Australia Christianity Media Politics

Greg Sheridan -Is God Good For You? The Dining Table 1-

Greg Sheridan is a fascinating character – a senior journalist in Australia, he is the deputy eidtor of the best newspaper in the country The Australian.  Steve and I had this fascinating conversation with him….normally our Kitchen Table lasts about eight minutes – but this is a longer meal – so once a month we are recording The Dining Room – a 30 minute interview with a ‘person of note.  Greg is also the author of God is Good for you – a book I reviewed here. God is Good for You – A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times – Greg Sheridan

Our discussion ranged over a variety of subjects but mainly centred on Christianity and politics.  His comments on free speech are fascinating….

 

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5 comments

  1. What a refreshing interview , with real meaty questions and a guest who was given time to talk and share his life knowledge without interruption . Thank you , all three !

  2. Greg has some great things to say and it was a joy to listen to him speak and engage with. I particularly like where he talked of there being a place both for liberal and conservative within Christianity that differ and without Christ would be in opposition, using the example of alleviating poverty. It has as you know David, pained me to the point of weeping where there has been polemical adversity within Christianity to the point of the good news of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ being buried and not accessible to people outside of the church. And Greg is absolutely right “People have a right to hear Christian beliefs”.

    He claims “state established churches are not helpful to Christianity… it’s difficult to argue that the culture has become anti-Christian”. I see his point, and perhaps the most obvious example of this capitulation with the zeitgeist is Hitlers “positive Christianity” for the state church in Germany. Where the swastika appeared alongside the cross and Min Kampf alongside the bible with both the former usurping both the latter. Of course Bonheoffers “confessional Christianity” and others like that were not complicit with this, took on such difficulty, and there was a price to pay for that.

    I’m not quite so convinced however about the elevation Greg gives to the separation of church and state in America in comparison. Do we think that the public praying for Trump, say, or the photo opportunity of him holding a bible in front of a church having had a path cleared for him through protesters to get there is either a healthy representation of Christ or a separation of church and state in practice?

    I think there are costs an benefits to both to be weighed up and it’s not as simple as one being appropriate and the other inappropriate or even one being better than the other in principle. But in keeping with his claim, Christianity allows for differing views without polemical adversity.

    “I am desperate for intelligent comment” – yup, happy to be part of a me too movement with you on that.

    “We can be happy warriors” love that quote. Isn’t that so helpful? Ephesians 6 comes to mind with putting on the armour of God and it’s true is it not that the joy of the Lord is your strength? With social justice warriors on the lefts ( and they are warriors!) and the rise of the far right (which our culture more readily opposes) there is more of a war – time than a peacetime approach needed. Less Neville Chamberlain and more Winston Churchill.

    “Writing books is a bit like a heroin addiction”. Well, being dyslexic, I don’t think I would have that problem – more likely to avoid such a thing as writing a book, but you never know, God might drag me kicking and screaming into it some day. Music is more likely to my addiction if I have one ;).

    Anyway all the best with your “addiction” if you have anything in the pipeline feeding your “magnificent obsession” David!

  3. The conservative writer , Kingsley Amis , in his book , ‘Memoirs’, remembers , without rancour , a childhood home sans religion.

    However , the Amis home life was heavily imbued with the sticky residue of Christian values , so much so that in the 1980’s he made light of the decline in actual belief in the Supernatural.

    Amis was partly wrong in this because the Sexual Revolution, such an important anti – Christian movement , and had taken hold in the 1960’s .

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