Sun TV host releases new book debunking myths against Christians
By Evan Boudreau
The Catholic Register
Heresy is, as the 13 previous books written by author, columnist and TV host Michael Coren have been, nothing but the truth, about 75,000 words of it.
“It’s responding, as the last book did, to the most common and toxic attacks on Christianity, the ones you hear all the time,” said Coren before the April 24 launch of Heresy: The Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity. “I’m not talking about debating certain issues. Agree or disagree . . . people tell lies about Christianity.”
Written as a sequel to his last book, the bestselling Why Catholics Are Right (which has sold more than 50,000 copies), Coren widens the subject, discussing Christianity as a whole rather than just the Catholic Church. He did this as an attempt to produce a book in the same vein as its predecessor, yet distinctly different from the 2011 publication.
“It’s gone outside the Catholic Church. It’s tried to appeal to all Christians,” said Coren, who began a two-week North American promotional tour in the final days of April. “There is obviously a target audience, which is Christians, but not exclusively. Anyone who’s interested in ideas should enjoy the book.”
Heresy references historically significant figures ranging from Jesus to Hitler, each of whom have their own chapter, and provides factual clarifications of philosophical questions in an effort to prove the lies against Christianity.
About halfway through the book Coren addresses the easiest way to kill an argument — call your opponent a Nazi. In this chapter Coren battles back against the argument that if Hitler was a Christian and Hitler did horrible things then Christians must do horrible things.
Coren does acknowledge the first two components of this argument as factually true, although he calls Hitler a lip-service Christian.
But Coren references Nazi speeches to show Hitler’s actions were not done in the name of Christ. In fact, Coren’s selected excerpts frequently frame Hitler as anti-Christian.
“It was not an infection that had Christian origins,” writes Coren, who also noted that many of those fighting against Hitler and killed by the Nazis were themselves Christians, genuinely faithful ones.
But all of this doesn’t come before Coren examines the popular, and unjustified, attack on the fundamental component of Christianity: the existence of Jesus.
This is done in chapter one by quoting the works of intellectuals who lived within decades of Jesus. While some of those he quoted, such as Lucian and Celsus, wrote against Christ’s divinity, they did support His physical existence.
“That doesn’t mean you have to believe He was the Messiah, that’s a very different thing,” said Coren, explaining the difference between fact and faith. “Just realizing that there is more evidence for His existence than Julius Caesar is pretty significant.”
Although the physical act of putting the ideas on paper took less than a year, Coren has been developing the concepts for most of his career.
“I’ve been dealing with these issues on radio, TV and in print for 20-odd years,” said Coren, 53.
Over the years the Nottingham University graduate has been the voice of various programs on Toronto radio station CFRB, a columnist for multiple newspapers, The Catholic Register among them, and host of several television shows, including his current show The Arena With Michael Coren on Sun TV.
Like much of Coren’s work, this book will likely stir up controversy because of its fact-based discussions on abortions, slavery and science versus religion.
“People have always got up in arms about the truth,” he said. “The truth always provokes because it is the truth, it’s always been the case.”
But upsetting people is not exactly his intention, at least not with Heresy.
“I don’t try to provoke people, I tell the truth. I certainly hope it will provoke people. There’s no point in a book being bland,” said Coren. “I’ve always said if you really hate Christianity still buy the book and burn it. I still get a royalty at the end.”