This edition of Hank Unplugged features exceptional excerpts from conversations with two Christian thinkers that offer refreshing perspectives on the role that illness and anxiety play in our struggle toward holiness.

The first conversation you will hear is with Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet, the author of The Theology of Illness. The insights of Dr. Larchet will undoubtedly challenge the way you view suffering, illness, and what it truly means to be spiritually healthy.

The second conversation features Dr. Nicole Roccas and focuses on a spiritual sickness rooted in apathy known as despondency, a condition as old as time that is thriving in today’s culture of leisure, anxiety, and digital distraction. Dr. Nicole Roccas examines wisdom from Christian thinkers throughout history to offer a way out of despondency and back to the present moment.

In an age of increasing levels of depression, suicide, and despondency, the insights of these two inspirational Christians will help draw you out of the depths of spiritual illness and deeper into spiritual communion with our Creator.

Topics discussed include: do people today have fewer resources than their ancestors did to deal with the problem of illness? (4:40); spiritual illness is more serious than physical illness, yet our modern age has made the medical doctor the new high priest of civilization (6:05); how detached we have become from the wisdom of the early church fathers (8:00); the difference in the human body before and after the Fall and the implications for our resurrected state in the world to come (11:30); was man created perfect? (15:20); deification (theosis) and what it means to become God’s by grace (16:20); is there a link between illness and sin? (23:15); why perfect health does not exist in this world (27:00); good health is evil if it contributes to making a person indifferent to his salvation and keeps him away from God by giving him the false impression that he is self-sufficient (32:15); the role suffering plays in raising our awareness and why illness can be better than health if it aids our spiritual progress (37:30); the essential role of prayer in growing closer to God (41:10); introduction to conversation with Dr. Nicole Roccas on Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life (51:50); how Dr. Nicole Roccas writes about death, sadness, and despondency with a spirit of hope (55:50); while our anxieties draw our focus to the future and our regrets focus on the past, the present is where we are truly able to commune with Christ, and that is precisely why it is important to be present (59:15); time isn’t an illusion or an abstraction but central to how we experience life. Likewise, our faith is not an abstraction but experienced in the present moment in time (1:02:05); Dr. Nicole Roccas wrote Time and Despondency — what is meant by despondency? (1:06:15); what are some of the symptoms of despondency, and how does technology contribute to distraction and despondency? (1:09:50); is despondency a crime needing to be punished or a sickness needing to be healed? (1:13:50); can despondency be both a sickness and a crime? (1:17:10); anger as a source of despondency (1:18:15); using busyness to mask purposelessness and despair (1:20:15); and time as the giver of second chances (1:22:45).

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