Five podcasts for encouragement if you’re deconstructing your faith

written by Anna Harris

Deconstruction is basically taking a hard look at your faith and the religion you grew up with to really figure out what’s true. It’s not a denomination or religious group. Instead, I’d say it’s best described as a movement or action. It usually starts with doubt and a feeling of being different from the other people in your church or religious group. You just have questions that you don’t feel others can relate to or answer. Oftentimes, people who start deconstructing exit the church for a time, but not always. Whether they do or not, they need time to explore, read, research and live to understand God and how they fit into this Creation of His. It’s no easy task, but here are some helpful podcasts.

1. Bad Christian Podcast

If you like Southern accents and goofy, down-to-earth guys who also happen to be in a Christian metal band, this is for you. Matt and Toby talk about any subject under the sun, and they interview all kinds of people, both religious and non-religious people. No topic is off-limits. I love these guys, because they really talk about things that I wouldn’t have the courage to explore on my own without feeling guilty or overwhelmed, and they do it in a fun, upbeat way.

Actually, I first heard about deconstruction from one of their episodes. They interviewed the creators of the So You’re Deconstructing website, and I suddenly felt like this idea of searching fit exactly with where my head was.

2. You Have Permission Podcast

Similar to Bad Christian Podcast, this podcast hosted by Dan Koch explores every issue under the sun. The difference is, Koch tends to focus on interviews and modern issues as they relate to Christianity and feels a bit more intellectual (as opposed to Bad Christian which is much more casual and could be about aliens with little reference to God one day and about the Americanization of Jesus the next day).

3. Unbelievable? Podcast

This one, hosted by Justin Brierley, focuses on questions. Can we trust the Bible? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Did Adam have a belly button? Each week’s episode is a new question with discussion sparked and moderated by Brierley with guests made up of both believers and skeptics. I love it because it’s not afraid to explore possible answers, even those that may not be comfortable to a lot of people.

4. The Next Right Thing Podcast

Emily P. Freeman’s podcast isn’t really about deconstruction or specifically about doubt, but these short episodes created and read by Freeman are nothing short of lovely. I can think of at least three instances where I listened to an episode at the bus stop and had to keep myself from crying. Freeman offers the encouragement to do the next right thing every day, no matter how small, while trusting that God’s love is right there no matter how things turn out. I love these podcasts, and they have really helped me on my journey to be more mindful and kinder to myself. An all-around beautiful addition to your morning routine or commute if you need some uplifting. Sometimes she does interviews as well.

5. Out of the Dark

When I first saw the description for this podcast hosted by Mandisa and Laura Williams, I got goosebumps at how closely this fit into the hole in my heart for content that speaks to me where I am right now. Out of the Dark stresses “mental health in the body of Christ.” They tackle the harsh issues that many people, and especially Christians, struggle to face when it comes to mental health, like how I can both have a relationship with Christ and struggle with anxiety and depression. Both things can be true! Such an encouraging listen.

Bonus: That Sounds Fun Podcast

While Annie F. Downs can be a little too peppy for me even on a good day, I have so much gratitude for this podcast as a connector to other female creators who have really informed my journey forward in life and how I want to live and see others. Her episodes largely focus on interviews, and a big percentage of those are with Christian musical artists (which isn’t and never really has been my cup of tea), but she has so many other fun conversations that make it well worth listening to if you’re like me. If you’re not like me and love Christian music, even better!

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