In the last few years, more and more younger Christians have been encouraged to deconstruct their faith. Often, it begins with a well-known Christian author, pastor, musician, or public figure announcing that they are no longer a Christian. They make an announcement online to their large following on Twitter/X or YouTube, recounting why they are letting go of core tenets of Christianity. Usually, it’s in the name of “inclusivity” and “tolerance” that they embrace non-biblical views and lifestyles, such as same-sex marriage, transgenderism, and abortion. Young believers are encouraged to follow suit.

There are countless stories. A teenager grows cynical about Christianity, citing school friends and social media stars who label biblical ethics as first optional and then totally irrelevant. A close friend embraces same-sex marriage or LGBTQ ideology, claiming that affirmation is what Jesus would’ve done and is the only compassionate response. A spouse begins to claim that God is unloving to allow evil and suffering, or that Scripture might be useful but is not authoritative. A small group leader uses the latest social media controversy to judge and interpret Scripture, rather than the other way around.

If any of this sounds familiar, the name for it is “deconstruction.” And it’s impacting families and Christian communities everywhere.

Thankfully, a new book, The Deconstruction of Christianity: What It Is, Why It’s Destructive, and How to Respond explains deconstruction for what it really is and helps Christians respond with grace and wisdom. It is perhaps the definitive book on the deconstruction phenomenon and its impact on the Church today. Authors Alisa Childers and Tim Barnett cut through confusion by defining what deconstruction is, why it’s appealing to so many, and how it’s dangerous.

According to Childers and Barnett, deconstruction is simply a modern term for falling away from the faith, something that’s not new. As they write in the book,

Deconstruction is a death of sorts. Those who deconstruct experience a death of their beliefs, their community, their confidence, their relationships, and, quite possibly, their faith. It’s not difficult to see why it’s so painful. Christianity isn’t something one experiences in isolation. 

Of course, this isn’t anything new. People have been questioning and defecting from the faith for centuries. However, thanks to social media, “deconstruction” is more public than ever before. This means that,

[D]econstruction doesn’t affect only the one going through it. It also impacts those who love the person going through it. When deconstruction leads to a rejection of faith, that can feel like a death both to the one deconstructing and to their loved ones. Like physical death, deconstruction can leave loved ones shocked, confused, and grieving.

 But their book doesn’t stop there. Childers and Barnett provide wisdom for those with loved ones in the process of deconstructing, from understanding the grief of separation from faith to practical tips on how to help make the Church a place that welcomes hard questions.

This is a book to help readers understand what deconstruction is and what it isn’t—and understand common deconstructionist terms like “exvangelical.” It equips loved ones to identify the patterns of deceptive thought that lay underneath deconstruction and acquire wisdom for thoughtfully examining one’s own faith without merely punting to deconstruction. And it offers helpful tools for believers to relate in loving and truthful ways with those who are deconstructing around them.

Childers’ and Barnett’s timely book is a reminder that Christians struggling with doubts are not alone. Many Christians have struggled with doubts when it comes to the faith. In fact, in the Bible, those like Job and authors of the Psalms encourage us to take our questions to God, Who is the Source of all truth and wisdom. As Childers and Barnett write, “One of the beautiful realities we find in Scripture is that we have permission to be real with God—even when that means expressing our frustrations, our worries, and our doubts.”

Ultimately, Childers and Barnett point us beyond the discouragement of deconstruction to the rock-solid hope we have in Christ. Only when Christians understand the entire story of God’s world, rooted in this hope, can we engage doubts—whether our own or others’—from a place of confidence, not fear or anger. This month, you can claim a copy of The Deconstruction of Christianity for a gift of any amount to the Colson Center. To make your gift, go to

This Breakpoint was co-authored by Jared Hayden. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to

Image credit: ©©Getty Images/Leong Thian Fu / EyeEm

John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of CrosswalkHeadlines.

BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.