The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

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by David Dark
     
 

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Is Your God Big Enough to Be Questioned?

The freedom to question is an indispensable and sacred practice that is absolutely vital to the health of our communities.

According to author David Dark, when religion won’t tolerate questions, objections, or differences of opinion, and when it only brings to the table threats of excommunication, violence, and

Overview

Is Your God Big Enough to Be Questioned?

The freedom to question is an indispensable and sacred practice that is absolutely vital to the health of our communities.

According to author David Dark, when religion won’t tolerate questions, objections, or differences of opinion, and when it only brings to the table threats of excommunication, violence, and hellfire, it obstructs our ability to think, empathize, and live lives of authenticity and genuine engagement.

The God of the Bible not only encourages questions; the God of the Bible demands them. If that were not so, we wouldn’t live in a world of such rich, God-given complexity in which wide-eyed wonder is part and parcel of the human condition. The possibility of redemption and revolution depends on the questions we ask of God, governments, media, and everyday economies. It is by way of the questions that we resist the conformity that deadens and come alive to visions that redeem.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

"Questions make new worlds possible," asserts author Dark (The Gospel According to America), a key premise in this thought-provoking meander of reflections on, and challenges for, living an engaged life of authentic Christianity. The well-read author draws insight and inspiration from a broad range of sources-Shakespeare, Ursula Le Guin, Johnny Cash and James Joyce-in calling into question the status quo, received history and conventional theology. Dark brings to his writing the kind of energy, offbeat enthusiasm and commitment to relevance that must make his high school English classes exciting places for inquiry and exploration. That each page yokes keen observation to practical application with wisdom and compassion inclines the reader to forgive the book's bewildering organization and abstruse section headings. "Questions for further conversation" at the end of each chapter will be useful for groups eager to put Dark's appeals into action. The author's passion for social justice, clarity about the "sacred obligation" of taking nothing at face value and confidence that unsettling questions yield rich rewards for both individuals and communities is convincing and moving. (Apr.)

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Library Journal

In this book, Dark (The Gospel According to America) continues his project of modernizing belief or, rather, trying to reconcile it with the oddities of modernity. For Dark, it is not only right and devout but crucial for the believer to question God, government, media, and the ways the world seems to work, notions with which Jesus himself would be entirely comfortable. For most readers in religion.


—Graham Christian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310286189
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
03/24/2009
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
339,530
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 2.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Questions make new worlds possible,” asserts author Dark (The Gospel According to America), a key premise in this thought-provoking meander of reflections on, and challenges for, living an engaged life of authentic Christianity. The well-read author draws insight and inspiration from a broad range of sources---Shakespeare, Ursula Le Guin, Johnny Cash and James Joyce---in calling into question the status quo, received history and conventional theology. Dark brings to his writing the kind of energy, offbeat enthusiasm and commitment to relevance that must make his high school English classes exciting places for inquiry and exploration. That each page yokes keen observation to practical application with wisdom and compassion inclines the reader to forgive the book's bewildering organization and abstruse section headings. “Questions for further conversation” at the end of each chapter will be useful for groups eager to put Dark's appeals into action. The author's passion for social justice, clarity about the “sacred obligation” of taking nothing at face value and confidence that unsettling questions yield rich rewards for both individuals and communities is convincing and moving. (Apr.) -- Publisher’s Weekly

Dark wanders through the landscape of theological inquiry with brilliance, taking us into uncharted valleys where questioning, confusion, doubt, and promise intermingle. This book is a call to action, a resounding yell of encouragement, to all types of Christians. -- Christopher R. Smit

David Dark is a brilliant and respected cultural critic, and here, in this new work, he has done something that very few evangelical writers have done: he truly invites us---no, he calls us---to the holy task of thinking all manner of things through, of saying yes and no, of questioning and seeking and discerning what is most true. We need this kind of feisty, literate, and (dare I say it?) prophetic call, and we will be better---as people and as a Christian community and as a culture---if we take up this unsettling and liberating challenge. -- Byron Borger

David Dark is my favorite critic of the people’s culture of America and the Christian faith. He brings a deep sense of reverence to every book he reads, every song he hears, every movie he sees, but it is a discerning reverence---attentive to truth and Jesus wherever he comes on them. He is also a reliable lie detector. And not a dull sentence in the book. -- Eugene Peterson

Brilliant and charming and insightful as always, Dark comforts both my soul and my mind with this synthesis, part memoir and part essay, of the culture around us and the culture within us. -- Phyllis Tickle, , Author

We will never find the answers until we begin to ask the right questions. Most of us are skeptical of self-righteous folks (whether pastors or politicians) who try to force their answers into you as if truth was an enema. And if there is anything we can learn from both liberals and conservatives, it’s that you can have all the right answers and still be mean people. This is not a book of answers. Here is a book of questions---question everything … including this book. -- Shane Claiborne, , Author

In the Sacredness of Questioning Everything, David Dark serves up a unique blend of pop culture and high culture, generously seasoned with religious texts. The result is an immensely readable, profoundly subversive, and deeply prophetic book. -- Andrew Bacevich, , Author

In The Sacredness of Questioning Everything, David Dark travels the lonesome highways of the American soul and finds signs of grace where many of us see only despair. Carry this book with you as a guide through these uncertain times. -- Charles Marsh, , Author

This is what I need: a far-reaching Christianity that’s not just for the Shiny Happy People but for me, questioning and doubting and trying to live into the mystery. I couldn’t ask for a better fellow pilgrim than brainiac David Dark, who feels as comfortable mining The Office and The Colbert Report as he does Dostoevsky and Flannery O’Connor. This book is for everyone who quietly suspects that God is a whole lot bigger than the church would have us believe. -- Jana Riess, , Author

Meet the Author

David Dark is the critically acclaimed author of Everyday Apocalypse and The Gospel According to America and is an educator who is currently pursuing his PhD in Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. He has had articles published in Paste, Oxford American, Books and Culture, Christian Century, among others. A frequent speaker, Dark has also appeared on C-SPAN’s Book-TV and in an award-winning documentary, Marketing the Message. He lives with his singer-songwriter wife, Sarah Masen, and their three children in Nashville.

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