Eva: Well, let’s talk about your latest book, “Jesus Wept.”

 

Bruce: Mmmm ...

 

Eva: Bruce, I remember where I was when each one of my books was conceived or someone brought the idea to me. What birthed the concept for “Jesus Wept?”

 

Bruce: 9/11. It wasn’t immediately thereafter ... it was toward the end of 2001. But what really spawned the whole thing was the post 9/11 judgmental rhetoric. I was horrified at people being told God is punishing us and this is what we get for allowing homosexuality. I was just horrified by what I call self-righteous ... I don’t even know what you call it. If there’s one thing ... you know, Jesus was really cool two thousand years ago. Are you recording this or just writing notes?

 

Eva: I’m recording this.

 

Bruce: Okay, you can write that down: Jesus was really cool two thousand years ago. The one thing that He railed about was self-righteous hypocrisy. There’s nothing more self-righteous than a sinner saved by grace saying, “God is judging YOU. YOU’RE the problem and I’m not.” Here’s the world at its most vulnerable ... they need Jesus. Here’s a gaping door to reach them because their hearts have been rendered raw and instead they get slapped with their mistakes. Completely the opposite of the heart of God. ...

 

Eva: Absolutely!

 

Bruce: And I thought: people just need to know the heart of God in these moments of human pain and struggle.

 

Eva: As I said earlier, for millions of people your portrayal of Jesus brought Him into a new light. I know for myself and I’ve heard others say that because of that we begin to see Him as one who embraced a full body of experiences and emotions. Have you ever wondered what His favorite food might have been?

 

Bruce: Undoubtedly ice cream and chocolate cake. No two ways about it.

 

Eva: (Laughing) I have a theory that along the way He stopped and said, “What I wouldn’t give for a Mallomar ... sadly they haven’t been invented yet. ...”

 

Bruce: Yeah ... yeah ... chocolate chip cookies dipped in melted ice cream. That would have been His favorite.

 

Eva: Absolutely His favorite. (Sobering) What is it about the character of Jesus that allows Him to weep with us?

 

Bruce:  You know, that’s really who He is. A minute ago you said something like, “God has a heart for people.” And, my thought is that God is a heart for His people. If you look through history, it’s God’s heart bleeding for His people. That’s the entire Bible in a nutshell. God doing everything He can to woo His people and His heart bleeding for their pain. The irony about it is that if there is anything unknown about Him, it’s that right there.

 

Eva: I think so.

 

Bruce: If there’s anything we’ve done through religion, it’s that we’ve surgically removed the heart from God.