Each month, you’ll hear from one of us on what we’re reading and a little bit about the book. Enjoy!
I’ve been reading The Curious Christian by Barnabas Piper. As someone who considers herself a curious person, I couldn’t wait to read how curiosity intertwined with the life of a Christian. Barnabas makes the case that the curious Christian continues to wonder at the world, ask questions, and listen closely. He outlines a plan for living curiously as a believer in our powerful, mysterious God and shares how being curious enhances every part of life.
One of the sections that challenged me most as a curious person asked “So what?” If we gain all the knowledge through curiosity—by pursuing the things that interest us, whether through asking questions, attending classes, or diving down deep in Wikipedia or the library—but do nothing with it, we have gained nothing. For the curious Christian, that knowledge should be used. As Barnabas says, “If you’ve graduated from seminary and are well-versed in theology, it means nothing unless it is expanding your heart for Jesus and for those who still need Him.” He further expands this thought by providing a list of test “So what?” questions for readers to ask to determine if our knowledge can be useful.
Barnabas’ writing style is one of a curious person. He weaves together quotes from curious individuals, interesting vocabulary, and examples from real life.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
Creativity is discovery put to good use in a fresh way.
We need to be able to see a truth and think of all the ways it might be useful—useful to connect to another person, useful to teach a child, useful to reveal something of God, useful to bring a smile to someone’s face, useful to help someone in need, useful to create something beautiful, useful to protect or defend truth.
Our knowledge is as trite or meaningful as what we do with it for the love of others and God’s glory.
Curiosity has a reputation as a childish trait because we stopped using our minds. We stopped looking at life, the mundane and normal, as something worth our brain waves.
Curiosity, whether applied broadly as a noticer or specifically as an expert, is an ability God has given us to help us become.
For us, curiosity is a habit, an exercise, a mental and spiritual muscle. It is the exercise of discernment. Ultimately it is an act of worship and a deep reflection of our humanity, God’s nature reflected in us.
Elizabeth Hyndman is a content and production editor and social media strategist. When she’s not inserting Oxford commas or answering questions on Twitter, she enjoys exploring Nashville and drinking chai tea lattes.