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The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  311 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
In this provocative, entertaining book, author David Dark writes, "The summons to sacred questioning, like a call to honesty, like a call to prayer, is a call to be true and to let the chips fall where they may." Far from being a sign of cynicism or weakness, questions are not only positive but crucial for our health and well-being.
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Published March 24th 2009 by Zondervan (first published 2009)
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Ryan Linkous
I really enjoyed this book and almost gave it 4 stars. This book was really fun to read and Dark does a phenomenal job weaving pop culture and classic literature together to make rhetorically forceful points. It was like reading a Gregory Thornbury sermon or lecture (not coincidentally, they are friends).

The main message of the book is that we need not be afraid of questioning anything (including God, the church, history, governments, etc), because if something we believe is really true, it will
Dec 08, 2010 Cori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK. I loved this book. A lot. The Sacredness of Questioning Everything made me reexamine pretty much everything that enters my head. I think about the music I listen to, the news stories I hear, the books I read, the speeches I attend, the sermons I listen to, the television programs I watch, the links people send me on Facebook — everything. Dark challenges the reader (specifically Christians, but I do think that most readers would like this book) to make sure they question what they are taking ...more
This book was a disappointment. David Dark makes a lot of good points, but I found his many examples to be distracting rather than enlightening. He veered a bit too far from the topic of questioning and into current pop culture, which, I'm sure was a good fit for much of his audience, but it wasn't for me.

I would rather he have used his more explicit themes as starting points and gone deeper rather than gone off onto other paths, as he seemed to do.

I longed for more "meat" and detail on quotes
Jan 11, 2010 Charlie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I actually stopped reading this book because it made me feel like I was in a Dr.Culbertson religion class at SNU all over again. Frankly, I really don't need anyone to tell me its okay to question what we read (or don't read) in the Bible. I've questioned the way the Bible is interpreted for quite some time. And I feel it is fine. I don't believe that the Creator of the fucking UNIVERSE is going to care whether or not I believe He created it in 6 days or 4.6 billion years. I just don't think tho ...more
Sep 14, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
if you are going to read this book, be prepared to be challenged on multiple levels. the book is not really a difficult read, but because of how deep it goes, it does require some focus in order for you to get the full impact of everything that David is saying, so be sure that you are not distracted while reading it.

If you apply the things in this book in your life, you will be changed (for the better!). It has given me a clearer picture of real compassion, justice, and a greater value for human
Luisa Black
Jul 07, 2015 Luisa Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, favorites
I loved this book. I hesitate to write about it because I don't feel like I have fully digested its ideas, or even discriminated between the meat that was there to digest, and the fragrance that was there to inspire. Dark writes powerfully and also casually. I could vividly envision him pacing in front of a high school classroom, cranking out pop culture references and tying them to classic literature, searching the faces of his spectators, hoping for a hint of surprise, excitement, connection. ...more
Rocks the boat while holding firm to faith that Jesus won't let it tip over. I've long thought that "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for life" needed to be challenged. I want to pass the pond completely and go meet the guy who owns it. But one will never get there sitting on the dock screwing around with the tackle box. It's possible that I just like someone who validates my kind of thinking, but I don't think so.

Dark is onto something. No, some
May 28, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a constant questioner, I thought this was beautifully-written and comforting book. His ideas about "the poetic" and "cosmic plainspeak" were lovely and will stay with me.
Jan 03, 2010 Laryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend David Dark's latest book. It's woven together from personal anecdotes, scriptural phrases, and cultural artifacts in an entertaining and provocative manner. Take a look at the topics he delves into (taken from the table of contents) to whet your appetite:

Questioning God (Never What You Have in Mind)
Questioning Religion (The Unbearable Lightness of Being Brainwashed)
Questioning Our Offendedness (Everybody to the Limit)
Questioning Our Passions (Spot the Pervert)
Questioning Media
Dec 10, 2009 Jedidiah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I think I can say without any hyperbole that this is the most thought provoking book on Christianity I've ever read. I'm sure it has a lot to do with me and certain honest questions I have that are "unaskable" in a typical church setting, but any way you look at it this is a challenging book.

Paradoxically, one of the things I liked most about this book is that it's full of questions but doesn't really offer up any definitive answers, that's something you mostly have to work out for yourself. I f
May 30, 2010 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I've been reading this book forever, and when I finally came to the last page, I had the sense that I was ending a conversation with a good friend. David Dark is an incredible thinker who puts ideas in such a way as to be challenging and evocative. Not one line of this book is filler or fluff. If you plan to read, be prepared to be seriously engaged. Dark questions media, God, government, the future, our passions, even our history, all in such a way that deepens one's faith and reall ...more
Steven Waters
Jun 03, 2011 Steven Waters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are times that I hesitate to venture into a realm where I'm concerned that I will be challenged and won't have a response. Starting this book was one of those times. But, the concern was immediately disappated as I found myself resonating with the premise of the book which is essentially the Socratic maxim, "The unexamined life is not worth living." David Dark gave examples from literature (he taught high school English) where he brought his points to life for his students through Shakespe ...more
Adam Shields
Jan 21, 2011 Adam Shields rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short review: I think the most important idea from this book is that we need to be open to questioning our ideas because we desire to be in relationships. If we are unable to question then we are unable to relate to those that are unlike us. Another very good section was on how we need to be able to laugh at ourselves and our beliefs. If we cannot laugh then we cannot really get to a point where we can look at what those beliefs really mean. It has 10 chapters, each about how to question a diffe ...more
Mar 13, 2013 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
I read this as part of a book discussion group, and in that capacity, I might give it a 3, because I enjoyed the conversations that came out of it, but as a book itself, I may have quit reading it if I hadn't had the group to keep me turning the pages.

It feels very scattered and in need of a good editor. The copious examples distracted as often as they enlightened. It would have been nice to explore some of the topics in more depth and see the nuance, especially since as a book that's supposed t
Mar 01, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of Christian books, this one still remains a favorite for me. I'm not sure why but I think it has something to do with knowing the writer is an imperfect English teacher who listens to good music thinks about it and finds ideas about God within. I could drink tea or coffee with this guy. We could talk. Our conversations filled with what I think of as true community. That is what I feel this book is, a conversation. It's a conversation about one of the most important spiritual ide ...more
Bruce Baker
This book was harder for me to read than I liked. The concept I totally agree with but it was deeper than I thought it would be. David Dark is an interesting author. I want to read another of his books.
Dec 30, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So David, the idea's great but I felt like it didn't really go the places I needed to. Please write a second one that REALLY questions.
Jan 10, 2012 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
I enjoyed the first chapter, but I had a hard time getting into the rest of the book and ended up not finishing it...which made me feel bad because I agree with the author's premise. Maybe it says more about me than about the book that, with so many other books to read, I didn't want to take the time to analyze what he was saying. I especially liked the discussion questions at the end of each chapter and his use of popular culture. I didn't like that it was so hard to follow where he was going w ...more
Dustin Ragland
Feb 02, 2016 Dustin Ragland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whitni McDonald
Jan 21, 2016 Whitni McDonald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May 09, 2013 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some great things about this book, and certainly the first few chapters are some of the best I've read on religion in ages. But sometimes David Dark's clever-clever writing style gets a bit much, and he's quite often guilty of overloading his sentences with cultural references. I agree with a lot of his points though, and the book is definitely worth reading for anyone who feels drawn to question the systems and surfaces that are generally accepted as 'normal' in our society.
Jul 06, 2009 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book talks about the importance of being able to question matters like why we believe what we believe, or not being afraid to question your own government instead of grasping at blind patriotism. Started out great, got really deep in the middle and a little hard to follow, and came back around at the end. Really had some great points mixed in with the author going on and on about stuff he's read that I really couldn't care less about.
Aug 13, 2013 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology-etc
I think this book might be one of my all time favourites! David Dark is poetic and funny and profound.
The book wasn't necessarily ground-breaking in all of it's content- some of the ideas have been on my mind for a while- but Dark has an incredible way of articulating, encouraging and challenging the reader with each new page and story an anecdote.
Brilliantly written and a timely book for a world chaotic with knowledge and consumption.
Daniel Pool
Aug 24, 2012 Daniel Pool rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
I like David Dark and I respect what he's getting at with this book, but I have to admit that I grew tired of his referential style about halfway through and gave up. Dark is a great writer, but some of his cultural illustrations felt forced at best, corny at worst. Ultimately he spent so much time trying to avoid forcing a viewpoint on his readers that the book ended up being about nothing at all.
Apr 18, 2014 batchout rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
rambling nonsense that takes no stand. Intolerable as an athiest.
I don't know much about David Dark, but I really loved this book. I do believe in the blessing of questioning. Some of my best thoughts have come through re-examining what I believed to be true.

I believe that this would make for a good discussion book although it would probably offend a lot of people.
Joan Stewart
David Dark has several wonderful points to make in this book, but I feel like it is too similar to The Gospel According to America, which was better focused than this one. Still, the book was a great comfort to me during a hard time and I enjoyed it.
Jul 26, 2013 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This was a very good book that really got you thinking about the real meaning of God, Religion, Church, and how it relates to your life. The author did a great job at engaging the reading. However, some of the points could have been more clear and concise.
Sep 10, 2009 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really did like this book, though it was hard to understand at times, it really got me to actually start questioning things, even though some of those results upset quite a bit of people. I recommend it if you're up for a challenging book
Apr 07, 2009 Kate marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I am wicked excited about this book by my buddy David Dark. Buy it buy it buy it; read it read it read it! The ultimate goal is to get him on the Colbert Report where he can confound Stephen with wisdom and truth.
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David Dark is the critically acclaimed author of "The Sacredness of Questioning Everything," "Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, The Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons" and "The Gospel According To America: A Meditation on a God-blessed, Christ-haunted Idea." An educator, Dark is currently pursuing his PhD in Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. He has had articles pu ...more
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“Feeling offended is invigorating. Feeling offended is a reassuring sensation. It's easier than asking ourselves if the redeeming love of God is evident in the way we communicate with people.” 6 likes
“At their best, all living religious traditions in some fashion offer a challenge to become aware of what’s going on in our minds. They invite us to refuse to settle and to resist the reality-distorting media that perpetuate debilitating forms of self-satisfaction. In this sense, living religious traditions are like arsenals, renewable resources for rethinking our lives in light of the ethical demands of more sacredly conducted living—a way of living that confronts the disfiguring generalities of mere business, religion, politics, economics, and other deluding categories. But as we understand only too well, it is often the case that the redeeming power of religious witness is sabotaged, squandered, or ignored altogether by those who claim to speak for their religious tradition. For some, their religion is nothing more than a special interest group, a bastion of offendedness and anger, the powerhouse of the saved rather than a place from which life can be viewed and lived more redemptively.” 1 likes
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