Eph. 1:11 “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,”
A few months ago, we watched our Amish neighbor Victor and his son Raymond take our old bank barn down. Wind damage through the previous few months had sheared an upper-corner beam at its joint. This left our oldest barn swinging in the wind. The damage had been caused through decades of a decaying roof line and exposed joints. The solution was pretty quick, however.
This process of an old barn coming down can be sad for a community, but this time has not been. Taking the barn down has been a part of our plan from the beginning. The bank barn was taken apart systematically, piece by piece. The remaining foundational block was buried. The base of the old has created a base for the new Bunk Barn. The beams and siding were placed under the farm’s lean-to by the category of lumber. It will be stored there until the Bunk Barn construction begins.
Systematic deconstruction- asking troubling questions, wrestling through difficult issues, and acknowledging less-than-perfect understanding- allows us to build back again over the pieces and parts we know are solid. It has a purpose. We can use a cultural occurrence of deconstruction to “build back better!”
I have been listening to Christian leaders discuss the current generational crisis in the church today. I believe I have a different take on what is happening. It seems these seismic shifts in value and core beliefs happen with each generation, which would mean this is not a new scenario. It is simply a reoccurring adjustment which the church has always made. We can afford to stay the course with a few sensitive tweaks in our approach to the lost world. The fact that these shifts almost always target a certain age group from our faith communities (16–28-year-olds) is not so much an indictment of our “doing it wrong,” as much as it is a recognition of a strategic plan on the part of our adversary, the devil himself. It is also an understanding of a developmental reality. Young people test boundaries.
The Strauss–Howe generational theory states a culture “turns” each 20-25 years based on generational persons. The good news is that following the “turn” is a season of recovery. This is the good news into which I choose to lean. A stronger generational commitment is coming on the heels of the season of questions. Instead of worrying about the season of attacks on tradition, we can embrace it as an opportunity to build into better answers and disciples.
Here is my point. Faith is not the only thing under the scrutiny of a Gen-Next deconstruction. Politics, historical icons, economics, racial definitions, entertainment, culturally accepted norms, and much more is all under the firehose. I think we would all probably agree, many of these traditional institutions needed a major overhaul. At the very least, they would benefit from a facelift.
Rather than fear it, we should love the idea of getting out in front of faith-deconstruction is obvious for several reasons. First, the purpose is to build something stronger out of the strongest parts. It is a guided exercise as opposed to an angry, misguided, or reactionary response.
Second, it reinforces our understanding of the core truths while releasing our theology from traditional information which may not be essential.
Thirdly, our reliance on bedrock theologies and philosophies becomes sure footing. Francis Schaeffer called these “true truth.”
Let me be clear about what I am saying. God’s truth cannot fall because of a few questions. It is written on our hearts. It is confirmed in scripture, history, and personal experience. Faith is believing the few essentials while understanding if God is able to be understood by human logic, explained with a few really good answers, or become stronger based on something I add to the discussion, then he is not much of a God.
By the way, I have never had to deconstruct a fairy tale. They fall apart on their own. I also do not determine whether something is true by listening to everyone else. I will never discover the ageless and eternal truth of God by submitting it to my subjective emotions.
In this day of classic deconstruction, I need to throw away the things which cannot stand the questions. This is an open invitation to lean on God in His most sovereign position.
So, let’s talk about God. Let’s take away the conjecture and zero in on the firm foundation of Christ.