Brick by Brick

Unshaken Will Help You Meet the Challenges to Christianity, Head-On

Faith deconstruction is epidemic now, but it didn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere. The trend has been building for some time. In the early 2000s, Alisa Childers was a young mom when she was invited by the pastor of the church she’d been attending to join a by-invitation-only discussion group. The pastor described it as a ministry-training course and said it would provide the theology education equivalent to four years in seminary.

Raised by faithful Christians, Alisa had been a solid Christian all her life, but the class raised questions that challenged everything about the faith she'd held ever since she was little:

Is the Bible really God’s Word?

Is religion really just the opiate of the masses?

Does God even exist at all?

She had no answers beyond weak platitudes, and these questions and more rocked her world even as she rocked her little daughter to sleep:

It felt like I’d been plunged into a stormy ocean with waves crashing over my head. No lifeboat. No rescue in sight. In the 1997 film The Perfect Storm, one of the last images (spoiler alert) is the giant ship being capsized and pushed underwater by a wave the size of a skyscraper. The tiniest form of a human head peeks above the water for a split second before disappearing into the depths.

That was me.

Week after week, the other class members grew more excited about what they were learning. A few parts of it resonated with her, but mostly she only grew more conflicted and confused. In addition to questioning her Christian faith, she also started to question herself:

Maybe I’m too judgmental.

Maybe I’m too close-minded.

Why is everyone else so excited about this?

After a few months, she quit the class, and she and her husband started attending a different church. But the doubts that had been planted did not go away. Rather than push them down, she decided to go back to the beginnings of Christianity and find out for herself what the real truth was.

And then, over the course of a several-years-long intellectual journey, she rebuilt her worldview, brick by brick, from the ground up. Now, she works to help other do the same, or better, to head off the crisis of faith with solid information supporting the foundational truths of the Christian faith.

Unshaken 2023

Alisa is one of three speakers for Unshaken 2023, a series of four one-day conferences around the country designed to help Christians find solid ground on which to maintain a stable faith in a culture trying shake it all down.

The other two speakers are Natasha Crain and Frank Turek.

Natasha is the author of Talking with Your Kids about God (2017), Talking with Your Kids about Jesus (2020), and Faithfully Different: Regaining Biblical Clarity in a Secular Culture (2022). Natasha is one of the best authors today for helping people, especially Christian parents, explain the faith in worldview terms, and not just in didactic “This is what the Bible says” declarations.

Frank Turek, founder and president of Cross-Examined.org, demonstrates how cancel culture didn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere either. Long before it was a regular occurrence, Frank was “cancelled” when an HR manager discovered he had written the book Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone. Frank is mostly known for his book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist (2004) and for speaking on college campuses, where he takes questions from students, including the hostile ones, and responds with razor sharp logic seasoned with grace.

From the conference website:

There’s a battle raging in culture.

But it’s not over a vast array of individual issues—as much as it may seem otherwise. It’s a battle over authority. Who gets to decide what’s true about…

- the nature of reality?

- what’s right or wrong?

- what’s good or bad?

- what’s harmful or beneficial?

- how we should live?

- what it means to love others?

Are the answers to these questions a matter of opinion, or has God already spoken?

Click here for the conference schedule, and here is a short teaser video with the three of them:

The first Unshaken conference will be in Dayton, Ohio on January 28. Additional dates and locations are May 6 in Southern California and November 4 in Nashville, Tennessee, with one more city and date yet to be determined."

Welcoming Questions and Questioners

Returning to Alisa, here’s what she wrote about the need for churches to engage with people who have challenging questions about Christianity in her book Another Gospel?: A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity:

If more churches would welcome the honest questions of doubters and engage with the intellectual side of their faith, they would become safe places for those who experience doubts. If people don’t feel understood, they are likely to find sympathy from those in the progressive camp who thrive on reveling in doubt. In progressive Christianity, doubt has become a badge of honor to bask in, rather than an obstacle to face and overcome.

Christian friends, we should not fear their questions, but rather should see the opportunity of coming to their aid as a challenge to face down and overcome. I have found from my own discussions with people abandoning the faith or wrestling with questions about it that dogmatic "just have faith" answers will not cut it. Solid answers exist, and we should prepare ourselves and our churches to help questioners find them - even if the worldview must be built from the foundation up, brick by brick.

Click here for more information and to register.

has a BS in Computer Science and worked in software development with IBM until she hopped off the career track to be a full-time mom. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she works as Deputy Editor of Salvo and writes on apologetics and matters of faith.

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