Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Recommendation: The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

Every once in a while, I encounter a book that breathes life into me by the way it communicates profound truth. The interesting thing is that books like this almost always take me by surprise. Zondervan sent me David Dark's new book, The Sacredness of Questioning Everything, with the request that I review it if I liked it. I had heard of Dark, but had never read anything by him. The title intrigued me, so I opened to the table of contents...which intrigued me all the more:

Table of Contents
1. Never What You Have In Mind--Questioning God
2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being Brainwashed--Questioning Religion
3. Everybody to the Limit--Questioning Our Offendedness
4. Spot the Pervert--Questioning our Passions
5. The Power of the Put-On--Questioning Media
6. The Word, The Line, The Way--Questioning Our Language
7. Survival of the Freshest--Questioning Interpretations
8. The Past Didn't Go Anywhere--Questioning History
9. We Do What We're Told--Questioning Governments
10. Sincerity As Far As The Eye Can See--Questioning the Future
End Note: That Means To Signal a World Without End

That was enough to get me to start reading immediately. Halfway through the first chapter I was hooked. Dark artfully articulates faith in the context of what Lesslie Newbigin calls "A Proper Confidence"...faith that is not (cannot be) the equivalent of certainty...faith that recognizes our finite nature, our tendency to re-craft God in our own images and religion into self-justifying dogma. At times, he seems to be virtually channeling Kierkegaard in the context of 21st century Western culture. Dark offers us a thing of beauty, a life-giving breath of fresh air. His book invites us to take God a lot more seriously by taking ourselves a lot less seriously. Drawing from diverse voices (from Augustine and Aquinas to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to U2 and Arcade Fire) and various disciplines (Theology, Philosophy, Literature, Film, Music, etc.), he revives the Biblical tradition of questioning...as an act of humility in the pursuit of truth. He calls for us to cut through the propaganda, and resist any "powers that be" that would seek to subvert or co-opt the Way of Jesus. He beckons us to journey down a path that is characterized by faith, hope, and love (rather than certainty).
Pick up this book. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Amen, Methodists. Thank you.

Wow. Check out this new ad campaign from the United Methodist Church. Seriously...Wow.

May more churches, including ours, catch this kind of a vision.