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The Sacredness of Questioning Everything [Kindle Edition]

David Dark
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.98
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing

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Book Description

The freedom to question—asking and being asked—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 does not allow people to discover for themselves what they truly believe.

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. Dark contends that it’s OK to question life, the Bible, faith, the media, emotions, language, government—everything. God has nothing to hide. And neither should people of faith.

The Sacredness of Questioning offers a wide-ranging, insightful, and often entertaining discussion that draws on a variety of sources, including religious texts and popular culture. It is a book that readers will likely cherish—and recommend—for years to come.

Editorial Reviews

From 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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

Product Details

  • File Size: 508 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310286182
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001XJ1PKG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,119 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sacredness of Questioning Everything May 5, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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" that is not (cannot be) the equivalent of 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.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Theological Futures August 23, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has been getting a lot of rave reviews lately, so I decided to download it to the Kindle and give it a quick read. It reads very fast as the author is an excellent writer. He weaves cultural images, amusing stories and biblical insight into a fun tale. As much as this may turn off some readers, it comes across as more sermons should. It's honest, prophetic and entertaining. The audience intended are clearly lay people trying to figure out the intersections of faith and life.

One story I enjoyed from the book was a discussion about eternity that started with someone saying that when they die their argument with another individual will finally be over. Dark told this person that when they wake up (i.e. resurrection), they are going to find more people to deal with. He insightfully plays this very true theological insight off Sarte's comment of hell being people and C.S. Lewis' vision of heaven being people. The best in New Testament scholars today, whether NT Wright, Michael Bird or Larry Hurtado are making this same insight from the texts...the revelation of the New Testament is that our eternal future will be one in community with other people and God.

I also enjoyed the call of this book to action. I do not expect readers to remain apathetic about their faith after reading. That's a good thing. I firmly believe that we can love God by/in loving others. The church should become more active and be what Hauerwas has called an alternative to empire's secular ideals. No disagreements here.

So why did I only give the book three stars?

To put things in context, I finished reading Alister McGrath's "The Science of God" last night and as soon as I posted my review, I started this book.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating challenge to question April 19, 2009
One of the many memorable phrases found a couple of times in David Dark's new book; "The Sacredness of Questioning Everything" is related to the difficulty "to try to want to know what I don't want to know." It is the antithesis of having things figured out and being very comfortable with that that you very much. It's about digging deeper and exploring possibilities that might be foreign, inconvenient or even contrary to that place from which I operate. It is a rigorous exercise in humility and searching.

As the title states this is all about questioning; everything. The book has 10 chapters each a main focus of questioning; God, religion, media, our "offendedness", history and others. Throughout the book questions related to these "topics" are explored. But through each chapter more questions come up and the end of each chapter has even more questions to provoke discussions. This is a healthy and invigorating practice that Dark is encouraging.

I'm not as familiar with some of the literary figures or works he cites. However, in this I was simply introduced to interesting people, music, history or books I have begun to check out for myself. It is easy not to question. It may be a natural tendency to gravitate toward community where similarities are more prevalent than dissent or diversity but it can be unhealthy, self-perpetuating and dangerous. If I cannot question, as Dark gives me opportunity to in his book, what I currently believe about God, religion, history, governments or ideas is it possible I have tipped my hand? Am I really as certain about things as I would like to be? If I take myself so seriously as to think I cannot say "I don't know" without sliding into thinking I cannot know anything, I suffer from some god-complex.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful and haunting
Published 6 days ago by Tiffany L Mills
4.0 out of 5 stars Is Questioning Everything Truly Sacred?
If one were to meet this book on its own term one could not critique it based off of whether the logical argument is sound or true, though I think David Dark argues very well and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rev. Kevin Lambert
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
So so so well written. Love the way he sees the world. His eclectic allusions kept my interest. Changed the way I saw a lot of things!
Published 5 months ago by Tyler Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantstic...Wonderful Book.
I have referred back to this book numerous times, given a copy to the pastor of my church - and simply delight in David Dark's writing style and worldview. Read more
Published 6 months ago by D. Scott Spencer-Wolff
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantstic...Wonderful Book.
I have referred back to this book numerous times, given a copy to the pastor of my church - and simply delight in David Dark's writing style and worldview. Read more
Published 6 months ago by D. Scott Spencer-Wolff
4.0 out of 5 stars "I read it on the internet" or "I read it in the newspaper" seems to...
A good guide to thinking about "everything" with an open and yet critical mind. Meaningful for me as an adult, good to pass on to my teen age grandson.
Published 13 months ago by Jean Mather
1.0 out of 5 stars Comical
I find it very funny, even hilarious, that believers / Christians (for whom this book is intended, although it isn't very clear; I hope I saved a few people from buying what they... Read more
Published on December 23, 2012 by Sharon R. Thorne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars for Portrayal of Another Perspective
I won't attempt to write any sort of official sounding review, but instead write here what this book made me think about. Mr. Read more
Published on May 16, 2011 by WS
2.0 out of 5 stars Comical
After reading the Sacredness of Questioning Everything, the first thing I question is this book. I enjoy reading things outside of my norm and I enjoy seeing others' view points. Read more
Published on April 18, 2011 by C.B. Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book at the perfect moment, and therefore it was perfect...
This book was exactly the kind of thing I needed to read at the time I was reading it. What Dark argues is that the God of the Bible doesn't look for us to be docile sheep who... Read more
Published on March 31, 2011 by Heather ORoark
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More About 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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