Ask the Complicated Questions (David Bjorlin)

It seems that Dave and I grew up in similar church contexts, where easy answers were dished out with as much relish as jello salad at a Sunday potluck. Unfortunately, those easy answers overlooked the subtleties of real life, used the Bible to confirm preexisting beliefs, and required complete agreement to stay in the club.

Dave’s hymn “Ask the Complicated Questions” assumes that God is big enough to handle our questions, doubts, and disagreements. That’s a breath of fresh air.

Because the song deals with the uncertainty of seeking truth in a sometimes perplexing world, I chose an understated melody that moves in many different directions and never quite comes to rest. It’s this lack of resolution that urges Dave’s words forward.

As I was writing this song, and again as I was recording it, I was reminded of T Bone Burnett’s quirky classic, “Madison Avenue.” I’ve included it below.

1. Ask the complicated questions,
do not fear to be found out;
for our God makes strong our weakness,
forging faith in fires of doubt.

2. Seek the disconcerting answers,
follow where the Spirit blows;
test competing truths for wisdom,
for in tension new life grows.

3. Knock on doors of new ideas,
test assumptions long grown stale;
for Christ calls from shores of wonder,
daring us to try and fail.

4. For in struggle we discover
truth both simple and profound;
in the knocking, asking, seeking,
we are opened, answered, found.

Text: David Bjorlin, b.1984; © 2018 GIA Publications, Inc.
This entry was posted in Church, Congregational Songs, Demos, Hymn tunes. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Ask the Complicated Questions (David Bjorlin)

  1. Meg says:

    do you have a score for this? I love your musical interpretation. I am the Music Director at a Lutheran church in MN and will be singing this text at church in a week.

  2. Leah Krenek says:

    I really like your arrangement. May I see/purchase a score? (I already have Dave’s book, ‘Protest of Praise’, but I would prefer your tune for a solo anthem to introduce an upcoming sermon series at my church.) Thank you!

  3. Elisabeth Patz says:

    Hi Greg. May I purchase the piano score? Thanks! Liz

    • Greg Scheer says:

      Hi Liz, I don’t actually have a piano score for this one. Send me an email if you want to talk about it. Thanks! Peace, Greg (PS – I do have a leadsheet, if that would be helpful.)

  4. sharon says:

    I too came looking to purchase a piano score…and would happily work with a lead sheet. Thank you, Sharon

  5. Tammy says:

    I would like to purchase a score of this. Can you help me?

  6. Jason Wells-Jensen says:

    Hi, Greg. I’m here to ask about the lead sheet too!

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