Another Gospel? A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity
By Alisa Childers
I wasn’t familiar with Alisa Childers until she was a guest on Allie Beth Stuckey’s podcast, Relatable. Upon listening to her interview and learning a bit of her story, I started listening to her podcast, The Alisa Childers Podcast.
Alisa Childers is an American singer and songwriter who is best known for being a member in the female Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) group, ZOEgirl. Childers was raised in a loving, Christian home that prioritized loving God and loving people. She grew up attending church, serving within her local community, and witnessing her parents model a genuine faith and commitment to Jesus Christ.
For as long as Childers could remember, she had loved Jesus. Still, her faith was rocked when she encountered a storm of unexpected uncertainty and doubt. Everything she thought she knew became relentlessly challenged by a progressive pastor.
Childers relates her season of questioning to feeling like she was tossed in a volatile ocean with no lifejacket or safety boat in sight. She recounts the experience and her journey of rebuilding her faith in her book, Another Gospel? A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity.
Childers admits her faith was weak and untested, but never blind, when she was invited by her progressive pastor to join a small discussion group of selected individuals at her church. The group would meet regularly over four years and the ministry training Childers was told she would obtain would be comparable to four years in seminary…she lasted in the program for four months.
In Another Gospel? Childers describes the conversations that challenged her beliefs and shook her faith as well as the questions she asked that ultimately led her back to the God of the Bible and traditional Christianity. Childer’s “progressive Christianity” class* may have occurred more than ten years ago, but the influence of progressive Christianity has increased ever since. Perhaps you have experienced it seeping into “Christian” content, influencers, pastors, and even churches.*
Childer’s often refers to Another Gospel? on her podcast so a good portion of this book wasn’t new information to me. However, I did find much value in the numerous analogies she used throughout this book.
By hiding or withholding the negative health aspects of bacon, you could consider the good qualities of bacon and repackage bacon to be a health trend, like saying bacon is the “new kale.” At the end of the day, eating a lot of bacon is still bad for your health even if you don’t acknowledge the very real repercussions it can have on one’s body.
In addition to recounting the story of the class that challenged her faith, Childers also shares her journey of rediscovering Jesus, God, and the Bible. In her pursuit for answers, she dove headfirst into studying apologetics and asked many questions along the way. Fortunately for the reader of this book, she provides insightful consideration for each question she personally pondered or topic that concerned her along with the answers she discovered by consulting God’s Word as well as the wisdom of reputable theologians. All of her sources are documented in the “Notes” portion of this book.
The takeaway I received from Another Gospel? is this – if you call yourself a Christian, then you must be able to defend your faith.
Childers says she knew in the depth of her heart that God was real and His Word was Truth, BUT, she didn’t know why. She didn’t know why she believed what she believed. She had no defense against the pastor who was attacking everything she claimed to know and believe. The other learning piece to note is that Childers was vulnerable – she respected and trusted her pastor. She didn’t expect herself to disagree with him. He was her pastor! Still, let that be a word of wisdom to always seek God first and consult His Word above anything in this world. Humans included.
Ugh, friends. It’s a sad fact that progressive Christianity is on the rise and it is stealing many souls who claim to know Christ. Let us not forget that the Bible is infallible and forever relevant. We don’t need to fix what isn’t broken.
If you sense you have encountered some of the ideas of progressive Christianity or perhaps you, or someone you know, are feeling the “need” to deconstruct your faith so it can align with culture, then I highly recommend reading this book. It is a great starting place to ask questions and will offer navigation towards other productive resources. I also recommend listening to The Alisa Childers Podcast. She has a soothing voice that is laced with grace even while she discusses difficult and controversial theological topics.
Lastly, I want to leave you with this image that Childer paints near the end of Another Gospel?
A Lego kit always comes with a manual and the exact number of pieces needed to construct whatever masterpiece is featured on the box. If you bypass the manual, you can probably come close to creating the product intended, but it won’t be 100% identical. It may look the same, but chances are good there are some weak spots hidden that won’t keep the product intact long-term. Of course, there is also a risk that in “blindly” constructing the product, you could bypass a necessary step or forget to use an important piece. Using the product’s manual is the only way to fully ensure the stability and foundation of what was built.
*The class/group she participated in wasn’t officially or outwardly labeled “progressive Christianity”
**The progressive Christianity movement began with a desire to reform but throughout the process it developed a false gospel that is a different type of Christianity all together. While orthodox (a.k.a. historical or traditional) Christians view the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, progressive Christians see the Bible as a series of books that can be examined like ancient relics. Additionally, most progressive Christians believe that Jesus didn’t die to pay the penalty for human sin. There are many other aspects that differentiate orthodox Christianity from progressive Christianity. For an in-depth discussion on progressive Christianity, I highly recommend reading The Grand Illusion. In the interim, if you’re unsure with what progressive Christianity is or what it looks like, let me give you two very well-known examples seen in current culture: Rachel Hollis and the Enneagram.
***I personally purchased this book. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my very own.