Thursday, November 18, 2010

David Dark, Confusing but Honest

Last night David Dark spoke before Taylor students. He's written the book "The Sacred of Questioning Everything." It was mostly a conversation in which he essentially dialogued with students on whatever they felt like. He dealt with some issues of knowledge and certainty, doubt and a story about Uncle Bill.

I appreciated Dark's honesty, humility and curiosity. I was able to hear him talk with other students at the Honors Lodge afterwards. At one point, a student asked a question which he attempted a reply. (Noting that he wasn't quite sure how to answer.) Immediately after he asked the student to offer his opinion. This is the first time I remember seeing a speaker at a Taylor event ask a student to share his/her opinion and then listen.

I struggled with Dark's lack of clarity. Perhaps it was because of the format, but when a speaker lacks clarity and leans toward quoting famous thinkers and giving snippets of profound thought, I tend to become cautious of the content of what they're saying. The reason being, I don't know what is their content. Certainly a lot of random things Dark said were really important, but on the other hand they were only random and small. He didn't carry them to a conclusion or attempt to clarify the ideas he was trying to get across.

[His answers to some of my questions were interesting. His understanding of knowledge as being of action, essentially you know something if it carries into your action was an interesting discussion. I'm not sure what he meant when he said Western theology is mostly a "construction."]

I think Dark did a good job of creating a feeling of depth and insightfulness. I think that depth and insightfulness was lacking. I haven't read his books, and certainly I admire his character. His perspective is unique and challenging, if you can figure out what it is.

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