A year ago, we began the “Five Questions” series at Boundless, in which we interview Christian influencers and ask probing questions about their work, their opinions and their faith. We’ve interviewed bestselling authors, an Olympic gold medalist, a nationally syndicated columnist, a movie star and many others.
After I decided to do a list of the top ten “Five Questions” quotes for the year, I realized it was going to be much harder than I imagined — we just got so many thoughtful answers. But after some serious deliberation, I’ve narrowed it down to ten, and here they are:
10. Sports Illustrated writer Thomas Lake, on finding success in the secular world: “Thriving in the secular world? Generally speaking, it’s still a meritocracy out there. Build your skill, use your talent, and don’t expect any favors from anyone. If you’re good at your job, you’ll probably find people who want to hire you.”
9. Blogger Tim Challies, on dating: “One of my observations when I see people dating today is that many of them are prone to massively overthinking the whole issue. They have entire philosophies and theologies of dating and relationships, and somehow it all seems to hinder the actual task of finding a spouse. Obviously there is something to be said for thinking through these things, but somewhere and somehow it can go overboard.”
8. Film critic Alissa Wilkinson, on making excuses for bad Christian films: “Low budgets are never the problem with Christian movies. … What’s the old saying? It’s a bad carpenter who blames his tools? … ‘Well, we did our best with a low budget’ is an excuse that Christian filmmakers have used for a long time to excuse what is actually shoddy craftsmanship, and it’s disdainful of the audience, to boot.”
7. Twitter rockstar Sammy Rhodes, on the gift of singleness: “I [don’t] want women to think if they haven’t found someone by the time they graduate, they’re banished to the Island of Misfits with Rudolph and Hermie. That’s what I think is so radical about what Paul says about singleness. It’s just as much the gift of God as marriage is. It’s not like the weird gift from your creepy uncle at Christmas.”
6. Author Gary Thomas, on marrying for selfish reasons: “[W]hen you view marriage from a selfish perspective — what you’re getting — it’s understandable that you’ll never be ‘sure’ because no woman has it all. Every choice will, by necessity, require some sort of compromise because no one is marrying the fourth member of the Trinity. That being doesn’t exist.”
5. Author Rosaria Butterfield, on reading the Bible when she was a non-Christian English professor: “It never occurred to me to play roulette with the Bible, to read verses isolated from their historical or intellectual context, to start in the middle of a book because there was a good line somewhere in there, or to read the Bible like a horoscope — one verse for the day. I read the Bible like a book, chronologically, start to finish, examining things like its internal hermeneutics, canonicity, textual authority, and authorship.”
4. Author Karen Swallow Prior, on “trigger warnings”: “[D]o we think of ideas as exciting and spurring growth? Or do we think of them as dangerous and threatening? The implicit message of a trigger warning outside the narrow, specific context of recovery from actual trauma is that challenging or uncomfortable ideas are something we need to be protected from.”
3. Author Nabeel Qureshi, on being branded a “former Muslim”: “Even the term ‘former Muslim’ makes me feel like I’m forever bound by the life I left. We don’t identify other Christians as ‘former adulterers,’ ‘former narcissists,’ etc. I have been made a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), I strive every day to cast off the old self and to put on the new (Ephesians 4:22-24), reflecting the fact that I have been born again from above (John 3:3).”
2. Author Trevin Wax, on abortion: “Centering the [abortion] debate on the plight of the person wanting the abortion conveniently shifts attention away from the plight of the victim of a barbaric act of violence. Abortions are always dangerous for the unborn; it stops their hearts from beating. The issue here is a question about human life. Should we value all human life, or should we not?”
1. Humanitarian Jena Lee Nardella, on lost causes: “In high school, my classmates voted me Most Likely to Devote My Life to a Lost Cause, and I took it as a compliment. I think the thing about lost causes is they’re only lost if you leave them behind. If you stick with it and keep hoping in action and not just in feeling, you may discover that they are not lost after all.”
Thanks to all of the folks who took the time to do an interview with us. We could have easily taken a great quote from every person we’ve interviewed in the last year, so feel free to check out our Five Questions archives and find some new favorite quotes of your own.