Promotional graphic for a book review. The image features the title 'Book Review' in white cursive script on a dark blue background. A highlighted quote in white and orange reads, 'Deconstruction is an essential season of moving away from toxic, man-made religion and moving toward the wild, sacred, and holy Creator of all things.' - Angela J. Herrington. Beside the quote is the cover of the book 'Deconstructing Your Faith without Losing Yourself,' depicting a figure in a yellow coat looking towards a range of stylized mountains under a gradient sky from teal to yellow. Below the quote is the reviewer's attribution: 'LauraZielke.com @thezwomann' with a stylized signature 'LZ' in white.

In a time when questions about faith and spirituality are more pressing than ever, Angela J. Herrington’s Deconstructing Your Faith without Losing Yourself shines as a beacon for those navigating the tumultuous waters of faith deconstruction. Herrington masterfully invites readers into a journey of self-discovery, challenging them to examine their beliefs with honesty and courage.

From the outset, Herrington sets the tone with a compelling invitation to deconstruction, defining it not as an end of faith but as a passage towards a more genuine encounter with the divine, free from the constraints of toxic religious constructs. She argues that this process is not just necessary but sacred, offering a path to liberate ourselves from beliefs that harm both individuals and communities.

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Herrington identifies a 500-year cycle of transformation within the church, suggesting we are currently in the middle of what she calls a “Great Reckoning.” She contends we are in a time that demands a critical examination of our beliefs, and I couldn’t agree more. 

What I realized in reading Deconstructing Your Faith, is that I’ve been deconstructing for over 30 years—especially over the last 10 years. In my opinion, deconstruction is about getting to the root of your convictions. It’s about identifying what you believe and why you believe it—which requires figuring out where that belief came from, who/what it serves, and deciding whether or not it makes sense to hold onto it at this time.

"Instead of focusing on all the things you 'know' to be true about God, deconstruction invites you to ask, 'What else might be true?'"
— Angela J. Herrington

Deconstruction is a journey, not a destination, and I sure could have used this book along the way. Herrington’s compassionate approach to deconstruction is not about dismantling faith to its destruction but rather refining it to its purest form—away from oppressive systems that have infected the church and other religious systems for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Embarking on a journey like this isn’t as risky as some would like you to think. It’s not a recipe for losing your faith but rather one for owning it. I myself drew closer to the heart of God.

Herrington’s work is deeply rooted in the belief that deconstruction is an intensely personal journey, one that moves us away from toxic religious practices and towards a spirituality that is inclusive, equitable, and liberating. She underscores the importance of curiosity over certainty, embodiment over disengagement, and vulnerability over defensiveness. Each chapter builds upon the last, guiding readers through the layers of deconstructing harmful doctrines while encouraging a posture of openness and exploration.

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What resonates deeply within Herrington’s narrative is her insistence on the communal aspect of deconstruction. She challenges the “othering” that supports oppressive systems and advocates for a collective narrative that seeks justice and equity. This journey, as Herrington describes, is not without its challenges, including loneliness, grief, and the daunting prospect of isolation from one’s faith community. Yet, she offers solace in the promise of self-compassion and healthier attachments as fruits of this laborious process.

Deconstructing Your Faith without Losing Yourself  is a testament to Herrington’s deep understanding of the complexities involved in questioning one’s faith. It’s a guide for the weary, the curious, and the hopeful who seek to find a faith that resonates with their deepest truths. Herrington’s work is not just a book; it’s a companion for those on the journey of deconstruction, offering insights, empathy, and encouragement every step of the way.

In essence, Angela J. Herrington’s book is a powerful call to embrace the messy, beautiful process of deconstruction. It’s about finding freedom in uncertainty, strength in vulnerability, and a deeper connection to the divine beyond the confines of conventional religion. For anyone feeling lost in their faith journey, this book promises to be a guiding light, illuminating the path towards a spirituality that is authentic, inclusive, and profoundly healing.

Scrabble tiles arranged on a white surface spell out the words 'DISCOMBOBULATED' suggesting a state of confusion or disarray.

As someone who was raised, educated, and trained for ministry in a predominantly white evangelical Christian environment, I can honestly say that deconstruction did not destroy my faith. I truly believe the way I live my life now is more Christlike than ever. My goal in life is to be like Jesus, and everything else, I hold quite loosely.

While this freedom might be eschewed by those who major on the minors, I have embraced it and been able to shine the Light in locations inaccessible to those who rely on other people to tell them who they are allowed to be in this world. Personally, I think only One person gets that right, and that is the Lord God Almighty.

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If you’re feeling trapped in a religious space that just doesn’t fit right anymore, If you’re full of questions but worried about asking them, I want you to know you’re not walking this path alone. There’s a journey ahead that doesn’t ask you to leave your faith behind but invites you to look at it with a fresh perspective and a brave heart.

This journey is less about tearing down everything you’ve believed and more about sorting through those beliefs to find what truly speaks to you and reflects the person you aim to be. It’s about allowing yourself to question, to wonder, and to grow, without losing your spiritual ground.

Welcome the uneasy feeling that comes with challenging what you’ve always been told. That discomfort is where real spiritual growth begins. Let your curiosity guide you toward a faith that feels right for you—one that’s rich, welcoming, and truly your own.

Remember, exploring your doubts and questions doesn’t mean giving up on faith. It’s a step towards a deeper, more honest relationship with the Divine. It’s about letting go of what doesn’t fit to uncover a faith that’s vibrant and real.

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So, take that step. You might just find that beyond your doubts and fears is a spiritual place more welcoming and comforting than you ever thought possible. A place where you can be fully you, in the light of a love that welcomes all questions and embraces all journeys. Oh, and be sure to grab a copy of Deconstructing Your Faith without Losing Yourself as a written companion for your journey. 📚

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