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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
What does the science of brain chemistry and consciousness tell us about the nature of our mind and our cosmos?
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?
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?
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?
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. So how can Christians talk about it and respond to it in a way which cools tensions rather than inflames them?
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?
Alister McGrath and Justin Brierley continue their conversation on the ‘meaning crisis’ in the West and how Lewis’ wisdom applies to today’s world and the modern mental health crisis.
Two former high-level Yoga practitioners, Mike Shreve and Chris James, tell their stories of converting to Christianity and engage the question of whether Christians should practise Yoga.
Is using punishments on children a form of coercion? What do you think about contraceptives? What children’s resources would you recommend?
There has been a revival of interest in psychedelics & hallucinogenic drugs. But are they a path to enlightenment or a spiritual dead end?
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
The West is experiencing a meaning crisis says cognitive science and psychology professor John Vervaeke. He discusses the solutions with Catholic convert Sohrab Ahmari, author of 'The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the wisdom of tradition in an age of chaos'.
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.
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 episode explores one of the most significant and potentially long-lasting ways the covid pandemic has affected church life – the shift to digital.
With everything going on around the world, I nearly forgot that this week marks the beginning of Lent. The 40-day-period, named after an old English word meaning ‘lengthen’, is an opportunity to reflect on the cross and resurrection as we approach Easter. Christians have traditionally used this time to either give or take something up, and as I pondered what to do this year, I was drawn to a previous Lenten fast.
Tom shares his thoughts on heart-breaking pastoral questions from listeners around how to respond to grief and mental health. You can listen to part one of the podcast here.
In today’s episode we’re taking a sideways step from the covid pandemic and instead are discussing social media and free speech.
Tom shares his thoughts on the difficult questions listeners have around issues such as dementia, death, the global pandemic and whether God himself suffers.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Our first ever episode of Matters of Life and Death kicks off a short series on coronavirus.
Evangelist Becky Pippert, bestselling author of ‘Out Of The Saltshaker’, talks to Justin Brierley about how Christians can be a faithful witness to Christ during the COVID-19 lockdown and about her new book ‘Stay Salt: The world has changed. Our message must not’.
For the Ask NT Wright Anything podcast, updates, bonus content and to ask your own questions register at http://www.askntwright.com
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 world where disease and sickness exist.
In a special edition of the show, recorded from home, Justin looks at the present Coronavirus crisis, how the pandemic will change global society and how the church can respond.
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 about marriage including: What will our married relationships look like in the new creation? What advice do you have for someone about to get married? What do you think about divorce? Can I get married to a non-Christian?
In the wake of two high profile Christians who have renounced their faith, Tom responds to listener questions on what defines being a Christian, whether we can lose our salvation, and what to do when a loved one cannot respond to the Gospel because of dementia.
Atheist philosopher, Julian Baggini and Christian apologist, Vince Vitale sat down with Justin Brierley to share their perspectives on the purpose of suffering.
The full version of the debate on suffering. Justin is joined by Julian Baggini and Vince Vitale, as they go head to head on this most important question. Why Suffering?
Ann Furedi of the British Preganancy Advisory Service (the UK’s largest abortion provider) debates Gregg Cunningham of the pro-life Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.
Justin launches the Video Website of Unbelievable? The Conference 2013 www.premier.org.uk/apologetics
In the USA Kermit Gosnell is being tried on counts of murdering children born alive in illegal late-term abortions at his unsanitary practise in Philadelphia.
The religious right wing primarily campaigns on abortion and homosexuality - but is this the way Christians should be involved in politics?
A varied New Year’s Eve show with contributions from Revd David Robertson on his life-threatening illness. Reflections on the passing away of Christopher Hitchens from listeners and debate oppponent Prof John Lennox. Humorous “Praxman &…” sketches. An extract from a forthcoming interview with sometimes controversial US pastor Mark Driscoll. Audio ...
Three Christians of different theological persuasion discuss the existence of demons. John Tancock (JT) is involved in Charismatic Church leadership. He believes demons are real. As well as pursuing apologetics, he is involved in deliverance ministry and had regularly prayed for demons to be cast out of people. Will Van ...
Continuing our Mind, Body and Soul month of programming on Premier, Justin is joined by a Christian and an atheist as they discuss whether people’s religious experiences can be explained by brain activity alone. Revd Dr Aladair Coles is an academice neurologist in Cambridge and part of the Faraday Institute’s ...
Recent statistics on abortion in the UK saw just under 190,000 abortions in 2010. Figures were also released for late abortions carried out because of physical and mental disability.
William Lane Craig & AC Grayling debated at the Oxford Union in 2005. Does the existence of evil and suffering in the world preclude the existence of the Christian God?
Lord Richard Harries is a life peer in the British House of Lords and the former Bishop of Oxford. His book “The Re-enchantment of Morality” has been shortlisted for this year’s Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing.
Os Guinness is an author, cultural critic and Christian apologist. He co-founded the Trinity Forum which “seeks to transform society through the transformation of leaders”. Baroness Mary Warnock is a moral philosopher and atheist. She is a cross bench peer in the House of Lords and an influential voice arguing ...
Should people suffering from terminal illness or in terrible pain be allowed to take their own life? Should doctors help them?
Is belief in the supernatural inherent from birth? Is Christianity a psychological crutch or a path to emotional wholeness? Is God belief simply a result of evolution? Would it make belief untrue if it were?
Peter Hitchens is a writer and regular columnist for the Mail on Sunday. Unlike his atheist brother Christopher, Peter is a committed Christian having himself been an atheist in younger years.
Are societies better off with the influence of Christianity? Are Christians more caring than atheists? What role should faith play in society?
Hundreds of thousands died in the Haiti earthquake of Jan 2010. Many more are still suffering. So where was God?
A re-broadcast of a compelling debate with listener input on the issue of abortion.
Many “New Atheists” have written books claiming that Christianity is bad for people.
Former UK Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt recently tabled an amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill seeking to allow people not to be prosecuted for aiding others to die at overseas euthanasia clinics.
Justin is joined again by Charismatic Christian Gerald Coates, “Cessationist” Christian Mark Johnston and agnostic skeptic Stephen Pilcher. They discuss the healing revival occuring in Lakeland Florida under the ministry of Todd Bentley and claims of the miraculous.
If passed, the HFE Bill could entail big changes to abortion law. With 600 abortions carried out every day Dan Boucher of CARE explains why he believes the law needs to change. Pro-choice advocate Dr. Wendy Savage argues that a woman’s right to choose should come first.
The HFE Bill going through Parliament will allow the creation of animal-human “hybrid” embryos. Lord David Alton says respect for human life is being trampled on. MP Ian Gibson says that it will allow medical progress. With contributions from Andrew Fergusson of the Christian Medical Fellowship.
Two Christian ministers in Taunton made the news recently when they refused a Yoga instructor the use of their church halls. Some have labelled their actions narrow-minded and intolerant. We discuss whether it’s ok for Christians to be involved with Yoga.