Journalist and best-selling author: ‘We urgently need Jesus’

By Catherine Sheehan

Foreign Editor of The Australian, Greg Sheridan, said his latest book on Christianity was “a search for Jesus and for the friends of Jesus”.

Mr Sheridan, a journalist of 43 years and best-selling author, was recently in Hobart to speak at the Archdiocese’s ‘Miraculous Events: Science Tests Faith’ exhibition.

He spoke to the Catholic Standard about his latest book, Christians: The Urgent Case for Jesus in Our World.

Through his research for the book Mr Sheridan, a Catholic, said he ended up “answering the proposition that the Bible is all false”.

“It turns out that historicity and scholarship, and so on, is validating every element of the New Testament that we can possibly test.”

“The modern view is that the New Testament is all mythology or lies, or unreliable, or the miracles couldn’t have happened.”

“It’s important for a modern audience to hear that in fact scholarship is telling us it’s all true.”

Mr Sheridan applied a “journalistic method” to reading the New Testament, looking at the whole story while also examining the individual characters and incidents.

“It’s a terrific story. The characters are incredibly vivid… You read it and then it has the incredible ring of truth.”

“There are certain virtues of reading it as a journalist… if you read it all the way through, a book at a time, for narrative, the dramatic impact of it falls on you.”

Christianity rests upon its “supernatural claims”, he said, that have “very powerful, ethical consequences”.

“I think there is nothing to Christianity without its supernatural claims.”

Photo by Adam Reibel

Mr Sheridan’s previous book, God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times, which sold 30,000 copies, argued the case that belief in God was beneficial for individuals and society as a whole.

Christians looks at the historical evidence for Jesus Christ, and those who were his friends and followers, such his mother Mary and St Paul. It also examines the influence Christianity still has in popular culture today.

A whole chapter is dedicated to the topic of angels.

“So much of the Bible is about miracles and angels, that if you leave them out, there’s almost nothing left,” Mr Sheridan said.

“They’re there in the first book, the book of Genesis… they’re at the start of the Gospels, Gabriel visits Mary, and they’re there at the end of the New Testament, in the Book of Revelation where Michael is battling Satan.”

Mr Sheridan, who has authored eight books, said another motivation behind his latest offering was to encourage Christians to “own their faith publicly”, for the sake of encouraging fellow Christians, and also to evangelise the culture.

“Christians need the support and solidarity of other Christians just owning their faith,” he said.

“The only way non-believers get to hear about Christianity is through the example and lives and proclamation of Christians.”

Our secular Western culture is “going mad”, Mr Sheridan said, and urgently needs to hear the message of Christ.

“It’s going mad because it’s completely lost transcendent belief. It has no ultimate judge of right and wrong.”

“[It’s] Only in the West, by which I mean Western Europe, North America and Australia, New Zealand, that you see this push towards atheism. I think a culture without God is going to be a very savage culture indeed.

“But let me be clear. The reason to believe in Christianity is because its true, but also incidentally, it will save the culture.”

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