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.