National Review’s Kathryn Lopez recently interviewed me on my most recent book, Broken Gods: Hope, Healing, and the Seven Longings of the Human Heart. Take a look!
What does God see when He looks at you? That’s a main question Gregory K. Popcak asks and answers in his new book Broken Gods: Hope, Healing, and the Seven Longings of the Human Heart. Popcak, executive director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, talks below about the book and some of the prospects its raises for a beautiful life. — KJL
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Do you want to be “perfect, whole, healed, and, yes, even immortal”? These seem high promises for a book!
GREGORY K. POPCAK: Well, of course! Because it’s a great book! No, look, in all seriousness, I know it sounds like hyperbole, but I’m simply reiterating the promises Jesus himself made to all of his followers; promises that were echoed by every single one of the Church fathers. Jesus says, “Is it not written you are gods?” and “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:34, 10:10). What is that abundant life, exactly? Nothing less than our “divinization” — that is, the process by which we become “partakers in the divine nature” (Peter 1:4). As Saint Thomas Aquinas shockingly put it, “The son of God became man so that men might become gods.” Saint Justin Martyr said it even more jarringly: “He who listens to the Lord, and follows the prophecy given by Him, will be made a god going about in flesh.” Of course it’s true that there’s only one God — and we’re not him. But early Christians were unanimous in asserting — up through the Reformation — that the entire point of the Christian life was to allow God to transform us into “gods” in the classic sense — perfect, whole, healed, and yes, even immortal — and destined to be loved by God and united to him eternally.
LOPEZ: How does this idea that we are “broken gods” change things?
POPCAK: When Christians say that “we are broken and in need of salvation,” it prompts the question, “We are broken what?” Most people think we are broken in the same way that the occupants of the Island of Misfit Toys are broken — hopeless, absurd, and more than a little pathetic. Of course, the appeal of this idea is lost on a lot of people, especially non-believers, who tend to reply, “What do you mean ‘I’m broken?’ Who do you think you are anyway? I have a good job. My family loves me. I do nice things for people. I’m fine just the way I am…CONTINUE READING