Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Questing and Questioning

I was talking with an artist friend today who is moving to Vancouver to work exclusively on painting.  She has just completed her Masters in Theology here in Boston and wants to now focus on her art-making.  In her description to me of reasons for this move, she began to ruminate about the nature of theological academia.  Boston, in particular, is a very academically driven city, with little room for failure, and sometimes, even less room for faith.  A sort-of theological humanism persists in many places.  Evaluation and questioning rule the schools, as is the case in many seminaries world-wide.  Asking questions is an obvious and excellent learning tool, but if you never leave this place, what happens?

If you are always questioning the One you love, the relationship will never be stable.  These words came out of my friend's mouth and made me reconsider my whole concept of theological education in a moment. So my question is this: Is there a difference between 'questing' and 'questioning?'  Can we seek the Lord with all of our hearts without constantly doubting and re-evaluating?  Is it ever academically viable to be still and trust that your most important relationship is secure, even if you don't understand all of its implications?

So, my friend is moving to Vancouver to paint, and I must confess I am a little jealous.  There is peace in the absence of questions (for awhile).


chad said...

Great thoughts. Have you read James Smith's "Desiring the Kingdom". Part of it is reconsidering the traditional academic function and it speaks of humans as liturgical creatures that are formed by the actions and the heart. JD practically ate his copy.

Shannon Steed Sigler said...

Thanks, Chad. That sounds like something I MUST read.