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Q&A with Matthew Kelly
1. You’ve said before in interviews that every book has a life of its own. What in your personal spiritual journey inspired you to write this book now?
This is a book I have been wanting to write for twenty years, but I was waiting for the right moment. It is my hope and my dream that this book will reach more people than any book I have written before. The title, of course, is intriguing and emphasizes the lie, but the book is really about truth—one life-changing truth in particular.
2. Who did you have in mind when writing this book?
I wanted to write a book for every Christian in America, a book to liberate and mobilize us all. Christianity is in peril in the United States, and this truth is the one truth that can transform that, turn the tide, revitalize Christianity in America, and empower Christians to go out boldly into every area of their lives confident that their faith matters, that it has something for everyone, that it is not only still relevant, but more relevant than ever before.
3. How does this book tie in with the Mission of Dynamic Catholic, which is to “re-energize the Catholic Church in America by developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism”?
It is critical that we don’t confine ourselves to a Catholic ghetto. The majority of Catholics no longer practice their faith. If Dynamic Catholic is going to re-energize the Catholic Church in America, we have to engage not only those who show up for Mass on Sunday, but those who don’t.
Ultimately, the mission of the Church is to reach all men, women, and children, from all walks of life, in every corner of our culture.
4. How can someone use this book to begin a dialogue with a friend or family member who has walked away from the Church?
Give them the book. Let the book speak for itself. The title is intriguing. Even those who have walked away from the Church will be curious about what the biggest lie is. Just give them the book and let the book do the heavy lifting for you.
5. The subtitle of the book is “How Modern Culture Is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness.” How do you see this book as a remedy for the pervasive unhappiness so many people feel?
The biggest lie in the history of Christianity robs people of meaning and hope. It reduces millions of people to spectators in the epic story of Christianity, when we should be playing a very active role as Christianity unfolds in our own place and time. But in order to do that, we have to overcome the lie.
6. How does this book compare to other books you’ve written on happiness, like Resisting Happiness and Perfectly Yourself?
This book goes to the heart of the matter. It provides not only the key to richer, more fulfilling lives for individuals, but the key to transforming our church communities and society at large. You see, most Christians no longer believe that it is possible to transform the culture. This defeatism has caused us to look inward. Any organization that begins to focus inward is on a death spiral. It is time for Christians to look outward again. It is time for Christians to look beyond the parking lots of their churches to the great mission fields of our society. This book makes a case for the role each and every one can take to make that happen.
7. It has been said that every Christian in America should read The Biggest Lie. If that happened, how do you envision that the landscape of Christianity in America would change?
It would move us from a passive posture to a proactive posture. It would move us from a stance of fear to one of boldness and courage.
8. Many of your books are crafted in a way that is digestible to the reader with action steps for everyday life. Is The Biggest Lie similar?
Yes, but in this case it is about one profound action step that can be infused into every activity of every day.
9. How can knowing and overcoming the lie bring us closer to becoming the-best-version-of-ourselves?
Great question. Interestingly, the phrase “becoming the-best-version-of-ourselves” came to me because so many people had accepted the lie and I was trying to get them to see that it was a lie, but I needed fresh language to get their attention.
10. What do you hope people take away from The Biggest Lie?
Hope. A new hope and excitement for their lives and relationships. And a new hope for Christianity in our postmodern anti-religion secular culture.
11. What is the biggest lie?
Ahhh . . . yes, after reading the title everyone asks that question. I will tell you what I tell them: you’ll have to read the book. Some may say this is just a ploy to get people to buy the book, but not so. To fully understand the power the lie has had in our society and to fully understand the power the opposing truth can have in our lives, you need to read the lead-up where I make my case for the impact the lie has had, and my case for the the impact the truth can have.