Item description for The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark...
Overview 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. --from publisher description
Publishers Description 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."
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 sourcesShakespeare, Ursula Le Guin, Johnny Cash and James Joycein 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 2009 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Books & Culture - 07/01/2009 page 5
Publishers Weekly - 03/09/2009 page 44
CBA Retailers - 04/01/2009 page 34
Library Journal - 05/01/2009 page 68
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More About David Dark
David Dark has published articles and reviews in Prism magazine and Books & Culture. He teaches English at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville.
David Dark currently resides in Nashville, in the state of Tennessee. David Dark was born in 1969.
David Dark has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Sacredness Of Questioning Everything?
Brilliant! Nov 4, 2009
In "Sacredness", Dark has brought his intellect to me pureed for digestion. Still alot to chew on, but readable and comprehensible. This arena--critique of post-modern Christianity--is touchy and often filled with bitterness. You won't find it here. Dark handles with care the religion he still holds dear and yet, with the surgical precision of a vast vocabulary and a huge, tender heart, he attacks the cancerous cysts that plague his maternal whore. If this book were to be understood on a large scale by Christendom, it might save her from certain extinction.
Great Book Oct 14, 2009
I wouldn't consider myself a Christian by any means. This book is amazing, totally gives new view to many life aspects. Some parts are slower than others, but it's definitely worth the read!
good, deep, insightful Aug 27, 2009
not an easy read, but worth it. dark leads us through a pithy ride of pop culture and high-brow literary references, along with some great biblical framing, on a journey of beautiful, spiritual skepticism.
Theological Futures Aug 24, 2009
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. It read quickly (one sitting), but offered minimal prospects for theological reflection. McGrath offered fresh insights built upon the intellectual traditions of the church, offering new avenues for both the intellect and action. I didn't get the same fresh insights from Dark.
Dark clearly writes from the Christian tradition, but seems to attack those seeking to live within, while constantly reforming its historical confessions. "Uncle Ben" concepts of God should be rejected (and have been rejected throughout the history of the church), but I fear Dark may be playing on the intended audience, implying that we must reinvent the wheel, seeking insights from all faith traditions. I agree wholeheartedly that we constantly need to deconstruct (or if you prefer, reform), while being engrossed in our great tradition to find the Spirit's future for us. The Spirit has led the church throughout its history and plunging the depths of previous theological insights will better help us to situate ourselves today, and see a clear God-led vision for our future. I'm not sure that Dark would disagree, but I think he underemphasized the history of Church in thought and action.
As such, I would suggest two books for further (or alternative) reading: 1. Ancient-Future Faith: Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World 2. Reading Scripture With the Church Fathers
We have a great Christian tradition, offering plenty of insights for those of us following Christ on this journey in community.
Essential reading Jun 17, 2009
David Dark is such a careful and generous writer, and his latest is no exception. He manages to weave in so many disparate sources and ideas into one cohesive whole. It really comes and gets you where you live. It's unsettling in it's questions but it's also a post-culture war balm--it's valuable for evaluating culture in general, perfectly timed to feed us questions about our role and relationship with capitalism. I read the first chapter and then started over, I was so awed. In many ways, it's the most radical thing I have read in ages, a paradigm shifting inspiration, a gutting justice-loving Apologetic. Secondly, it opens with a paraphrased Prince quote and praises Patti Smith and Richard Pryor as prophetic voices--it's very of the world, Dark is a voracious listener and observer.
If you grew up being saddled with a mean god, burdened by a religion that was not your own, there is a lot here for you. If you have felt exhausted and bullied by right-wing Christian propaganda anytime since Reagan took office, there is a lot here for you, too.