55 – Deconstructing Reconstructing Deconstruction
The Rev. Aaron De Boer (Associate Reformed Presbyterian, ARP) joins us this week. Follow him on Twitter at @DutchPresby and visit Friend of Sinners church that he pastors in Everson and Maple Falls, WA. For more info visit their website FriendofSinnersReformed.org
What We’re Listening to
- I have been listening to the album When I Was Younger by Colony House. My van is acting finicky in the cold weather and it’s doing weird things to my battery, so I have unplugged everything that might possibly be a problem, include the aux cable I use to connect my phone (no Bluetooth in this van, and no I don’t think that is actually an issue, but I would rather be safe than have to pay for another battery). I have the physical album in the CD player and I’m just listening to it on repeat. It would probably still be 5 Score, but the last two tracks skip which stinks because they are the best two songs.
- CH also released their 4th album this week: Cannonballers. While You & I is still arguably their best song (from their second album), this album is fantastic upon first listen. Very cohesive. It is a summer album released on a day where it is 13 degrees here, so kinda weird but it works. Not a work of high art, but it will probably do better than their third album on the charts. I think “Trying to Survive” is my favorite song on the album. It is clearly political, but not slap-you-in-the-face political. Definitely referring to current issues but is still evergreen. Well constructed lyrics to accomplish all that. That said, I still hate the opening line lol.
- I have tried to expand my horizons and find some other Metal in particular that I like. I actually want to find a band that incorporates banjo into their metal, and while there seems to be a decent amount, none of the lyrics pass the car seat test (I wouldn’t feel comfortable with my littles listening as well).
- Top 5 Artists This Month
- Album of note
- The Cannonballers – Colony House like Bryan said
- Top 5 Songs This Month
- Cannonballers – Colony House
- One of Those Days – Colony House
- Would Ya Could Ya – Colony House
- Sunshine – The National Parks
- Landlocked Surf Rock – Colony House
- Mention a song you can’t get enough of
- One of Those Days – Colony House
- I’m 99% Obscure
- Next week, I’ll listen to something more interesting.
Main Topic: Reconstructing Deconstruction
Plumb is a CCM artist closer to the fringe than the mainstream. Formed by singer/songwriter Tiffany Arbuckle, Plumb’s first album debuted in 1997 and her latest was the album Behold that released in 2020.
At some point along that journey, she describes herself as deconstructing, a phenomenon we’ve talked about on our show before, particularly regarding former CCM artists or evangelical figures. “Deconstructing” begins from the belief that there is no one way we can decide what is true. Since Christianity relies on a divinely inspired and inerrant text, it too must go and be replaced by something new. The concept of deconstruction was developed by philosopher Jacques Derrida in 1967 and came into more popular use in the 1980s. Today it is a favorite tool of the Critical theorists. As the term suggests, it is a tearing down of institutions, but his goal was not anarchy. John Feinberg says,
“Instead, the goal of deconstructing so as to admit the coming or entrance of the other is to reconstruct society to be a new society that empowers all people and hears equally all different perspectives.
Feinberg, J. S. (2001). No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God (p. 143). Crossway Books.
This is what Arbuckle says essentially this about her faith in a recent Facebook post writing, “deconstructing for the purpose of reconstructing our faith.” At first, it might sound harmless, maybe even a positive step. Yet as Paul reminds us in 1 Timothy 1:19, rejecting the prophecies handed down to us results in a “shipwreck in regard to their faith.”
Modern English Version (Thinline Edition, 1 Ti 1:19). (2014). Passio.
- Sophia Society
- Rachel Held Evans
- Thinking about people that are drawn to deconstruction, is this something that could be helped by sitting down with him or her and asking them about what assurance they get from a “faith” in deconstruction?
- How do we talk with someone who claims they are now deconstructing their faith so they can reconstruct it?
- It strikes me that the deconstructionist must first deny God’s revelation of Himself since that is a statement that God is the source of all truth. How can our churches ensure a robust defense of revelation and would such a defense head off these doctrines from our churches?
- Where do we start with someone who thinks of themself as deconstructing?
- Is there a good way to deconstruct/reconstruct our faith or is this language that we should avoid?
Rev Aaron De Boer (ARP)
- Recent Church History
- Personal interactions
- Ecclesial interactions
- Biblical/Confessional Theology
- She is seemingly incorrectly using the term “deconstruct”, so we would want to have a segment where we carefully discuss differences between “deconstructing” and “testing the spirits/preparing a defense/etc.”
- I don’t know what she means by “un-Christlike” behavior tied to the label “Christian”. Her lack of example gives me a great deal of pause. Is she talking about “Christian Nationalism”, “Westboro Baptists”, or the Christian baker who wouldn’t bake the cake? We don’t know, and that greatly effects the rest of what she says.
- #2 is also a play straight out of the left playbook, where they make an unsubstantiated Truth claim about “Christianity” and then move on. The actual Truth is that there is no difference between the two terms she lists—”Christian” and “Christ Follower”—and claiming to identify with one over the other is playing into the hand of the zeitgeist.
- Based on everything else she said, I think she actually might be deconstructing.
The story of the Bereans
- Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Having a defense of the faith
- 1 Peter 3:14b Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
Testing the spirits
- 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
Examining what you believe with discernment in order to weed out false theology that has crept in (in order to purify your faith system) is fundamentally different (almost 180⁰ different) from deconstruction. Deconstruction, at its core, seeks to break down orthodox teaching and rebuild something new that fits into today’s culture but still has an “orthodox” feel to it. I will keep all of the teaching where Jesus talks about loving your neighbor, but I will reject that he said “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”. I will then be able to redefine loving my neighbor as “affirming the sin in all my lost friends’ lives” and label “not baking the cake” as bigoted and hateful.
Martin Luther, reexamined his faith system by comparing his beliefs with the foundation of Scripture, keeping the blocks that matched up while nailing the ones that didn’t to the church door.
Check these other episodes out
- (Bonus Content) Community Deconstruction
- 32 – Earth Has No Sorrow: Dustin Kensrue’s Deconstruction, Review of “The Grey” by Thrice, and Reviews of “Departures” and “Jesus, I Have My Doubts” by Jon Foreman
- 46 – Mars Hill Music: The Modern Post
- 41 – Not What My Hands Have Done: Understanding Excellence in the Craft of Lyrics and Music
Thanks for listening
The Balm of Gilead podcast is a member of the Tech Reformation family of podcasts. If you enjoy the show, please share it with others. We enjoy hearing from you, so join us on our Discord and let us know what you’re thinking. If email is more your thing, write to us at thereis <at> balmcast <dot> com. Thanks again and we’ll see you next time, Lord willing.