Gospel, Bible, reliability, manuscript, eye witness, testimony, coincidences, story, made up,Philosopher and author of Testimonies to the Truth: Why You Can Trust the Gospels, Lydia McGrew, looks at some key elements that point to the genuineness of eye witness testimony within the Gospel narratives
Author Mark Roques challenges the assumption that some things are in the ‘secular box’, while others are in the ‘religious box’
Tim James explores how the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to our understanding of the divine importance of physical place in our modern world
In this final episode, Bruce Miller, author of The 7 Big Questions: Searching for God, Truth, and Purpose, explores objections towards the Bible, including whether it is sexist, racist and out of date. Bruce also asks whether we can know and experience God personally, looking at why he doesn’t make himself more obvious.
Why bother with earth and not just create heaven? Why try to make the world a better place if God is going to fix it? Is the world getting better or worse because of Christianity? Can Christians achieve perfection in this life, as Wesley claimed? Tom Wright answers listeners questions on the ‘now-and-not-yet’ of new creation.
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In the eighth episode of our series focussing on McGrath’s book, CS Lewis: A Life, Professor Alister McGrath shares some of Lewis’ thoughts on suffering. We also hear how and why Lewis was broadcast on BBC Radio during the Second World War and the impact this had. Plus, it’s not too late to register for the opportunity to win a copy of McGrath’s seminal biography of Lewis.
Protestant Christian and apologist Nick Peters explores some key distinctions within different branches of Christianity
In the first of four episodes on how to approach some of life’s most difficult questions, Ruth Jackson speaks to Bruce Miller, author of The 7 Big Questions: Searching for God, Truth, and Purpose, about belief, doubt and purpose.
In light of the tragic Kahramanmaras earthquake, apologist Dr Sharon Dirckx shares her thoughts on how we reconcile the idea of a good and powerful God with the presence of natural disasters
Philosopher and author of Testimonies to the Truth: Why You Can Trust the Gospels, Lydia McGrew, explores some of the characteristics of testimony within the Gospel narratives
As an ardent atheist, Kim Endraske disliked Christians, but wrestled daily with existential dread. Jana Harmon shares Kim’s story of discovering the God who dramatically changed her life
As we head into a day devoted to celebrating relationships, Erik Strandness looks at how God restores the relationships damaged through our infidelity
In the sixth episode of our series focussing on McGrath’s book CS Lewis: A Life, we explore Lewis’ faith journey, looking at how and why he became a Christian. We also hear about the significant impact of JRR Tolkien. Plus, don’t forget to register to win a copy of McGrath’s seminal biography of Lewis.
As we approach Racial Justice Sunday, apologist Adam Coleman of Tru-ID looks at why all humans have intrinsic worth. He shares examples of abolitionists who took matters of justice into their own hands as well as those who opted for non-violence, trusting God to act on their behalf
Pastor Marc Lambert looks at how parents can lovingly walk alongside their children as they doubt, question and rebel against Christianity
In the fifth episode of our series focussing on McGrath’s book CS Lewis: A Life, we look at some key moments in Lewis’ Oxford career, such as the death of his father. Plus, don’t forget to register to win a copy of McGrath’s seminal biography of Lewis.
With discussions around sexuality looming large at the Church of England’s General Synod this week, journalist Heather Tomlinson takes a look at tribalism within the Church. For more on sexuality, gender and identity, register free for an Unbelievable? Live webinar on 7th February here
‘You just can’t make this stuff up!’ That, in a nutshell is the contention of Mike D’Virgilio’s book ‘Uninvented: Why the Bible could not be made up and the evidence that proves it’. He says that the life of Jesus doesn’t read like made up stories, myths and legends.
Apologists Clinton Wilcox and Joel Furches explore some of the core principles of transhumanism and their ramifications
Tom responds to listener Qs on Andy Stanley ‘unhitching’ Christianity from the Old Testament, the historicity of the Exodus, and the way that Greg Boyd interprets violent portraits of God in ‘The Crucifixion Of The Warrior God’. First broadcast in 2019.
Writer Steve Schramm explores Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Intelligent Design and Theistic Evolution
In an extended edition of the show originally broadcast on the Unbelievable? podcast, Justin asks a variety of listener questions on dispensationalism, John’s gospel, inerrancy, salvation, hell, universalism and Tom’s favourite books, music and much more… First broadcast in 2016.
Originally from Canada, Alanzo Paul fell into a life of addiction after his parents’ divorce. Here, he shares some of his story with Ruth Jackson, including his reflections on working with Ravi Zacharias. He also looks at some of life’s big questions and suggests ways to reach the apathetic with the gospel.
Apologist Joel Furches explores one of the primary objections offered by Americans who exit the Christian faith
How should we treat the Bible? Inerrant? Infallible? Does it contain errors? Tom answers questions on the nature of the Bible as well as related issues such as whether the Reformers were right to concentrate solely on scripture rather than church tradition, and whether there is a ‘trajectory hermeneutic’ when it comes to issues like slavery in the Bible.
In the second part of their discussion, Ruth Jackson speaks to Trevin Wax, author of award-winning book ‘The Thrill of Orthodoxy’, about culture wars, evangelism and how to approach life’s big questions.
Writer Steve Schramm offers a helpful explanation on the relationship between these two key religions
In the second episode of a new series focussing on McGrath’s book CS Lewis: A Life, we look at why Lewis found school so thoroughly unpleasant and how it helped to cement his growing atheism. Plus, we launch a competition to win a copy of McGrath’s book.
Trevin Wax, author of award-winning book ‘The Thrill of Orthodoxy’, speaks to Ruth Jackson about what Orthodoxy is, how we articulate it in a modern context and why we should pass it on to the next generation.
Apologist Joel Furches explores one of life’s big questions
Writer Steve Schramm explains a potentially uncomfortable claim within Christianity
Digging deeper into Gungor’s rejection of Christian faith suggests so, says Heather Tomlinson
As we begin a new year, we pause to remind ourselves of the thought, life and legacy of CS Lewis. Professor Alister McGrath shares why and how we can engage with Lewis and his writings as we introduce a new series focussing on McGrath’s book CS Lewis: A Life.
Erik Standness looks at what unites people in a crisis and why
Justin Brierley rounds up the most popular shows of the year
Timothy James reflects on the significance of the cross and its meaning for our lives
As we approach a new year, we must continue to talk about these important issues. Clare Williams, apologist and founder of Get Real shares her thoughts about how Christians should respond to racial injustice
Erik Strandness reflects on how we get to heaven and what that means for us
Tim James looks at what we can learn from a bunch of seemingly unimportant individuals who were brave enough to accept an invitation to meet the Messiah
Jonathan Clark investigates whether early Christians merely piggybacked off pre-existing pagan celebrations
In the second half of our discussion about Christmas, Charles Foster, author of The Christmas Mystery, looks at some of the more sinister and less straightforward elements of the biblical Nativity narratives.
As Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, Bethel McGrew explores what that might mean for many Americans
What did Christmas mean to CS Lewis? How did he celebrate it? Did he ever write about the festive season? Professor Alister McGrath shares his insights into CS Lewis’ depiction of the incarnation and Christmas.
Medical scientist Peter Elwood OBE examines the evidence for the miracle at the heart of the Christmas story
Erik Strandness reflects on the Christmas story
Cold-case detective J .Warner Wallace examines the evidence around the biblical accounts of the Christmas story
Ruth Jackson recalls her experience of miscarriage at Christmas and reflects on experiencing pain, fear and doubt in a season of celebration and frivolity
New York-based pastor Jon Tyson shares some of his thoughts about living as a Christian in a secular space.
Tom Wright and Justin Brierley are back with a fresh batch of listener questions on the gospels this week including: How do I reconcile John’s portrayal of Jesus with the other gospels? Are the timings of the crucifixion accounts in conflict? And what did Paul know about Jesus? New Testament scholar Justin Bass also joins the conversation.
Ardent atheist Mark Meckler began to consider whether there might be something more after 51 years of scepticism
2022-11-11T15:45:00+00:00By Joel Furches
Apologist Joel Furches explores women’s place in the Church, both historically and today
Justin Brierley and Tom Wright are joined by New Testament scholar Justin Bass, author of ‘The Bedrock of Christianity: The unalterable facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection’. They discuss why the appearances of Jesus and the rise of Christianity count as historical evidence for the truth of the resurrection
Erik Strandness explores the hiddenness of God
As we come to the end of Black History Month in the UK, Ruth Jackson speaks to apologist Clare Williams about how we can support young black people and reach them with the gospel message.
It’s not about saying sorry. Joel Furches says making an intellectual defence for Christian faith has a long history
2022-10-21T16:30:00+01:00By Erik Strandness
Erik Strandness reflects on how Christianity shaped the West
Tom speaks on the role of the church in racial reconcliation in the USA and why he believes the Bible affirms the leadership roles of both men and women. This is the second part of Tom’s on-stage interview with Pastor Miles McPherson, recorded at Rock Church, San Diego in 2019.
Why were radical Christians at the forefront of the abolition movement? Historian Tom Holland, author of ‘Dominion’, shares why the story of Jesus dying the death of a criminal slave was the historical catalyst for the modern day anti-slavery movement. The second part of a conversation recorded live with Justin Brierley at the IllumiNations Europe conference in Scotland.
2022-10-18T15:30:00+01:00By Erik Strandness
Erik Strandness explores the role of mystery in apologetics
How should we understand Old Testament accounts of warfare and violence where God seems to command the slaughter of men, women and children?
‘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.
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.
In the second half of our conversation with theologian Andrew Davison, we ask what the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe would mean for Christian faith and teaching.
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.
Today we’re going back to our conversation about simulation for part two of this re-broadcast.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
If and when autonomous and intelligent robots come into existence, should they be granted rights, or even personhood?
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.
This is part two of our re-broadcast of last year’s John Stott episode, to mark what would have been his centenary.
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
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.
New Testament scholars Dale Allison and Justin Bass discuss their different approaches to the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection.
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.
Over the past 60 years a new field of medicine has emerged – palliative care.
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.
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.
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 pick up our conversation from last week about transhumanism and how technology might redefine what it means to be human.
Billions of dollars are currently being spent by a suite of private firms, mostly in Silicon Valley, pursuing radical research to enhance human capacities.
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.
Pastor Joby Martin, pastor of The Church of Eleven22 and author of ‘If The Tomb is Empty’ tells Justin the story of how the church has sponsored over 14,000 children through Compassion.
The Omicron variant has in a few short weeks almost taken over the pandemic.
This week we are resuming our conversation about infertility which begun in our previous episode.
Today we are delving into a complex and sensitive topic – infertility and 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?
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
It’s been almost six months since we last dedicated an episode to covid, and since then a lot has happened.
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.
Richmond Wandera, a pastor in Kampala, Uganda and listener of Unbelievable? talks to Justin about the history of Christian revival in Africa, elections and Covid in Uganda, witchcraft, secularism and the problem of the prosperity gospel in churches. He also share his story of coming from the slums of Kampala through to theological education and church leadership in a show in partnership with Compassion.
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.
Can Christians be given the vaccine without compromising on their religious convictions?
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.
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.
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.
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?
In this 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.
Our first ever episode of Matters of Life and Death kicks off a short series on coronavirus.
That was the challenge levelled at historian Tom Holland on The Big Conversation by AC Grayling, one of Britain’s leading atheist philosophers. The answer, it turns out is: quite a lot
That was the challenge levelled at historian Tom Holland by AC Grayling, one of Britain’s leading atheist philosophers. The answer, it turns out is: quite a lot
Are the intellectual stars of New Atheism out of arguments? Esther O’Reilly reviews historian Tom Holland’s clash with atheist philosopher AC Grayling on The Big Conversation
Lydia McGrew reviews a recent debate with Bart Ehrman, and argues that Bible scholar Peter J Williams offers a model for dispensing common sense
Bruce Blackshaw breaks down what happened when two distinguished thinkers debated religion and evolution.
How should we respond those who doubt the existence of Jesus? Ahead of Unbelievable? the Conference 2019, Justin Brierley offers three approaches.
Geologist and priest Michael Roberts is convinced the earth is 4.6 billion years old. He shares ten questions he’d like to ask Christians who believe the earth is only 6,000-10,000 years old
Following his debate with John Lennox on The Big Conversation, Prof Michael Ruse explains why he’s not a New Atheist, but not a Christian either.
The prophet Daniel stood firm in a culture that undermined everything he stood for. Prof John Lennox explains how today’s Christians can learn from his example and bring light to a secular society
Popular atheists including Steven Pinker say that science, human rights and reason are a result of the Enlightenment conquering religious superstition. That’s just another fairytale, argues Nick Spencer
Bestselling historical author Tom Holland took part in a revealing dialogue with New Testament scholar NT Wright
J.John explains why he believes Christianity has been a force for good in the world
Jonathan Clark wades into the debate
It’s 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg and kickstarted the Protestant Reformation. Michael Reeves explains why it matters
Tom Wright explains why, as an ancient historian, the resurrection of Jesus from death makes historical sense.
Leading New Testament scholar Tom Wright explains why Christians can be confident the gospel accounts are true
Hundreds of archaeological findings are confirming the biblical record. Peter S Williams looks at some of the most interesting discoveries
A new argument is changing the way Christians are seeking to persuade sceptics of the truth of the resurrection. With the release of Unbelievable? Why, after ten years of talking with atheists, I’m still a Christian, Justin Brierley presents the ‘minimal facts’.
The Archbishop of Canterbury can be thankful that Jesus himself was born in scandalous circumstances says Justin Brierley.
Christianity has defined the history of the Western world. Although churchgoing has been the norm for centuries, the following key figures’ faith was also an important part of their life and work
Having investigated the Christmas story, cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace says Christians should be confident in believing the Bible’s account
When the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki seventy years ago this month, Joy Davidman—best known today as the wife of C.S. Lewis—was in a vulnerable way.
Drawing on his studies in forensic pathology, David Instone-Brewer explores the science of crucifixion.
Justin Brierley investigates why new evidence that the cloth is a genuine relic of the resurrection is capturing the interest of evangelicals and Catholics alike.
Is there evidence for Jesus’ life and death?
Last month Justin Brierley reported on miracle accounts from around the world. But don’t be fooled into thinking God’s forgotten about Britain. In churches, cafes and on street corners, miracles are being reported on our doorstep too.
Christian apologist Amy Orr-Ewing responds to some of the biggest objections to the resurrection.
Justin Brierley examines the latest reinventions of the Jesus of history. Ten years on from Dan Brown’s bestselling The Da Vinci Code, fresh rumours of who Jesus really was still shift books in their hundreds of thousands.
Rice Broocks is a US church leader. His new book ‘God’s Not Dead’ gathers together various lines of evidence for the existence of God.
Richard Carrier is the world’s foremost proponent of the “mythicist” view of Jesus - that he never actually existed as a historical person.
Stephen Meyer is a leading proponent of Intelligent Design who directs the Centre for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. His most recent book “Signature in the Cell” claims to show that the DNA code is the product of intelligent mind, not naturalistic processes. Keith Fox is ...
On today’s Show: New Testament Scholar David Instone-Brewer and Bible sceptic Ken Humphreys met in a debte at Gunnersbury Baptist Church, London recently.
Peter J Williams is the Warden of Tyndale House, Cambridge and a first class scholar of both Old and New Testament. He takes non-Christian listener sceptical questions on the Old Testament.
Peter S Williams is a Christian philosopher and apologist. His latest book Understanding Jesus brings together lines of evidence for a philosophical, historical and theological understanding of Jesus.
Bart Ehrman is James A Gray Distingushed Prof of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is well known as a Bible scholar who has thrown doubt upon the reliability of Scripture with bestselling books "Misquoting Jesus" & "Forged".
Critics of Christianity sometimes make the case that Hitler was a Christian and that it influenced the Nazi regime. Is that true? Critics of atheism sometimes make the case that Stalin’s atheism was a driving motivation for his murderous regime. Is that true? Peter Harris is a historian and Christian ...
Bart Ehrman is well known as a US New Testament Scholar who lost his Christian faith and now questions many core precepts of Christianity, including the Resurrection of Jesus. When Mike Licona had doubts he devoted himself to investigating the evidence and became convinced that Jesus resurrection is the only ...
Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett & Sam Harris are all figures at the vanguard of the “New Atheism”. The books have sold well, but where does this form of confrontational and outspoken atheism have to go next?
‘B Strong’ is a former Christian who lost his faith after examining the claims of the Bible. His booklet “Jesus is a hoax” claims, among many things, that the Apostle Paul was mentally ill due to his fanatical pre and post-conversion behaviour. It also claims Jesus is one of the ...
The first of two shows featuring atheist US physicist Victor Stenger, author of NY Times bestseller “God: The failed Hypothesis”.
“The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ” is the latest book from the pen of prominent atheist author Philip Pullman. It re-imagines the story of Jesus as the story of two twins - one called Jesus, the other Christ. It is the twin Christ who writes the history of ...
The film “Creation” is released in the UK Sep 2009. Telling the story of how Charles Darwin came to write “On the Origin of Species” 150 years ago, the film highlights the clash of evolutionary theory and Christian belief. The problem of suffering is also addressed in the death of ...
What did the first Christians believe about Jesus? Muslim Abdul Haq, the author of “Before Nicea” claims that key doctrines of Christianity were formulated through later councils of the church. He says that there is no good evidence that early Christians believed in Jesus’ divinity or even his crucifixion.
Atheist Ed Turner, in common with the new atheists, believes that religion is bad for the world because of the conflict it causes across the world. Historian and Christian Meic Pearse who wrote the bestseller “Why the rest hates the West” says that a proper understanding of history shows the ...
Ed Turner is a lawyer from Liverpool who contacted the programme saying he wants to put Christianity and the Bible on Trial. In this programme he presents his case against trusting the scriptural accounts. Andy Bannister in defence believes that the Bible is a historically valid document. Continued next week…
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