2022-08-16T14:25:00+01:00By Erik Strandness
Erik Strandness explores the apologetic lessons from Mikhaila Petereson’s Big Conversation
2022-08-16T08:30:00+01:00By Erik Strandness
Erik Strandness on the promise and perils of AI following The Big Conversation between Lord Martin Rees and Dr JohnWyatt
Alister McGrath joins Justin Brierley and a panel of Christian thinkers, scientists and church leaders to take audience questions on vocation, culture and Christian witness in this continuation of last week’s session, originally recorded live at Unbelievable? the Conference 2022.
Heather Tomlinson says we were given some clues in a recent Big Conversation
Author and academic James Mumford recently wrote an article for The New Atlantis magazine about his experience undergoing therapy at a clinic for bipolar disorder and his concerns about its value neutral approach. He engages with psychologist Roger Bretherton, creator of The Character Course, on what role faith can play for those struggling with depression.
The Real Atheology podcast review The Big Conversation between Graham Oppy and Guillaume Bignon.
Should I always tithe 10% to my church? What do you think of signing church covenants? I don’t agree with my church leadership on complementarianism, but I love the members - should I stay? Tom answers listener questions on church practise and rules.
Phrases such as Critical Race Theory, Black Lives Matter, ‘antiracism’ and ‘white privilege’ have become polarising issues in Christian circles. Derwin L Gray shares what he thinks Christians need to understand about racism and the controversy surrounding these terms.
Each of us carries around in our cells about 20,000 different genes – a unique set of biological code which shapes how our bodies develop. As scientists better understand genes and how they work, genetics is becoming a more and more important field of modern medicine, particularly in diagnosing conditions. But this comes with a brand new set of ethical challenges to think through. In this episode, we interview Melody Redman, a clinical geneticist working in the NHS, about her work, and her perspective on it as a Christian doctor.
Recorded live at Unbelievable? the Conference 2022, Justin Brierley leads a panel including Alister McGrath, Sharon Dirckx, John Wyatt, Skye Jethani, and Joseph D’Souza on bringing Christian faith into the spheres of art, science, education and global justice.
A series of leadership scandals have rocked the evangelical church in recent years. Celebrity pastors with large platforms have fallen, leaving a trail of abuse survivors in their wake.
Theologian Randal Rauser defends ‘progressive’ Christians such as Rob Bell, Richard Rohr and Brian Mclaren, against ‘heresy hunters’ in his new book ‘Progressive Christians Love Jesus Too’ a response to Alisa Childers’ book ‘Another Gospel?’.
If the Universe is so big why did God choose to come to a small hill called Mount Zion? If there is sentient life beyond earth would it need redeeming too? Are the Nephilim evidence of aliens and UFOs? Tom answers questions on aliens and the cosmos!
2022-08-04T11:28:00+01:00By Erik Strandness
Is language violence? Are anecdotes replacing facts? Erik Strandess reviews a recent debate on the limits of ‘woke theology’.
Resuming our conversation about suffering, we think through some faithful Christian responses to evil and loss. How can the church reintegrate the deeply Biblical tradition of lament into its corporate and individual life, picking up on the psalms and ultimately Jesus on the cross? And what might a resilient and hope-filled fellowship of believers look like in the light of this?
Former NFL footballer-turned-pastor Derwin L Gray shares lessons he has learned from leading Transformation Church, the multi-ethnic megachuch he founded, as he continues to open up his book ‘How To Heal Our Racial Divide’
Deep-fakes, Turing Tests and chatbots - AI systems are becoming ever more human-like. Robotics expert Prof Nigel Crook says we need to make sure they are moral too.
Prof Alister McGrath draws on CS Lewis and scripture to encourage Christians to live out ther vocation and make a difference in a confused and divided culture. This keynote address was given at Unbelievable? the Conference 2022.
Christian Philosopher Kenneth Pearce says that our personal religious experiences can provide testimony that is persuasive to some, but not for everybody
Almost half of Millenials and Gen Z in the USA identify as ‘nones’ (having no religious affiliation). Mikhaila Peterson who runs a popular Youtube channel and Podcast talks about her own recent journey to faith along with the journey of her father, renowned psychologist Jordan Peterson.
2022-07-29T10:55:00+01:00By Peter S Williams
Peter S Williams draws on philosophical arguments and a Big Conversation on AI and Robotics to show why recent claims of a ‘sentient’ AI are still in the realm of science fiction.
2022-07-29T06:25:00+01:00By Erik Strandness
Erik Strandness says that the details of Guillaume Bignon’s conversion story should give skeptic’s pause to think
Were Adam and Eve’s pre-fall bodies like the resurrected Jesus? Was marriage a post-fall accomodation? Why does Genesis say God made childbirth more difficult after the fall? NT Wright answers more questions on the Garden of Eden and the Creation story.
The problem of suffering has been one of the most intractable and painful theological debates for centuries. But is it perhaps not a problem to be solved, but a deeper mystery to be journeyed through? Is suffering solely a consequence of human sin since the Fall, or were we made to be fragile, dependent and broken? And how does knowing Jesus’s death and resurrection are not simply a response to pain but God’s Plan A from the start change things?
Derwin L Gray is a former NFL football player who, along with his wife Vicki, founded Transformation Church - a ‘multicultural, multi-generational, mission-shaped’ church in South Carolina.
‘If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things’. Alister and Justin discuss the way that CS Lewis’ 1948 essay is remarkably relevant to modern crises such as Covid and the war in Ukraine.
2022-07-25T14:00:00+01:00By Max Baker-Hytch
Religious experience can count as more than just confirmation bias, says Christian philosopher Max Baker-Hytch.
We’ve teamed up with the Panpsycast podcast to bring you this week’s episode of Unbelievable? ‘The Mystery of Consciousness’ was a live audience event recorded at the Tung Auditorium in Liverpool. The panellists are Rowan Williams, Anil Seth, Laura Gow and Philip Goff, moderated by Panpsycast host Jack Symes.
If evolution is true then physical death existed before the Fall - how do we reconcile that with scripture? How do we reconcile evolution with the concept of a first man and woman and original sin? Did the Fall also affect the rest of the universe?
Archaeologist Scott Stripling recently made a significant discovery in Israel - a ‘curse’ tablet that could prove the historical authenticity of parts of the Old Testament. He tells Justin Brierley about why this find is so significant.
‘The Weight of Glory’ is a sermon that CS Lewis preached at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford in 1941. It is widely regarded as one of his most significant short works, focussing on the way our human longings in this world point to another world that we were made for.
The Big Conversation - Episode 5 | Season 4
Justin and NT Wright speak to Jey Mbiro a Kenyan Christian who grew up as a street kid in the slums of Nairobi and was imprisoned aged just 9. They talk about poverty, the church in East Africa and Jey’s own story of transformation thanks to Compassion.
Legendary apologist Lee Strobel joins Justin to talk about the soul, afterlife and near death experiences as related in his book and video documentary The Case For Heaven.
2022-07-13T16:55:00+01:00By Max Baker-Hytch
Christian neuroscientist and lecturer Sharon Dirckx outlines her areas of agreement and disagreement with renowned psychiatrist Dr Iain McGilchrist during their recent Big Conversation dialogue.
Cambridge neurologist Prof Alasdair Coles says psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist’s work provides an important perspective on brain science and God, but still leaves questions on consciousness, identity and the nature of truth unanswered.
In the week the first images from the new James Webb Space Telescope were beamed back to Earth, we are joined by theologian Andrew Davison to consider the spiritual value of cosmology and astrophysics.
Originally published in 1942 this essay argues that humans often turn ‘second order’ things such as music, art, romantic love, etc into ‘first order’ things in place of God. In doings so they lose the joy of those things in the process. “You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first.”
Following the landmark reversal of Roe vs Wade by the US Supreme Court, pro-life advocate Lois McLatchie and pro-choice guest KS debate the legal and ethical implications.
Situation, Theology, and Hermeneutics in Galatians. Another bonus edition of the podcast featuring Tom teaching on his new video course on Galatians.
Lisa Fields, fonder of Jude 3 Project continues her conversation with Megan Cornwell on polarisation in the USA and the challenges facing her calling as a black female apologist.
Hello, and welcome to Matters of Life and Death. Today we’re going back to our conversation about simulation for part two of this re-broadcast. Last week’s episode discussed the growth of deep fakes and other digital technologies which allow us to simulate human faces and speech with increasing accuracy.
Originally given as a talk in 1945, this was the first piece of Lewis’ writing that Alister Mcgrath ever read as a student and it had a profound influence on him. It includes Lewis’ memorable phrase: ‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.’
The Big Conversation - Episode 4 | Season 4
Medieval Questions and the subject of Galatians. A bonus edition of the podcast featuring Tom teaching on his new video course on Galatians.
What are the questions being asked today by African-American skeptics and believers about Christianity? Lisa Fields shares her faith journey and why she began the Jude 3 Project.
For the next two weeks we’re dipping back into the Matters of Life and Death archive to bring you an episode we first broadcast last year. It’s all about simulation.
This essay originally took the form of a talk at the Socratic club in Oxford in 1952. Lewis explains the difference between ‘Faith A’ as ‘intellectual assent’ and ‘Faith B’ as ‘trust or confidence in God’, as well as the experience of awe.
Recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, NY have brought the issue of gun violence and mass shooting in the USA back into the spotlight.
2022-06-24T10:24:00+01:00By Paul Vanderklay
Paul Vanderklay has been charting the influence of Jordan Peterson in bringing people to faith. But Paul Kingsnorth’s journey from paganism to Christianity shows the influence of CS Lewis, he says.
NT Wright and popular historian Tom Holland continue their discussion about the way the writings and theology of St Paul changed the modern world.
2022-06-23T13:48:00+01:00By Peter Byrom
Peter Byrom thinks Richard Dawkins made some of his most revealing remarks during his recent discussion with Francis Collins on The Big Conversation, owing mostly to the good-natured relationship between the two guests, which allowed Dawkins to lower some of his usual defences.
In the final part of their conversation Justin and Prof John Lennox talk about the fine-tuning of the universe for life and what the frontiers of evolution and biology tell us about the case for design in nature.
Could it be that some knowledge – including whether your unborn child has a serious genetic condition – is actually not helpful, and even harmful to us?
Originally preached a sermon in 1945, this essay by Lewis uses the imagery of a diver to explain the significance of the incarnation as God stepping into creation to ultimately redeem it.
What does the science of brain chemistry and consciousness tell us about the nature of our mind and our cosmos?
Who was Paul? What difference did he make to the world? What do we know about his conversion? Justin sat down with NT Wright and popular historian Tom Holland to talk about NT Wright’s then-recently published book Paul: A Biography in a conversation that took place in 2018.
Justin continue his conversation with Christian thinker Prof John Lennox as they talk about the new atheist attempts to dismiss God as an explanation for the Universe.
Pregnant women today are offered a battery of tests and screening for their unborn child, looking for an ever-increasing range of conditions and risks. But is the onward march of technology in this sphere always an unmitigated good thing?
CS Lewis discusses the importance of ‘myth’ in this critique of those who want to ‘demythologise’ Christianity. He explains why Christ is the ‘true myth’ that all other stories of dying and rising gods are pointing towards.
Justin presents talks and clips from panel discussions at Unbelievable? the Conference 2022, live from The British Library in London. Glen Scrivener on ‘Why Christ Alone Can Win The Culture Wars’, Alister McGrath on ‘How to transform our culture and not be consumed by it’, and snippets from panel discussions on transgender and vocation.
Ahead of Trinity Sunday, Tom answers questions about the Trinity: How do I explain the Trinity without accidental heresy? Is there a hierarchy in the Trinity? Can you explain Jesus’ prayer for intimacy with the Father and the Spirit in John 17?
Demographic trends reveal clearly the next century will be one increasingly dominated by older people. If God is giving us a lot more folk in their later years, what are they for in church life?
The world’s population is rapidly becoming older and older, with many developed nations seeing unprecedented proportions of their citizens in retirement age. Why is this taking place, and does this presage an era of economic stagnation or a utopia of stability?
Renowned Christian thinker Prof John Lennox recounts his own journey with science and faith and explodes a few myths about their supposed conflict in the first of a three part conversation with Justin Brierley.
The unexpected conversion of the poet and author has lessons for the church on answering the spiritual longings of 21st Century people, says Erik Strandess.
Originally published in 1943 in a Christian magazine, ‘Dogma and the Universe’ sees Lewis look at the fact that modern science tells us the Universe had a beginning and that life will also come to an end one day.
The Big Conversation - Episode 2 | Season 4
Tom answers listener questions on the New Testament. Were the Pharisees all bad? How do we reconcile the different Gospel endings about where the disciples stayed after the resurrection? Is the oral tradition, before the Gospels were written down, reliable?
From October 2011, the full recording of the final debate of the UK Reasonable Faith Tour: William Lane Craig is a Christian philosopher, Peter Atkins is an atheist scientist. In this their second encounter, they debated arguments for and against the existence of God.
Whether we identify as atheist, humanist, Christian or something else, if we believe in rights, moral progress, equality and compassion, then we already believe in things that we can’t see or touch. In this episode Glen Scrivener explains why we are all believers deep down.
2022-06-01T14:53:00+01:00By Erik Strandness
Apologist and former physician Erik Strandness reviews the encounter between the two high-profile scientists and what it tells us about God, design and morality.
2022-06-01T12:56:00+01:00By Peter Harris
Peter Harris argues that Putin’s warped religious beliefs are at odds with the Orthodox faith he claims to hold.
We begin season 6 of the CS Lewis podcast looking at a number of CS Lewis’ shorter articles, essays and sermons. ‘Meditation in a Toolshed’ (1945) sees Lewis exploring the idea of ‘looking at’ a beam of sunlight vs ‘looking along’ the beam. Alister and Justin discuss how Lewis related this idea to the Christian faith.
The charismatic church is the fastest growing part of the global church. But not all Christians believe gifts of tongues, prophecy and healing are for today.
Tom answers questions on the Old Testament - Where should a new Christian start? Did events like Noahs flood and Jonah and the whale really happen? Why did God attempt to kill Moses in Exodus 4?
In the second part of our conversation on robot rights, we explore three Christian responses to calls for robot personhood, spanning the spectrum of hostility to optimism about the development. What Biblical truths and doctrines can we turn to as we wrestle with what is a fundamentally brand new dilemma? And how would our theology and practice as believers change should conscious, intelligent, autonomous robots come to live among us?
Where did modern science come from? Contrary to popular atheist accounts of the conflict between science and faith, Glen Scrivener argues that Christianity gave the framework of an intelligble universe invested with order that scientists set out to explore.
2022-05-24T14:35:00+01:00By Peter S Williams
Philosopher Peter S Williams thinks both Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins overlooked a design inference, within the realm of evolutionary biology, which would go hand-in-hand with the argument from “fine-tuning” (which Dawkins himself described as “a good argument” for God during their debate).
Our most popular episode of Premier Unbelievable?’s The Big Conversation, attracting over 3 million viewers on YouTube, was the debate between Jordan Peterson and Susan Blackmore over the question “do we need God to make sense of life”.
Alister McGrath continues to respond to listener questions about science, faith and doubt (and CS Lewis!) in the second part of a show first recorded as a livestream listener Q&A edition of Unbelievable? in 2020, hosted by Justin and Lucy Brierley and Ruth Jackson.
The Big Conversation - Episode 1 | Season 4
Are Millennials & Gen Z ready to believe in God?
Does taking anti-depressant medication mean I’m failing to trust God? I was told to read the Bible to cure my eating disorder - how do we educate the church? How do I reconcile the Biblical command ‘do not be anxious’ with chronic anxiety? Tom answers listener questions about mental health.
Glen Scrivener of Speak Life talks to Justin Brierley about how Christianity birthed the modern concept of showing compassion to the most vulnerable.
If and when autonomous and intelligent robots come into existence, should they be granted rights, or even personhood?
Alister McGrath talks about his memoir ‘Through a Glass Darkly: Journeys Through Science, Faith & Doubt’ in the first part of a show recorded as a livestream listern Q&A edition of Unbelievable? in 2020, hosted by Justin and Lucy Brierley and Ruth Jackson.
Tom answers pastoral question from listeners about how to develop spiritual disciplines, escaping the cycle of besetting sin, and how to respond to homeless people with substance addiction and mental health problems.
Katharine Birbalsingh has been described as ‘Britain’s strictest headteacher’. Twitter erupted when she tweeted that ‘original sin’ was responsible for the fact children need to be habituated into choosing good over evil.
Welcome to the first episode of Unapologetic, a podcast helping you to understand, defend and share your faith with confidence. Justin begins a 4-part series with Glen Scrivener of Speak Life.
Abortion is a flashpoint issue in both the church and wider culture, with the very language you choose used as a cudgel for either side. So how can Christians talk about it and respond to it in a way which cools tensions rather than inflames them?
The Four Loves (1960) is a reflection on four types of love - affection, friendship, eros and charity. Alister examines them and the concept of ‘Agape’ love that Lewis draws out.
Dominic Done is the author of the book ‘Your Longing Has A Name’ in which he explores the seven virtues listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7 - Goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, Godliness, mutual affection and love.
Tom answers questions on his bestselling book ‘Surprised by Hope’.
2022-05-04T09:15:00+01:00By Matthew Fell
Theology Postgraduate student and Star Wars fan Matthew Fell reviews the debate between Frank Turek and Paulogia, about whether or not our favourite movie heroes point to Christ.
Justin Brierley, director of Premier Unbelievable? introduces their newest podcast - Unapologetic.
Reflections On The Psalms (1958) is CS Lewis’ only book that directly comments on the Bible. Alister explains why Lewis chose to write about the Psalms and what lessons we can draw from it today.
Anti-woke Anglican ordinand Calvin Robinson engages with Transqueer Latinx theologian Dr Robyn Henderson-Espinoza on whether ‘woke’ theology is creating a more inclusive faith or a dangerous diversion from historic Christianity.
Hear the audience Q&A that followed NT Wright and Esau McCaulley’s conversation on race and the church, hosted by Tim Mackie of The Bible Project.
In this bonus episode, hear NT Wright’s conversation with Rev Esau McCaulley, author of ‘Reading While Black’, on race and the Bible and it’s impact on the Church.
NT Wright answers question about the Easter story.
Tom shares his thoughts on the Ukraine conflict and answers listener questions on how to pray for Ukraine and whether such events are evidence of the ‘end times’.
This is part two of our re-broadcast of last year’s John Stott episode, to mark what would have been his centenary.
This month marks 101 years since the late John Stott was born, and his centenary last year prompted a flurry of events to mark the centenary of this highly influential vicar, Bible teacher and evangelical leader.
In Britain as in many countries there is a growing campaign to legalise assisted suicide and to make doctors prescribe on request lethal drugs to terminally ill patients. In the second part of our interview with Sarah Foot, a Christian palliative care doctor, Sarah explains why her colleagues are overwhelmingly opposed to this, the ignorance which lies behind many of the arguments for changing the law, and the implications for palliative care should assisted dying be imposed upon it.
Over the past 60 years a new field of medicine has emerged – palliative care. In this episode we interview Sarah Foot, a Christian palliative care doctor, who explains how she treats the physical, mental, social and even spiritual needs of those who are dying, the Christian foundations of the discipline, and what impact her profession has on her.
Following on from our discussion last week on the rise of climate fatalism, we discuss what an authentically Christian response to our environmental crisis would look like. How can we steer a middle path between complacency and despair?
The latest report from the UN’s climate scientists was both incredibly downbeat about climate change and almost entirely ignored by a media fixated on Ukraine. In this episode we consider the communication and changing narratives around climate change, why an unscientific hyper-fatalism has set in with many activists, and what impact this might be having on younger generations terrified humanity itself is going extinct.
In this episode we pick up our conversation from last week about transhumanism and how technology might redefine what it means to be human. We consider what place technology has in today’s social narrative and whether it makes sense as Christians to automatically resist efforts to use cutting-edge science to reshape ourselves.
Billions of dollars are currently being spent by a suite of private firms, mostly in Silicon Valley, pursuing radical research to enhance human capacities. These companies want to put off, or even defeat, aging, upload our minds to computers and give humans new abilities. Is this simply the next frontier for science and something to be welcomed, or should Christians hesitate to endorse research which appears to target our very created selves?
To mark our arrival on the Premier network, we recap how Matters of Life and Death began and what we hope our intergenerational conversations might achieve.
The Omicron variant has in a few short weeks almost taken over the pandemic. This highly transmissible version of covid is raising afresh complicated ethical questions about vaccine distribution and international solidarity between nations. How can we ascertain what is the common good during global crises affecting different countries in different ways?
This week we are resuming our conversation about infertility which begun in our previous episode. If you haven’t yet listened to that discussion, which focused on IVF, we’d recommend pausing this and going back to it as we will build on some of the ideas we explored last time. Today, we moved on to consider new ethical issues among other reproductive technologies.
Today we are delving into a complex and sensitive topic – infertility and IVF. The statistics suggest about one in seven couples will be unable to conceive without some kind of medical intervention, and the most popular form of reproductive treatment is in vitro fertilisation – IVF.
This week we’re digging into assisted dying. A bill to legalise it in England has been introduced to parliament – what does it propose and how likely is it to actually become law?
Surprised By Joy (1955) is CS Lewis’ ’spiritual autobiography of his conversion experience. Alister draws out the lessons his life can give us today.
In this bonus episode, hear NT Wright’s conversation with Rev Esau McCaulley, author of ‘Reading While Black’, on race and the Bible and it’s impact on the Church.
NT Wright answers questions about the Easter story.
Tom shares his thoughts on the Ukraine conflict and answers listener questions on how to pray for Ukraine and whether such events are evidence of the ‘end times’.
How important is it to get our doctrine right?
How far should Christians seek to impose their moral beliefs on a secular society?
NT Wright responds to a variety of pastoral questions around ethical dilemmas and regrets: Should I boycott the Qatar world cup? What do about the fact my job involves working on the cell line of an aborted baby? Was I responsible for my friend’s suicide after I rejected his romantic advances?
Can we lose our salvation? What if I don’t feel worthy to be a disciple of Jesus? Could I think that I’m saved, but not be?
What happens at baptism? How does John’s baptism of repentance differ from Christian baptism? And what does Tom think of infant vs believer’s baptism?
Tom continues to answer listener questions on the practical side of death
Tom and Justin engage listener’s theological questions about death
What are ‘good works’ and are they evidence of saving faith?
Should faith leaders speak out in favour of vaccines?
What does Tom think of the Calvinist view that God predetermines everything?
Justin interviews some of the contributors to Unbelievable? 2022 including theologian Alister McGrath, African-American apologist Lisa Fields, US pastor Jeff Vines and neuroscientist Sharon Dirckx. Lee Strobel also chats to Justin about his new documentary film The Case for Heaven
Mark Driscoll, the hermeneutic of suspicion, Sigmund Freud’s chaise longue, and Paul-Timothy relationships
This episode was inspired by John’s new book – The Robot Will See You Now
In today’s episode we’re returning to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been almost six months since we last dedicated an episode to covid, and since then a lot has happened. Hundreds of millions of vaccine doses have been delivered around the world, but are they going to the right people at the right time?
Last week marked 100 years since the late John Stott was born and there has been a flurry of events to mark the centenary of this highly influential vicar, Bible teacher and evangelical leader.
Today’s topic is simulation. We live in an era when digital technology is making it increasingly easy and cheap to create fake but compelling images or videos of people, or even entirely artificial human-like personalities.
This episode explores one of the most significant and potentially long-lasting ways the covid pandemic has affected church life – the shift to digital.
In today’s episode we’re taking a sideways step from the covid pandemic and instead are discussing social media and free speech.
Microchips. Bill Gates. The mark of the beast. 5G cell towers. False positive rates. Big pharma. DNA alteration. It’s been hard to avoid the swirling morass of misinformation and conspiracy theories around the pandemic. And this confusion and fear have surged in recent weeks as the first covid vaccines have begun to be rolled out. But why have so many people, including many in the church, fallen for untruths about coronavirus?
The first coronavirus vaccine jabs have already gone into the arms of people here in the UK, as Britain this week became the first country in the world to actually deploy a vaccine which had completed all its clinical trials and been signed off by the regulator. But there remain lots of questions about the vaccine – how has it been made so fast, can we be sure it is safe, who should get it first, and can Christians be given it without compromising on their religious convictions?
The second coronavirus lockdown started here in the UK on 5 November and is due to last the rest of the month. Unlike the first time round in the spring, we aren’t going into this with our eyes closed – we know the lockdown will cause immense economic damage, as well as impacting mental and even physical health. Is this crude, blunt instrument really the best way to tackle the second wave of the covid pandemic?
We received a fascinating question from a listener after our last episode on vaccines, picking up on the competing and perhaps contradictory philosophies behind the anti-vax movement. So we decided to respond to their question and thoughts with a special bonus episode looking over this issue and other developments in coronavirus vaccines since.
In the second part of our conversation on technology during the coronavirus pandemic, we look into our crystal balls and try to imagine what the world of tech will look like in the future, thanks to Covid-19.
There are about 40 different potential covid vaccines already being tested on humans, with almost a hundred more at earlier stages of development in the lab.
We’re back after a slightly longer than expected summer break with a new episode, all about our fears, anxieties and hopes amid the pandemic.
One of the perhaps unexpected results of the coronavirus pandemic is how it has thrown up some fascinating debates about technology.
For many years death has been described as perhaps the final taboo in British society. Rarely it is deemed polite to mention the uncomfortable fact that one day we all will die, let alone try to bring faith or spirituality into that conversation. But in the midst of a pandemic which has already claimed over 50,000 British lives in various ways, is that changing?
Protect the NHS. It has been one of the key government slogans, designed to inspire us to stay with the lockdown so that hospitals do not get overwhelmed by coronavirus patients and services collapse under the pressure. In today’s episode we examine what life in the NHS has been like during the Covid-19 crisis.
First come, first served? Or key workers and politicians before everyone else? How can doctors decide who to treat in a healthcare emergency when there are not enough beds or ventilators to go around?
Our third episode on coronavirus zooms in to focus on how Christians should be thinking and acting during the pandemic.
In this second episode in our series on coronavirus, we explore how Covid-19 is different to plagues in the past.
2022-04-20T22:01:00+01:00By Erik Strandness
Erik Strandness reflects upon Unbelievable?’s recent discussion about John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and God, and shares why he thinks their work is neither “the devil’s music” nor something to be worshipped - instead, both musicians play an important role in pointing us to the divine.
Our first ever episode of Matters of Life and Death kicks off a short series on coronavirus. Today we take a lightning tour through the history of the church, going all the way back to the Roman Empire, to try and see how Christians have responded to times of plague in the past. What might we have to learn by looking back at times when the world was, as today, convulsed by a devastating virus? Is there wisdom to glean from the way believers in previous generations have acted during pandemics? And why might we interpret these moments of crisis differently today?
The Great Divorce (1945) is an unusual story told from the perspective of passengers on a ‘day trip’ from hell to heaven. Alister explains how the story and characters draw out Lewis’ views on the nature of heaven and hell.
New Testament scholars Dale Allison and Justin Bass discuss their different approaches to the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection.
The Screwtape Letters (1942) saw CS Lewis rise to international prominence as an author. Alister and Justin talk about its creative approach to conversion, temptation and the Christian life.
2022-04-08T18:41:00+01:00By Justin Brierley
Frank Turek’s book ‘Hollywood Heroes’ argue that the fictional stories of Harry Potter, Star Wars and the Marvel movies all point to the the true story of Jesus, the ultimate hero. Paul Ens, a comic book and Star Wars fan who runs the counter-apologetics channel Paulogia, responds.
The Problem Of Pain (1940) was CS Lewis’ apologetic on the problem of God & suffering. Alister reviews its content and impact.
Glen Scrivener’s book ‘The Air We Breathe: How We All Came to Believe in Freedom, Kindness, Progress & Equality’ makes the case that our belief in modern human rights & values are a direct product of the Christian story that shaped the West.
Published in 1933, Pilgrim’s Regress was Lewis’ first book written after his conversion. Modelled after Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, Alister explains why it is among the least well-known of Lewis’ writings.
Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute, and editor of ‘The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith’ argues that the Intelligent Design movement is gaining new converts and has never been stronger. Science historian Adam Shapiro, co-author of ‘Science and Religion: A very short introduction’ responds.
In this new season of the podcast hosted by Justin, Alister introduces seven of CS Lewis’ popular Christian works.
Prolific Christian author Philip Yancey joined Justin and several hundred guests for a live Q&A on his life, work and faith. They talk about his recently published memoir ‘Where The Light Fell’ and his new paraphrase of John Donne’s writing ‘A Companion in Crisis’, as well as taking questions on suffering, prayer, the Ukraine and the future of the US evangelical church.
Alister takes audience Q&A on Jesus, CS Lewis and evangelism. From Unbelievable? the Conference 2013
This episode was recorded shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine. Prior to the outbreak of war, Ukraine’s lax surrogacy laws have made it a major destination for so-called ‘reproductive tourism’ for infertile and same-sex couples who wish to have a baby.
Alister McGrath’s talk at Unbelievable? the Conference 2013 on ‘Jesus the Lunatic?’
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is more than just a geo-political conflict. The Russian leader believes in the spiritual destiny of a united ‘Holy Rus’ that goes back to the conversion of Vladimir the Great in 984.
In a special episode Tom answers questions sent in by members of the NT Wright discussion group on Facebook about heaven, souls and Torah.
Tom Wright answers listener questions on Proverbs, Song of Solomon, the concept of ‘Wisdom’ in the Bible and whether we should take the book of Job literally?
A special edition of the show in which Tom Wright sits down with noted cultural critic Douglas Murray to discuss Douglas’ own journey in and out of faith, the church and culture, and whether Christianity can makes sense of a post-Christian world. Originally aired as part of The Big Conversation ...
Tom answers more questions on atonement, other religions and caring for those who have lost loved ones, sent in by members of the NT Wright discussion group.
A continuation of last week's show featuring audience questions to NT Wright & Douglas Murray during their Big Conversation on 'how do we live in a post-Christian world?'
The second part of the live audience show with NT Wright and Tom Holland recorded at Unbelievable? 2021.
Justin hosts NT Wright and Tom Holland for a live audience edition of the Ask NT Wright Anything show at Unbelievable? 2021.
Should we use Acts for doctrinal guidance? Is speaking in tongues the mark of a mature Christian? Is there a difference between the Paul of Acts and the letters? How should Acts inspire us to live today? Tom responds to more questions from participants on the NT Wright Online video ...
Is church life in Acts prescriptive for us today? What guidance does Acts give about baptism? How should we understand the signs and wonders in Acts? Tom responds to these and more questions from participants on the NT Wright Online video course on The Acts Of The Apostles.
NT Wright answers listener questions on the New Testament, including a question about the reliability of John 8:1-11, Jesus on prayer and petition, and whether Paul made a mistake about the promise to Abraham in Romans 4.
Does our vocation and calling on earth make a difference if God is going to put everything right in the end? Does my past disqualify me from a call to priesthood? These and more questions are answered by Tom Wright.
What does Jesus mean by 'many rooms in my father's house'? Will my daughter see the child she lost in pregnancy? What about marriage in the resurrection? Tom answers questions on heaven and loved ones.
What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? Are tongues genuine? Tom answer question on spiritual gifts and offers advice to a group of friends experiencing unexpected prophecy and healing.
Are Jews saved under the old covenant? How should I share my faith with Jewish people today? Does the Bible endorse Zionism?
Do the earliest Gospels lack a divine Jesus? Who authored 2 Peter? What do we know about what happened to the Apostles after the close of scripture? Tom answers questions on the historicity of the Gospels.
Would Jesus have used miracles to make life easier for himself? Are some of Jesus' word too harsh? Could Jesus have sinned? Tom answers questions about Jesus by listeners.
NT Wright's opening address at Unbeilevable? the Conference 2021
What's with the persistent neighbour? What lesson should we take from the shrewd manager? Is the story of Lazarus and the rich man a lesson about hell? NT Wright answers these and other listener questions on the parables of Jesus
NT Wright answers audience questions on evangelism and the gospel.
Justin Brierley hosts a dialogue between NT Wright and Ugandan church leader Richmond Wandera on the challenges and opportunities facing the church in Africa.
In a bonus podcast special we bring you ‘An Evening with NT Wright’, hosted by SPCK and recorded live at Westminster Chapel London with an audience Q&A.
In the wake of the news that L’Arche founder Jean Vanier was responsible for sexual abuse of women during his ministry, Tom Wright respond to questions from listeners let down by leaders and the church.
In another show recorded pre-lockdown, Tom answers questions from listeners on whether the world is getting better or worse, on poverty and economic justice, and what climate change activism means for the theology of new creation.
It’s Eastertide so Tom is answering questions on the resurrection, including one listener who believes that the evidence of the women at the empty tomb has been debunked by modern scholarship.
Tom answers listener questions on heaven and new creation. Will free will still exist? DO near Death Experiences tell us anything about it? Will we be reunited with our loved ones… and even our pets?
Tom tackles a variety of questions on ‘hot button’ political issues that have been sent in, including the place of faith in politics, abortion, racism and ‘critical theory’.
In a podcast special recorded from his home in Oxford where he is self-isolating with his wife Maggie, Tom talks to Justin about the Coronavirus pandemic. They cover: How Christians can maintain spiritual health during isolation, the pastoral implications for churches now and in the future, and why God created a ...
Tom Wright talks about his new book ‘God and the Pandemic’ and takes a variety of live listener questions in this livestream edition of the show. Justin and Lucy Brierley ask Tom questions on racism, other religions, the problem of suffering, heaven and the Gospels, all submitted during the show ...
Tom answers listener’s pastoral questions including a man racked by guilt over whether his wife’s miscarriages were a judgment on his porn addiction, a family wrestling with the death of a family member, and someone on a journey back to faith but unsure where to begin.
Tom answers listener questions on the life of the Apostle Paul, whether he wrote all the letters attributed to him, and whether contemporary Christians need to agree with all the views he gives.
Just in time for Easter we bring you a show (recorded before lockdown) in which Tom answers listener questions on the crucifixion, the nature of atonement and forgiveness.
Tom answers listener questions, such as will Jews be in heaven? What about religious experiences among other faiths? And is Gnosticism the prevailing world view in America?