Faith is meant to lived loudly. It is meant to ask questions, seek out knowledge, and declare truth. It is meant to stand boldly not shirk quietly. It is meant to encompass the entirety of life and redeem it. Faith should not be kept in a box taken out only on Sunday mornings and it should not cause us to be afraid of our questions. In The Curious Christian Barnabas Piper argues that our faith in Christ should drive us to live lives defined by curiosity.
“Without curiosity we grow as stale as the open package of saltines at the back of the pantry, and as musty as the forgotten boxes in your grandmother’s attic. We become lifeless in our souls and minds and then useless in our life and purpose”
Curiosity is essential to the Christian life, Piper argues. It is the thing that keeps our spark alive, that keeps us fascinated with not only life but our Lord. It is the thing that drives us to want to know more, to ask questions, and seek answers. According to Piper, curiosity is the thing that keeps us relevant and allows us to fulfill our purpose as Christians.
“In order to represent God to the world, we must know Him, and to do that we must learn. We must search for truth about His nature, His character, and His work. We must explore both His Word and His world. We absolutely must be curious if we are Christians. Without it we cease to grow and we become incapable of fulfilling our purpose in life.”
It makes sense if you consider that the Christian’s purpose on earth is to represent God to world. To do that we must first become curious about the Lord and then we must be curious about others. How are we to represent the Lord to the world if we refuse to engage with the world? We can’t. We must become curious about the world and actively participate.
This is the most important part of Piper’s argument. Coming from a conservative evangelical background, it is very rare to hear talk of “the world” as something that Christians should be engaged in. Oftentimes, “the world” is described as some dark scary thing that should be completely avoided by followers of Christ. This is not the world Piper presents. He acknowledges that the world is broken by sin, but it is the same as we were before we came to Christ. Those rooted in Christ have nothing to fear from the world; instead, we have something incredibly important to give to it.
That is an incredibly profound reality. Piper explains that it is curiosity that allows to engage with the lost effectively. It is curiosity that drives us to understand our neighbor’s reality. It is curiosity that drives us to reach out to new friends. It is curiosity that drives us to reach outside of our own limited world and find something new.
Curiosity, then, is something that is not always easy. It takes discipline to learn curiosity, but it is a skill we are obviously called to by Christ. Because of that, it is a worthy and joyful disciple to learn.
Bottom Line: The Curious Christian is unlike any other Christian discipleship book I’ve read. It is both convicting and fun. But most unique is the topic with which it deals and does so beautifully. It is a quick and easy read that has a phenomenal impact.
Purchase The Curious Christian
See More From the Publisher: B&H Academic
Follow the Author: @BarnabasPiper