EVANGELISATION is at the heart of an upcoming podcast series written and presented by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge looking at the life of St Paul and the early Church, which will air its first episode next Wednesday, June 15.
The podcast, called The Birth of the Church: why the loser won, was adapted from a series of university lectures Archbishop Coleridge had taught over many years.
Archbishop Coleridge, who has a doctorate in Sacred Scripture and has produced several podcasts in the past, said people might wonder why this podcast would be focused on St Paul and “why now”.
“Well, Pope Francis has said that this is not so much an era of change – it’s certainly that – but it’s really a change of era,” he said in an introductory video to the series.
“And that’s why together we’re going to explore the fascinating figure of St Paul and his story.
“Because if ever there was a man right at the heart of a change of era – it was St Paul.”
St Paul the Apostle, who lived and died in the first-century Roman Empire, was regarded by academics as one of the most influential figures in history for his role in spreading the Gospel and founding churches across Asia Minor and Europe.
About half of the Acts of the Apostles book deals with Paul’s life and works – following his time as a persecutor of Christians, his eponymous Pauline Conversion, and his years as a preacher of Christ.
The upcoming podcast looked at this and other historical claims like – St Paul was the founder of Christianity.
“There are those who say in fact he was the founder of Christianity, and I understand why they say that – I don’t agree with it – and we’ll look at that claim,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“He may not have been the founder of Christianity – Jesus surely was, that he called it into being – but Paul in many ways gave the Church its institutional profile and we’ll explore that together.”
Archbishop Coleridge said the story of St Paul was not just about him, “it really is the fascinating story of the birth of the Church”.
“Now this is a time in this change of era when the Church in a sense needs to be reborn, losing nothing of our great past, but entering into new territory in new ways in a kind of rebirth,” he said.
“And it’s precisely at that point and for that reason that St Paul, the figure and his story, can be a real resource for us as we seek to blaze a trail into new territory and to live as the Church in a new way.”
At the start of episode one, Archbishop Coleridge said St Paul was in everyone’s DNA.
“We mightn’t know it, but you can’t be a Christian without having St Paul in your DNA,” he said.
“So, in that sense, the question I’m asking is who do you think you are.”
The podcast will be available to stream from the Brisbane archdiocese website from next Wednesday or it can be found on most podcast platforms.