Alisa Childers is an author, blogger and worship leader. She was a member of the Christian band ZOEgirl and is a popular speaker at apologetics conferences. She recently wrote a book titled, “Another Gospel: A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity.”
Can you share your story with us?
Childers grew up in a Christian home with two loving parents.
“I loved Jesus and reading the Bible as far back as I could remember,” Childers said. “I never really went through any doubt about what I believed until I was an adult. So, I was that kid in the youth group that nobody would have worried about.”
From 1999 to 2007, Childers was a singer with ZOEgirl, a Christian teen pop band with over a million albums sold.
Despite her Christian upbringing, Childers experienced a tumultuous season in her mid 30s. After she helped lead worship at a church, she and her husband began attending regularly, and she began to question her faith while attending a small group led by the pastor.
“The pastor revealed he was actually agnostic,” Childers added. “Through the course of four months, everything I believed about God, Jesus and the Bible, was sort of picked apart and explained away.”
They eventually left the church, but doubts the pastor planted took root and grew in her heart. Over the next year, Childers wondered if everything she believed about Christianity was real or if it was an “emotional high she was living off of her whole life.”
But over the next few years, God removed any obstacles hindering her faith in Him.
“I went through my own period of dark doubt and then God brought apologetics into my life to help rebuild my faith,” she said. “People think apologetics is this really intellectual endeavor for snooty academics. When Peter uses that word in 1 Peter 3:15—’defense’ translates to ‘apologia’ in Greek—it essentially means giving good reasons to explain why you believe, such as why the Bible is the Word of God, why Jesus resurrected or is the Son of God.”
Childers began blogging shortly thereafter and her book, “Another Gospel,” is a memoir describing the intellectual journey she took to answer those tough questions.
“The biggest subject for me had to be the reliability of the Bible because my whole life I was able to discard any skeptical claim that would come my way by saying, ‘Well, the Bible says the opposite of that,’” Childers said. “But in this class, when someone was able to effectively knock the legs out from under the Bible, it threw me. I had been told there were 100,000 mistakes in the New Testament manuscripts. What I learned from even the most skeptical scholars is that there’s a very miniscule percentage of differences that would affect the meaning, and they don’t affect the Gospel message.”
You’re a deep theological thinker but also a Christian artist. How do you bridge the intellectual and emotional aspects of your faith?
Childers said her intellectual drive of knowing God is not in competition with, but complements her passionate pursuit of Him.
“Some people think that if you engage the intellectual side of your faith, that somehow it’s going to hinder your faith or the Spirit at work in your life,” Childers said. “For me, I lean so far into the emotional side of things that it’s easier for me. When you add the intellectual, it informs the emotional side. Studying apologetics has actually refined my worship. It’s made me hungry for more theologically rich lyrics to sing. It’s sharpened me to articulate the eternal truth of who God is.”
What is a false opinion or idea circulating as truth in our culture?
“One big one that I saw was that there aren’t any references to Jesus outside the Bible,” Childers said. “People were saying, ‘If Jesus really existed, how come the Bible is the only book that mentions Him?’ When I really investigated the evidence and went to the primary sources, I discovered there are actually nine or 10 non-Christian writings that mention Jesus within a couple 100 years of His life, such as Greek philosophers and Jewish writers. If you expand that out to the Christian extra-Biblical sources, you have tons of references.”
How can we know what is truth?
“In our culture right now, the dominant theory of truth is relativistic, so what’s true for you is true for you, what’s true for me is true for me. This doesn’t work logically,” Childers said. “Truth is a thought, idea or statement that you’re making that actually lines up with reality. For example, I love bacon. I can believe whatever I want to believe about bacon, but the truth of whether or not bacon is good for me will bear itself out in my body. If it’s healthy, I will become healthy. If it’s not, my body will bear the consequences. It doesn’t matter what I think about bacon. It’s either good for me or it’s not. It’s not relativistic. Most people will agree, but they’ll put the God stuff in relativistic terms. It’s either God exists or He doesn’t. Jesus either resurrected or He didn’t. Jesus is God or He’s not.”