Some say that religion is antiquated, dangerous and poisons everything. So is God really worth following? We ask Greg Sheridan some bigger questions about the impact of God in the world and why he loves stories in the Old Testament. A unmissable conversation combining wit with deep reflection.
Our guest: Greg Sheridan is the The Australian newspaper's foreign editor and is one of Australia's most respected and influential analysts of foreign affairs. He’s interviewed Presidents and Prime Ministers across the world and is active across television and radio and the author of seven books, including his latest, God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times.
This conversation was recorded live in the CBD of Melbourne in September 2018.
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Bigger questions asked in the conversation
So Greg - you’re foreign editor of The Australian - have you been anywhere dangerous?
How much you know about things that are good for you.
Why we think God bad for you
So Greg - it’s popular today, to believe that going to church, or belief in God is not actually good for you. It wouldn’t make a clickbait list of things that are surprisingly good for you. In fact an Ipsos poll found 39% of Americans think that religion does more harm than good. So why do you think that is? Why don’t people think God is good for you?
God is good for you
So Greg - you’ve written a new book, “God is good for you: a defence of Christianity in troubled dimes’, what inspired it?
What are you hoping to achieve with the book?
Throughout your book you share a wide assortment of stories of people right across the country, so how has God been good for these people?
The Bible’s reflection - God is good for you
We’re asking Greg Sheridan today’s big question - ‘why is God good for you?’ The Bible itself gives some reasons. In the Old Testament book of Micah, the prophet Micah writes at Chapter 6 verse 8,
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Now Greg, you quote this a couple of times in your book (p.154). This passage is from the Old Testament, and some have described the God of the Old Testament as a petty, vindictive, rage-aholic, obsessed with loyalty over morality - so how could walking with the God of the Old Testament possibly be good for you?
This passage from Micah describes what the Lord requires ‘act justly’, ‘love mercy or tenderly’ and walk humbly with your God’. What do you think is the impact of this injunction?
Do you think that soundbites like ‘petty vindictive rage-aholic’ give a fair sense to the temper of the Old Testament?
The Big Question
So Greg, why is God good for you?