Book cover for “Set Adrift: Deconstructing What You Believe Without Sinking Your Faith”

How to Deconstruct Without Losing Your Faith: A Book Recommendation for “Set Adrift”

  • By: Scott Stein
  • Mar 02, 2024

Faith deconstruction has become a huge topic of concern among Christians. Some see the very process as a danger to faith, while others see it having potential benefits within the right parameters. Part of the confusion surrounds a clear definition of what is meant when we apply the word “deconstruction” to the word “faith”. 

When used in common parlance, the term “deconstruction” can be seen as something useful. But even the most optimistic understand that it does bring with it inherent dangers. This seems to be the driving impetus behind Sean McDowell and John Marriott’s book Set Adrift: Deconstructing What You Believe Without Sinking Your Faith. 

There are two things I really appreciate about McDowell and Marriott’s approach in Set Adrift. 

First, the care they take to define what deconstruction is, and what it isn’t. This is such an important place to start because it opens the doors for honest question-asking, without falling into the trap of extremes about truth that characterizes much of our generation. They point out that in common usage, deconstruction is simply “the process by which something is disassembled, analyzed, and often reassembled in a new way” (p. xii). At the same time, they warn the reader of the possible overlap that the philosophical deconstruction of Jacques Derrida may have given its broader influence on cultural thinking.  

Second is how they provide practical guidance on how to deconstruct well. This should be a welcome help for doubters who face the tension of their doubts mixed with the fears of losing their faith. Their approach is not to discourage deconstruction, but to guide us safely through it.  

If you are journeying through a season of doubt, or what you might classify as faith deconstruction (or know someone who is), I would recommend to you Set Adrift as a biblical, practical, trustworthy help for the journey. 


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