Live the Questions: How Searching Shapes Our Convictions and Commitments, By Jeffrey F. Keuss

Live the Questions

How Searching Shapes Our Convictions and Commitments

by Jeffrey F. Keuss

Live the Questions
  • Length: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: May 21, 2019
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 4565
  • ISBN: 9780830845651

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"Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer." —Rainer Maria Rilke

Life is full of questions: questions about our identity, our relationships, our faith. Sometimes it seems like there are no easy answers. But our questioning can lead us on a journey into greater understanding and purpose.

Jeffrey Keuss says that asking good questions helps us to lead good lives. He takes us on a tour of Scripture to find insights from people who asked questions of God and others. From God asking Adam and Eve, "Where are you?" to the Samaritan woman asking Jesus for water, Live the Questions explores critical questions in Scripture and what they can teach us about doubt, faith, and uncertainty in our everyday lives.

Grappling with hard questions is necessary for us to form deeper faith commitments and discern who we are called to become. So don't be afraid of the questions—live them.

"Over the years, I have had so many questions of God. How long will injustice go on? Where is God in our pain? But my friend Jeff Keuss says that we make our spiritual journey through wrestling with the questions, not just getting easy answers. This book will help you live the questions. If you ask good questions on your knees in prayer listening to God, then God will speak to you. And within his body of the church, together we can transform the world."

John Perkins, cofounder, Christian Community Development Association, founder, John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation

"Part personal reflection, part Ecclesiastes-like commentary, part Ignatian Spiritual Exercises for training in faith that forms a genuine life, Jeff Keuss's book displays the practiced wisdom and gentle realism that comes from having looked into the eyes of both idealistic students and cynical adults. Life is not about certainty, he writes, but confidence borne of a courageous questioning—a pursuit that is tutored by philosophers, artists, and prophets, and deepened by divinely inspired questioners in the Bible itself. If you are ready for a more authentic faith and a more meaningful life, then Professor Keuss is the right guide and his book is a good tool."

Tod Bolsinger, vice president and chief of leadership formation, Fuller Seminary, author of Canoeing the Mountains

"Many may desire a shortcut to navigate life's struggles, yet Dr. Keuss's words serve as a balm for those of us who are both answer-less and weary. I highly recommend this book to anyone who aches for simple answers or has a friend, colleague, student, or family member who has a similar yearning. Dr. Keuss humbly and wisely pastors the reader through this desire into the awe and questions that arise from the presence of the Almighty."

Gus Peterson, director of convocation, Pepperdine University

"Jeffrey Keuss issues a fresh invitation to faith in the midst of the acute anxiety and alienation of our society. But the faith to which he summons is not a package of certitudes. It is rather an ongoing, deep, and unflinching travel into deeper wonderment and open-ended trust. Keuss sees that certitude is not a dialect of faith; it is rather a refusal of faith of a biblical kind. The advocacy of this book is richly braced with engagement with great thinkers and our best literature. This welcome book, wise in its honesty and daring, is an act of resistance to frightened easier formulations."

Walter Brueggemann, professor emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary

"Jeff has written a book that gets at the issue of asking questions in faith settings. Questions, and critical ones laced with doubt, are crucial to the development of Christian living. This book gets at that and does an excellent job of nuancing those areas well. Read it!"

Daniel White Hodge, author of Homeland Insecurity

"'Life is best shaped by good practices that build good habits for human flourishing, and asking good questions is one such habit, one that's often overlooked.' With these important words, Jeff leads the reader through a finely woven tapestry of biblical narrative, cultural realities, and philosophical foundations as he guides us through a journey of critical questions found in the Bible. Those who engage with Jeff on this trek will not only discover new facets of biblical truth and their relevance, they'll grow in wisdom, a much-needed commodity in our day."

Richard Dahlstrom, lead pastor at Bethany Community Church, Seattle, author of The Colors of Hope

"The journey of living has a way of raising unexpected questions along its path. Sometimes these questions can arrest our momentum and confuse our sense of direction. Weaving theology into the everyday, Jeff Keuss helps us identify and answer questions that we need to consider. In a world of noise, the clarity these answers provide will instill confidence in our pursuit of God as we listen for what he has for us. And all along the way we're guided by a scholar/author who is modeling what it means to journey well in life."

Terry Linhart, author of The Self-Aware Leader

"Keuss draws moving portraits of Bible stories and our modern dilemmas that spur readers to think deeply about contemporary issues; his writing challenges us to be open to new ideas and beliefs."

Ray Arnett, Library Journal, June 2019

Read an Excerpt


Introduction: The Power of Asking Good Questions
1. Where Are You? The Big Question
2. Am I My Brother's Keeper? A Question of Responsibility
3. How Will I Know? Questioning in Times of Uncertainty
4. Who Am I? Questions of Shame, Fear, and Identity
5. Why This Burden? Questions of Burdens and Doubts
6. How Can I Just Vanish in Darkness? Questions of Loss, Conviction, and Work
7. How Can I Be Born After Growing Old? Questions About the Cost of Discipleship
8. Where Can I Get That Living Water? Questions of Commitment and Community
Conclusion: I Was Blind, but Now I See: Next Steps for the Journey


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Jeffrey F. Keuss

Jeffrey F. Keuss (PhD, University of Glasgow) is professor of Christian ministry, theology, and culture at Seattle Pacific University. He is also the executive director of Pivot Northwest. He is a regular contributor to the The Kindlings Muse podcast on theology and culture and is on the editorial board of Literature and Theology. His books include Freedom of the Self, Blur, and Your Neighbor's Hymnal.