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The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  511 ratings  ·  76 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published March 29th 2009 by Zondervan (first published 2009)
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Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Ryan Linkous
Jul 24, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Austin Sill
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
David Dark is my (much older and wiser) doppelgänger. This book was such a pleasure, nay - a real joy, to read. It wasn't just the endless array of literary and cultural allusions, it wasn't just the piercing theological musings, it wasn't just the tone of jest, sorrow, and love; it was that this book, because of everything Dark brought to it, helped me discover a sense of spiritual peace and intellectual quietude that I haven't experienced in quite a while: the peace that comes only when we rec ...more
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: spirituality
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
Joel Wentz
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dark is an exceptional writer, and I would love to be a student in his high school English class. He effortlessly weaves popular culture references within and throughout poetry and deep theology, all in an effort to broaden your paradigm. This is not easy to digest, but it is a beautiful and impacting reading experience (particularly the chapters on questioning language, government and the future). If you are interested in a meditative/poetic style of writing, and also love popular culture (thin ...more
Jan 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A book that would be useful to own, read, re-read, re-read, and so on. There is just so much packed in to the book that my bookmark is full of page numbers, footnote numbers, and other notes. Makes you think about how you are approaching life.

To quote the last line in the book, "It is by questions that we are born again and again."
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a hard one to rate, and maybe to review. I always feel that tension between "How much did I enjoy reading it?" and "How good a book do I think this is?" which oftentimes I would have to rate differently. On the one hand, I think this book says a lot of important things. On the other, I wanted more from it...though I'm not really sure what. I realized when I was almost toward the end that I'd heard a talk given by the author and which was quite good, which led me to suspect that he was ju ...more
Stephen Bublitz
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This book suffers from what I see from a lot of progressive Christian writers: the necessity to retroactively justify the gospel to fit with a particular more open-minded/liberal/scientific view of the world. I noticed this from Nadia Bolz-Weber and Rob Bell, both of whom I've enjoyed reading and have gained a lot from. As someone more on the progressive scale than on the Christian scale, I find myself asking why is it necessary to try to cram the round peg of theology into the square hole of ac ...more
Danielle Routh
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I love the concept of this book, so I really wanted to love the book itself... but sadly, it just isn't written well. Dark offers many excellent thoughts and examples, but they feel so rambling and disconnected that it's hard to follow the main narrative without being constantly distracted. It took me almost two months to finish this book as a result, and I don't think I'll read it again. That being said, Dark has many punchy quotes and thoughts, too many to count. Really, the entire book can be ...more
Justin Lonas
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
A forerunner in the genre of exvangelical memoir, heavy with literary and pop-culture allusions, buoyed by a jaunty style and earnest appeal.

Had I read this when it was released (when I was 25, a new dad, and learning to read the Bible I'd grown up with afresh) I might have been more impressed. Now, it's a little like George Harrison in that Simpsons episode (5.1) who drives by Homer's rooftop concert and says, "It's been done."

I think, even with the space of the genre that I've somewhat dising
Benjamin Varner
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: deconstruction
I couldn’t have picked or mistakenly fallen into a better book to close out the ear of the pandemic. My own world both externally & internally has felt like an existence inside a blender for much of the past 3 years.

David Dark answered the question I had and the questions I haven’t found words to ask in this book and he answered them all with better questions, sacred questions.

The Sacredness of Questioning Everything is a journey. A journey through joy, curiosity, anger, rebellion, resistance,
Lydia Sue
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, evolving-faith
This book was very helpful in my journey and struggle with religion. The kind of God and religion of this book gives me hope. A christianity centered on caring for the poor and oppressed is one I'd like to be apart of. A god of mercy who welcomes diversity and questions, thats the god that draws me in. ...more
Dwayne A Milley
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Briefly, this book has been sitting on my shelf for years. I remember buying it because the title appealed to me.

As a Christian, I appreciate Dark's broad, literary knowledge and how he interprets and redeems it in light of the kingdom that is now and not yet.

That’s all I’ll write about it here.
Melanie Emerson
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a good read! The importance of understanding your true core beliefs, your government, your mantra, your eschatology, and your faith in God is outlined here. The author reminds us that it is ok to want to dig deeper and understand.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, just finished reading today. A thought provoking read and one I need to return to. Made me aware of my need to have a less critical view of others, more expansive view of others, more gracious and generous.
Mike Vierow
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! I feel like every Christian author who I admire now must have read this when it came out.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, 2019
This is one of those books everyone who considers themselves a Christian should read. Very thought-provoking, and so many good points.
Mar 18, 2020 added it
A whole section on The Arcade Fire.
Luisa Black
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith-religion
As one who is filled with doubt about almost everything, I confess this book feels a little unnecessary. Perhaps I’m in a minority; I at least feel like a minority as everyday I read and every week I listen to people who seem quite secure in their stances and opinions. As someone who, when questioned, is most likely to assume the legitimacy of the questioner’s opinion, I’m slightly offended at the suggestion that I need to be more this way. When I feel strongly about something, strongly enough t ...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
Aug 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Kevin Lanzone
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good, I enjoy Dark's stories, but thought a lot of it felt pretentious and written in a way that is largely inaccessible. It can definitely ramble on. Was also just not what I was expecting, but that's on me. As a whole, it gave me some thing to think about, which is a success, but I can't say that I'd truly recommend it to anyone. ...more
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Tamara Murphy
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this book, author David Dark persuades and inspires us to take up the practice of Sacred Questioning. Browse through the table of contents for a glimpse of how far and wide and deep our questions can go: Questioning God, Religion, Our Offendedness, Our Passions, Media, Our Language, Interpretations, History, Governments, the Future.

Back in April, I had the privilege of hearing Dark speak at the Festival of Faith and Writing. I'm not sure why or how I haven't yet read any of his work. Maybe I
Mar 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Adam Shields
Jan 16, 2011 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
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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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43 likes · 4 comments
“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.” 11 likes
“Show me a transcript of the words you’ve spoken, typed, or texted in the course of a day, an account of your doings, and a record of your transactions, and I’ll show you your religion.” 6 likes
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