John focuses on the big ideas that have shaped our world.
His journey is an eclectic one. Starting out as a singer-songwriter, he now works as a writer, speaker, historian of religion (focusing on the history of early Christianity against its Jewish and Graeco-Roman background), media presenter, Anglican minister, and director of a multi-media think tank.
With an honours degree in theology from Moore Theological College Sydney, and a PhD in history from Macquarie University, John was an Honorary Associate and Fellow of the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University from 2004 until 2017 and teaches a course on the Historical Jesus at the University of Sydney (Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies). He is committed to delivering creative, engaging content grounded in careful thought.
John’s first book appeared in 1993, and he has since produced over a dozen titles, including the award-winning Simply Christianity: Beyond Religion, and A Spectator’s Guide to World Religions, as well as various academic books and articles.
His book The Christ Files: How Historians Know what they Know about Jesus was made into a four-part documentary which aired nationally on Channel 7 in 2008. Now a best-selling DVD, it also won the 2008 Pilgrim Media award (see www.thechristfiles.com.au). His more recent Life of Jesus also aired on Channel 7 in 2009 (see www.lifeofjesus.tv)
John is a founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), an independent research and media company promoting informed discussion about social, ethical and religious issues in modern life, described at its founding in 2007 by the Prime Minister as “a welcome development in the spiritual and intellectual life of Australia.”
A busy public speaker, John delivers over a hundred talks a year in a range of contexts, including conferences, churches, schools, not-for-profits, corporations, and universities.
In addition to his passion for promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith, John is also fascinated by the paradoxical connection between high-level achievement and the historical virtues of compassion, charity, and humility, themes explored in his keynote lectures and seminars on Humilitas: a Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership, and in the book of the same name.
John lost his father in an air disaster when he was nine years old, an event he freely admits shaped his passion for life’s ultimate questions, and which still motivates him to be the best father, husband, and citizen he can be. He values his family role above all others and lives in Sydney with his wife and their three children.