The Atheist’s Wife.”) Actually, I got 20 chapters in and decided I needed to start over. I haven’t done that yet, but that’s a side story for a future blog post. 🙂

FROM ‘INTELLECTUALLY WEAK AND UNTESTED’ FAITH TO APOLOGETICS ROLE MODEL

How did Alisa Childers go from these questions …

Is the Bible really God’s Word?
Is the only identity I’ve ever known a complete sham?
What am I supposed to tell my children?
Is religion really just the opiate of the masses?
Does God even exist at all?

(excerpt from “Another Gospel?”)

… to being a clear, strong voice in the apologetics community with a solid faith and the ability to defend it?

In short, she “deconstructed.” (Then she reconstructed.)

Deconstruction is a term you may have begun hearing a few years ago if you were paying attention.

Many influential authors, performers — even pastors — have left the faith after “deconstructing.” They started questioning what they believed about Christianity and decided it didn’t fit their worldview, so they left — some quietly, others with public announcements.

Many haven’t come back.

Praise God, Alisa did. (We need her.)

Praise God, Alisa didn’t give up on her faith in Jesus. Instead, she dug in and started figuring out that historic Christianity is the worldview that makes the most sense according to the evidence.

That Jesus is the Solid Rock, the only One on whom the Truth can stand, because He is Truth.

DECONSTRUCTING PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY

And praise God, Alisa deconstructs the shaky ground of progressive Christianity in her new book, Another Gospel? A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity.

Not by arguments based on wishful thinking, fuzzy logic or a surface-level study of the accuracy of God’s Word.

She dug deep, and she built a ministry on showing others how to dig deep and defend the faith, pointing out that the Truth doesn’t “progress” or change or adapt to our feelings, the culture or watered-down theology.

We all need to understand progressive Christianity and other false gospels and let them challenge us to firm up our own faith so that we can boldly defend it with gentleness and respect.

1 Peter 3:15 progressive Christianity

Another Gospel? debuted Oct. 6, 2020, and you can buy your copy here. But act now if you want the bonuses; they expire Oct. 11.

Here’s to defending the faith!

If you order a copy of Another Gospel, please let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

xoxo,

Author Suzy daisy signature

 

 

 

 

Fun fact: In the 1990s, Alisa Childers made up one-third of the popular Christian band ZOEgirl. 🙂

For further reading, see my previous post, where I reviewed the new Bible study Standing Firm in Christ.

A Bible study that stands on a firm Foundation

Book review: ‘Standing Firm in Christ: Biblical Principles for Fighting Spiritual Battles’

Ephesians 6 graphic

It didn’t take long to decide that Dianne Thornton was my kind of people.

We “met” a few months ago in a Facebook group of female Christian writers. She was looking for an editor, and I sent her a link to my editing and writing services page at Suzy Oakley Solutions.

Next, I checked her out. I read her Facebook bio and went to her website.

After reading a couple of Dianne’s blog posts — especially one warning against the dangers of the enneagram (a wildly popular “tool” that claims to be ancient but isn’t and, even worse, has occult and New Age origins) — I was convinced that she and I were on the same page, so to speak, when it comes to Christian doctrine.

Since I learned the term “progressive Christianity” a couple of years ago, I’ve become a lot more sensitive to heresy and the kind of false teaching that I sometimes used to write off as “just a different interpretation of the Bible.” Now I’m more discerning.

I’ll talk more about progressive Christianity when I review Alisa Childers’ upcoming book, Another Gospel? (I first heard the term on her podcast in October 2018.)

To be clear: The Bible study I’m reviewing today has nothing to do with progressive Christianity. But my PC filter has been in place for two years, so it’s natural that I evaluate the Bible study through that lens.

The world, as you’ve probably noticed, is a bit crazy these days, and it’s only going to get crazier until Jesus comes to take us home. If you’re a Christian — I mean a true, Bible-believing follower of the Lord Jesus Christ — you know that the end of days referred to in the Bible is closer than ever. Christians are being persecuted in increasing numbers the world over, and that includes these United States.

Times are tough, and we have to be outfitted with God’s armor if we want to stand firm.

Standing Firm in Christ book cover

SOLID THEOLOGY

Even when I began editing Dianne’s eight-week Bible study, Standing Firm in Christ: Biblical Principles for Fighting Spiritual Battles, my heresy radar was up. I have tried to be as discerning as possible as I continue to grow in my faith.

I need not have fretted; Dianne’s theology is solid, and she has written a beautiful, practical study that I would recommend to any women’s ministry leader looking for a sound Bible study.

There has never been a better time to study this subject. If you want to be able to withstand whatever the enemy throws at you, check out Standing Firm in Christ.

Typically when I’ve finished editing something for a client, when I’m done, I’m done. But with Dianne’s Bible study, I plan to go through it as a participant, filling in all the blanks just as if I’m reading the pages for the first time. If you would like to go through the study with me, let me know. We could have our discussions via email or video chat, FaceTime or Skype … whatever works.

If you’re interested, post a comment below or contact me here.

Standing Firm in Christ debuted Oct. 6 (available in paperback and ebook), and Dianne has some bonus goodies for buyers who act fast. Visit Dianne’s website to learn more and to order the Bible study.

And if you’re social, please use the hashtag #StandingFirmBibleStudy when you post about the study.

Don’t forget to let me know if you’re interested in going through this eight-week study with me. I’m flexy on how we do it, so give me your feedback!

xoxo,

Author Suzy daisy signature

Purple Socks and Peppermint Tea 3D cover

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