Today's Guest is Kary Oberbrunner. Kary did an interview with me back in July 2009 and has returned for a follow up discussion regarding his new book, Your Secret Name. This will be a 2 part interview over 2 days.
Kary Oberbrunner founded Redeem the Day, a movement connecting people to a process that ignites their souls on fire. Author of Your Secret Name, The Fine Line, Called and The Journey toward Relevance, Kary earned a Doctorate in Transformational Leadership and a Master of Divinity. Besides life coaching, he serves as a pastor at Grace Church in Ohio.
He and his soul-mate, Kelly, have 3 kids. In his free-time Kary enjoys reading, the outdoors, and playing disc golf.
So let's get to the interview:
1. Kary, how this book came about--what was the “reason” behind it?
I guess growing up with a girl's name (Kary) left me perpetually wanting more in the whole name area. You might say I was "name deprived." I've always been utterly intrigued with the verse in Revelation 2:17 about the new name written on the white stone. Like most people though, I never knew what this verse meant. To me it sounded like fiction. And let's be honest most people don't know anything about this verse. Even as a graduate of two seminaries with a Master's and Doctorate degree, I've never heard one single talk on this verse. It's kind of like God hard-wired us to desire a Secret Name and put a verse in His word about it. Strangely, for the most part, church history has left us in the dark about it. So by accident I set out on a task to explore the epic truth surrounding this concept of Secret Names.
2. Names were very important in Bible times, are they still important today? In what way?
We've lost a sense of who we are. And so we're on a quest to discover our true identity. There was once a world without names, but one single choice in Eden changed all that. Ever since the Tower of Babel, we've been trying to make a name for ourselves outside of a relationship with God (Genesis 11:4). Our experience with names is incredibly impoverished comparatively speaking, but our need to discover our true name is just as poignant as in Bible times.
3. The book is very real, you don't pull any punches, was it a tough book to write--especially considering the personal nature of the book?
I remember early in the writing process sitting on the floor in my basement staring at my computer, with my medical/mental health/counseling files spread out in piles all over. This book took a real chunk of me with it. In some respects the book is my heart and my life. I didn't hold anything back, including my detailed struggle overcoming an addiction to self-injury, even while functioning as a pastor. I couldn't have written this way seven years ago when I wrote my first book because this process of removing my mask has been a slow, but rewarding endeavor. Emerging into freedom always is.
4. How does knowing your secret name change your life?
Every follower of Jesus has 3 types of names:
Birth Name–the name assigned to you when you arrived in this world.
Given Names–the names you inherit while walking in this world (positive and negative).
Secret Name–the name granted to you by the One who made you.
God’s whisper alone satisfies your soul ache because God alone knows you better than you know yourself. Until we learn our Secret Name we’re either a mass of frozen potential yet to come alive, or we come alive prematurely, acting out our Given Names because they’re the only names we know. When you discover Your Secret Name, you also discover your divine destiny.
5. You've faced some criticisms about this book, what's so controversial about it?
Humans fear what they don't know and because most of us haven't grown up knowing the story of Secret Names we're afraid. This is a tactic of the Enemy. His mission is to steal, kill, and destroy. He wants to keep us in the dark regarding our divine destiny.
Many of us fear the possibility of being powerful, the possibility of actually kicking back the darkness. And so we prefer living small, because it's safer.
Most people also don't know that Jesus has a Secret Name (Revelation 3:12 and 19:12) or that His followers will have His name on their foreheads for all eternity (Revelation 22:3-4).
The bulk of us exchange a life of bold adventure for a predictable, bland, and dutiful religious one.
The truth is that the story of Secret Names is found throughout the Bible beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation. The truth is that this epic tale resides in us all.
We know this. We feel this. And we taste this. As a result, we kill the one thing that could set us free. We'd rather be slaves to our Given Names than liberated, walking in our New Names.---------
This will conclude part 1 of my 2 part interview with Kary Oberbrunner. Come back tomorrow to read Part 2. In the meantime, check out the Your Secret Name website and order a copy of the book today.
To see past 5 Question guests, check out the rotating interview links on the sidebar.