By Andy Hale
I’ve spent the last two decades deconstructing a theology handed to me by a tradition that I no longer embrace. There was a lot to unpack from the denominational tradition of my rearing; the long history of patriarchy, sexism towards female clergy and lay leaders, bullying local churches into creedal submission, and failing to account for a history of racism.
It would be entirely understandable for someone like me to look at the varying degrees of hypocrisy and contradictions to the way of Jesus, choosing to walk away from the Church, if not faith, forever.
And yet, I find that there is something on the other side of this field of debris that was once the religious worldview handed to me by my forbearers. There is something more.
“Some people tell me they never have doubts. Faith comes easy for them, they say, at least it has so far. But many, many, many of us do have doubts, and sometimes, our doubts seem far more powerful than our beliefs. It’s hard enough having doubts; it’s impossibly hard to have them, and to feel you must pretend that you don’t,” said Brian McLaren on the CBF Podcast.
McLaren is the critically acclaimed author of such books as We Make the Road by Walking, The Great Spiritual Migration, and The Secret Message of Jesus.
Brian has a new book out, Faith After Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About It. He explores the reality that 65-million adults have dropped out of active church-attending, with nearly 3 million more leaving each year.
We sat down with the speaker and activist to recap the theological implications of 2020 and what’s giving him hope for the Church’s future.
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy