The Inner Voice of Who Knows What

the pilgrimage: Henri Nouwen and my own topsy-turvy little heart


I love questions!
I ask them quite frequently. And as frightening as it is sometimes to not know the answers, I’m okay with that. What good are questions if they’re answered easily anyway? That just serves to sap all the fun out of asking them. : )

It really has been fun, especially over the last few months.
The other day I was looking through my journal, which houses a myriad of thoughts – some deeply personal, some fleeting glances at a subject I have yet to delve into, some seeming to have no bearing at all on real life. But amid all these thoughts I found many, many questions.

I thought I should share a few of them with you. Some may hit things hard, some may make me look like an idiot. You decide. Feel free to answer if you’d like, or just leave them as they are, allowing us to remain in contemplation.

And, you know, it’s good to keep in mind that Jesus asked questions too.
So, some of the questions I’ve been asking recently…

1. Instead of equipping people to achieve the grand “American dream,” can we imagine a different dream and reach it cooperatively?

2. Why do we give so much power to the word “pastor”?

3. How is our dominant, majority culture accidentally silencing those who need to experience God differently?

4. What would happen if we allowed the holy spirit to embody the qualities of a female? Wouldn’t that complete the trinity as a family? Father, son, and…. mother?

5. If Jesus can be described as “a very political person, who loved people deeply and wanted things to change, here and now”… who’s to say we cannot embody that same persona?

6. Recommended dietary intake is usually placed significantly higher than our bodies actually need… Why is the government suggesting that we eat more than we need? Is that holistic health at all, for us or anyone else?

7. What’s with this crazy dualism and separating our spiritual selves and our physical selves from one another?

8. Why, if I’ve been consistently loved and encouraged by those around me and if my parents have always told me that I am worthy and intelligent and good, why have I struggled so much with my self-esteem?

9. How do we avoid disaster tourism in the search for alliance with those who need help?

10. If five of our FPU athletes became Christians at an altar call last week… that’s great. I’m glad they feel some sort of transformation. But what does that say about our recruiting strategies?

11. And… what’s the big deal with altar calls anyway? Do we give too much importance to a point in time rather an a journey?

12. Reflecting on my class, Conflict Management and Resolution – where we learn that it’s good to be sympathetic, to be cooperative, to put the needs before oursevles – isn’t this common sense? Do people not get this?

13. Why are French salons so cool?

14. If I don’t believe that there should be one person as the “head” of a church, should there be a “head” of the household? Or vice versa?

15. Does it really make sense to think that God’s children are inherently evil? What if it is simply easier to live selfishly, narrow-mindedly, “evilly”? Doesn’t it make sense that we were created for good, but it may take some hard work to realize that fact?

16. Why do important, meaningful, and profound ideas so often become trendy and trivial?

17. Is the emergent church, as much as I love us, too filled up with a sense of who we are, to the point of being exclusive again?

18. If Jesus can be friends with Simon the Zealot and work together despite ideological differences, who’s to say I can’t be friends with anarchists?

19. What the hell does “glorify” mean anyway?

20. What if transformation, being “transformed by the renewing of your minds,” has as much to do with organizational life as it does with individual life?

21. What if there is no point where we receive or grab hold of the divine spirit… instead, the spirit is always at work within us, but it takes some work to recognize it?

22. What makes the band Heart so incredibly sexy? What makes anything incredibly sexy?



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7 thoughts on “Questions.

  1. 19.OK…so I’m cribbing but…glo·ri·fy [glawr-uh-fahy, glohr-]1. to cause to be or treat as being more splendid, excellent, etc., than would normally be considered.(such as just about everything but God)2. to honor with praise, admiration, or worship; extol.(such as God)3. to make glorious; invest with glory.(such as Jesus and, by extension/association, us by God)I’m not so sure hell has anything to do with it.And…If you pronounce it as shown, you may just sound like a Southern Pentecostal Preacher.And…I realize that 3. sounds exclusive but does it have to be? Is all humanity glorified by God, regardless of any explicit connection to Jesus but still through Jesus as the “new Adam” (1 Cor 15:45)? Is this retroactive since God is beyond space and time? Is it true even if we cover the “glory” up with rebellion, violence and selfishness? Is it connected to our created “image of God”?I could keep going, ya know…I’m a question Marxist, too!

  2. 24. Aren’t college students supposed to learn answers rather than ask questions?Well done Jessica. I’ll keep asking right along side you!Tim

  3. our PH speaker last night stated that Jesus NEVER made any alter calls but was rather about the relationships w/ people and meeting their needs. whenever some asked from him he gave and so on. but i remember some funny shane c. ideas on them as he would say that every year he would get born again, again and again and he recommends it cause it is quite a rush. not to diminish it at all but he has an interesting take on it i suppose

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  5. 11–Yes.17–Nearly. To some extent, the Truly Reformed deserve their castigation. Otoh, shouldn’t we still aim for ecumenical peace? Doesn’t childish insulting violate our supposed motives? The TR are often our elders. Oughtn’t we respect them?8–I hate mundane compliments. They devour the value of extraordinary things.2–Why do we think of all pastors being preachers?16–The eternal takes time and wisdom (intellect intentionally left out) to comprehend. Can we have mystery without gnosticism?–jacob certain

  6. Umm … not sure about those big words that Jacob used. I started to glaze over somewhere around castigation.?. But this I like Jess:21. What if there is no point where we receive or grab hold of the divine spirit… instead, the spirit is always at work within us, but it takes some work to recognize it?Yeah, what if?

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