I have been aided immensely by the ministry of R. Scott Clark and the assortment of resources he shares through his website, The Heidelblog. His staunch defense of sola fide (faith alone) has galvanized my own efforts to stand for “the true grace of God” (1 Pet. 5:12). Clark possesses a keen, historical mind, bent on considering and recovering Reformed Doctrine. One of his more recent posts, however, struck a cord with me — so much so that I felt compelled to share a few snippets from it in the hopes that you, too, will be encouraged by it.
In “Christianity Is Not A Construct,” Clark speaks to the recent “fad” of those “de-converting” from the Christian faith. With all the recent mainline and evangelical believers publicly announcing that they’re no longer Christians, it would seem as though something’s off. Indeed, in every instance that one of these prominent believers claims they’ve “de-converted” after a long period of “deconstruction” of the faith “they grew up with,” my heart goes out to those who might be affected in the aftermath of such an announcement. If they’ve deconstructed their faith, what’s stopping others from doing the same thing, and losing it altogether?
But, while I cannot stop this “fad” of “Christian deconstructionism” totally, I do want to share Clark’s words on the matter, precisely because they give so much hope and encouragement to those who might be tempted to waver from what they believe. Clark writes:
In order for something to be deconstructed, it must first be a construct, i.e., an artifice, a mere human convention, something that could be other than it is, something that might not be. There are such things in the world (e.g., stop signs) but Christianity is not among them.
This distinction comes up in the context of Christians writing about “deconstructing” their Christian faith. Most of the time, “deconstructing,” in this context, seems to signify apostasy from the Christian faith. The assumption seems to be that Christianity is just another construct subject to deconstruction.
The incarnation, obedience, death, and resurrection of Jesus is not a construct. They are not the product of subjective religious experience. They are not mere social conventions or contrivances. They are facts. Neither are the gospels and the writings of the apostles, conventions or constructs. They are divine revelation.
There is an alternative to “deconstructing.” It is called Reformation . . . Deconstruction is the fruit of despair. Reformation is the counsel of hope. As long as Jesus lives and the Spirit is still hovering over his church, it is never too late.
You see, there’s nothing to deconstruct. You cannot dismantle the Christian faith like you would a Lego set, precisely because you weren’t the one that put the pieces together. In fact, the fundamentals of the faith (1 Cor. 15:3–4) don’t really have anything to do with you. They are certainly the establishment of good news for you, but you aren’t involved in their establishment. The hope of the Christian faith is entirely vested in a divine work carried out by a divine Rescuer sent to reclaim from the grips of sin and death the creation that the divine Godhead spoke into being. You cannot deconstruct what you did not inaugurate.