Abundance Reconstructed is a topical curated monthly email from Joe Burnham. It explores faith in the midst of Christian deconstruction and reconstuction.

The newsletter includes original writing from Joe blended with recommended resources like books, podcasts, and articles.

Read this post if you want to learn more about Joe’s experiences with Christian deconstruction and reconstruction.

Questions behind Christian deconstruction?

Joe believes that there are two key questions that lead to Christian deconstruction.

  • What is God like?
  • What is God doing in the world?

These question presuppose part of Christendom’s legacy to Western civilization is a popular understanding of God. This popular understanding offers specific answers to these two questions.

What is God like?

On one hand, God is holy and just. God’s “holiness” involves perfection demanding separation from imperfection. A legal understanding of ”justice” requires retribution. On the other hand, God is loving.

The holy and just side of God finds offense at human imperfection. This offense demands punishment to balance the scales of justice. The second is willing to do whatever is necessary to make that balance happen.

What is God doing in the world?

We see both of God’s hands in action here. God’s holiness and justice is in busy judging human sin.

God’s love is at work redeeming the world. This happens through the Church’s invitation to believe Jesus’ crucifixion will pay the punishment for sin if you believe.

Christian Deconstruction

In essence, Christian deconstruction is rejecting that popular definition. It is losing faith in that understanding of God.

Sadly the dominance of Christianity in the West, leaves many people with only one popular understanding of God. Therefore, to reject that God is to become an atheist.

Globalization brings another alternative in the form of other religious systems. These systems, including Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, answer the two questions differently.

Deconstructed Fruit, Herbs, and Vegetables – Photo by Dose Juice on Unsplash

Christian Reconstruction

Christian reconstruction proposes that within Christian texts and traditions is another answer to the two questions.

In my ebook, Connecting the Dots of the Bible (a resource I’ll send you when you sign up for my email list), I identify four transitions in my understanding:

  • Doing to Being
  • Then to Now
  • Out to In
  • There to Here

These four shifts allow me to think about God differently. While I read the same Bible as I did before, the message is entirely different. I have new answers to those two questions.

What is God like?

God looks like Jesus. Jesus commits himself to the radical and relentless love of humanity.

What is God doing in the world?

Because God is like Jesus God relentlessly declares to every person that they are a beloved child of the divine. But more often that not, that voice of love first needs to break down messages of hate and indifference.

We live in a world of systems and structures designed to dishonor the dignity of the masses. Oppression comes based on race, class, and gender. This oppression stands in direct opposition to the radical and relentless love of God. Therefore God razes systems of oppression making way for the manifestation of Jesus‘ prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth.”

Reconstructed Fruit, Herbs, and Vegetables – Photo by Dose Juice on Unsplash

The Abundance Reconstructed Newsletter

The Abundance Reconstructed Newsletter explores how Joe is seeking to both image this understanding of God to the world and join God on this mission. It’s also a space for you to join in the journey, to ask questions and share your thoughts so we can all grow together.

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