Is our culture starting to believe in God again? The broadcaster Justin Brierley, who hosted high-profile debates between Christians, atheists and agnostics for nearly two decades, believes so.
His weekly radio show, Unbelievable? regularly pitted atheist scientists and philosophers such as Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling against Christian apologists. In his recent book, The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God, he explores how the conversations he hosted have changed in recent years, arguing that new atheism has grown old, and secular thinkers are considering Christianity again. He asks: Could the tide of faith be ready to come in again in our generation?
Alongside the book is the podcast, also titled The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God, which has just dropped its 11th episode. The podcast has long-form documentary episodes featuring interviews with a wide range of thinkers such as Richard Dawkins, Tom Holland, Jordan Peterson, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
The episode with Ayaan Hirsi Ali was posted soon after Ali announced her conversion to Christianity. The Somali-born ex-Muslim was one of the key voices of New Atheism in the mid 2000s but created a big stir when she wrote a column on the UnHerd website in November titled Why I am a now a Christian.
Another episode, with the historian Tom Holland, discusses the argument of his book, Dominion, that whether modern westerners realise it or not, their world and their values have been deeply shaped by the Jesus revolution of 2,000 years ago. Holland tells Brierley why he changed his mind about Christianity, and why atheist accounts of history often fail to explain why we believe in equality, dignity and human rights.
The podcast series continues, and can be found on all the major podcast platforms. The foreword, introduction and chapter 1 of the book are available for free – find details on the Justin Brierley website.
The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God podcast is supported by the Christian Evidence Society.
Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann