A Curious Faith
The Questions God Asks, We Ask, and We Wish Someone Would Ask Us
God created us curious. We innately wonder about the world, one another, ourselves, and God. But technology, fear of the unknown, cultural taboos, or even church leaders can smother our curiosity.
Popular writer Lore Ferguson Wilbert has belonged to Christian communities that discouraged curiosity. The point of the Christian life was to have the right answers, and asking questions reflected a wavering faith. But Wilbert came to discover that the Bible is a permission slip to anyone who wants to ask questions.
Reflecting her own theological trajectory toward a more contemplative, expansive faith, Wilbert invites readers to foster curiosity as a spiritual habit. This book explores questions God asks us, questions we ask God, and questions we ask each other. Christianity is not about knowing good answers, says Wilbert, but about asking good questions--ones that foster deeper intimacy with God and others.
A Curious Faith invites readers to go beyond pat answers and embrace curiosity, rather than certainty, as a hallmark of authentic faith.
Foreword by Seth Haines
Part 1. Questions God Asks: Living Curiously
1. Live the Questions
2. Where Are You? Genesis 3
3. Who Told You That? Genesis 3
4. What Have You Done? Genesis 3
5. Where Are You Going? Genesis 16
6. What Is Your Name? Genesis 32
7. What Is in Your Hand? Exodus 4
8. What Are You Doing Here? 1 Kings 19
9. Where Were You When I Created All This? Job 38-39
10. Will You Correct Me? Job 40
11. Whom Shall I Send? Isaiah 6
12. Is It Right for You to Be Angry? Jonah 4
Part 2. Questions We Ask God: Listening Curiously
13. Why Was I Born? Jeremiah 20
14. Why So Downcast? Psalm 42
15. How Can I Be Right with You? Job 25
16. Where Are You? Isaiah 63
17. Why Do You Hide from Me? Psalm 44
18. How Long, Lord? Psalm 13
19. Where Can I Go? Psalm 139
20. Why Do You Make Me Look at Injustice? Habakkuk 1
Part 3. Questions We Wish Someone Would Ask Us: Loving Curiously
21. What Are You Looking For? John 1
22. Do You Want to Be Well? John 5
23. Where Is Your Faith? Luke 8
24. Who Condemns You? John 8
25. Are You Not More Valuable? Matthew 6
26. Do You Believe I Am Able to Do This? Matthew 9
27. Who Do You Say I Am? Matthew 16
28. Can't You Wait with Me? Mark 14
29. Why Have You Forsaken Me? Mark 15
30. The Unasked Questions
31. Why Are You Crying and Who Are You Looking For? John 20
32. Do You Love Me? John 21
"There are two familiar temptations today: to fear questions and to idolize them. Lore Ferguson Wilbert has done neither in this gentle, honest, and wise book. Stepping into the beleaguered shoes of the prophets, the psalmists, and the perplexed disciples, Wilbert invites readers into the human experience of faith. Her words are a salve to those of us who wonder, who wait, who impatiently watch for the One who is--and is yet to come."
Jen Pollock Michel, author of A Habit Called Faith and Surprised by Paradox
"A Curious Faith is a beautiful culmination of Lore's ministry. For years she has invited readers to probe the depths of God--and to engage in self-reflection--with a courage that could only be Spirit-led. This book does not provide definitive answers on every musing but does offer a winsome theology of curiosity, of questioning, and of faith that the answers will come, by and by."
Jasmine L. Holmes, author of Carved in Ebony: Lessons from the Black Women Who Shape Us
"We need more writers like Lore Ferguson Wilbert, ones who gently guide us into the grooves of a well-worn faith, the kind acquainted with doubt. Her words invite us to spread our arms out wide beneath the canopy of curiosity, to take a walk along the curved pattern of the question mark, and to breathe in deep the mystery of God."
Emily P. Freeman, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Next Right Thing
"In a world filled with people who think they have all the answers, we desperately need more individuals who know the importance of asking the right questions. Lore Ferguson Wilbert is just such a person. As Lore shows both through her life and in these pages, a strong faith doesn't just allow questions; it demands them. A curious faith is a robust faith. This invitation to ask good questions will encourage and strengthen you--and your faith."
Karen Swallow Prior, research professor of English and Christianity & Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books
"Lore is innately curious, unafraid of hard questions. She follows her curiosity like a sort of map, sometimes discovering firm and solid answers, sometimes discovering more questions. But time and time again, her curiosity seems to lead to the same conclusion: even in our uncertainty, or doubt, or confusion, there is a God who welcomes us into his love--questions and all. That's what this book is all about."
Seth Haines (from the foreword)
"[Wilbert] underscores the investigative and contemplative nature of Christianity by rooting it in the history of the faith. Each chapter reflects on just one question and Wilbert's reflections strike the perfect balance between personal reflection and broad application. Her tone throughout the book is friendly and engaging, which makes reading the book feel like a conversation with a good friend. Chapters are kept relatively short, but the content of the chapters is meaningful enough to reflect on all day long, making this an excellent choice for an addition to personal meditation time."
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