Stay Curious: How Questions and Doubts Can Save Your Faith

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Stay Curious: How Questions and Doubts Can Save Your Faith


Stephanie Williams O’Brien


Fortress Press

Publication Date:

September 17, 2019




284 pages


What do we do when it feels like our spiritual lives have hit a roadblock? How do we move forward when we aren’t so sure of what used to be airtight beliefs, and we need something new to hold onto? Stephanie Williams O’Brien suggests that the real problem is we’ve been chasing the wrong things. We’ve assumed the goal of being Christians is to be absolutely sure of every single belief, when in fact the goal is following Jesus. And Jesus, as she notes throughout the book, usually responded to peoples’ concerns by asking them questions. O’Brien outlines a way to follow Jesus that emphasizes recognizing our limits and aiming for trust over certainty. She breaks this outline into three sections: “Wandering to Wondering,” “Overcoming the Obstacles,” and “How to Stay Curious.” In each, she combines personal experience with theological insights to describe how to follow Jesus more closely than ever.

While the book’s title suggests it’s a call back to Christian mysticism, O’Brien actually aims for something a little more accessible. She does speak highly of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s spiritual practices and centering prayer, which are often termed “Christian mystical practices,” but she describes them as activities that fit with a much bigger change. O’Brien helps readers understand that in light of big God is and how complex the Bible can be, it’s impossible to have every single facet of faith figured out. What Christians can do is always pursue truth, while embracing the fact there will always be a degree of mystery and some risk that they are wrong. Many writers have covered this topic, what O’Brien contributes is a pastor’s perspective. As a church leader, she’s spent years listening to people struggle with their doubts and knows how scary that situation can be. She comforts readers by explaining how common doubts is, and finds gentle ways to explain the problems that come with trying to avoid doubt.

A compelling look at seeking God more closely without buying into easy answers.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians undergoing spiritual crises or stagnation, seeking ways to find deeper faith that will actually last.

Christian Impact

This book will help readers move to a more mysterious, yet sustaining faith.

Stay Curious: How Questions and Doubts Can Save Your Faith
Stay Curious: How Questions and Doubts Can Save Your Faith

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