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Render unto Caesar - Should the church keep out of economic politics? Andy Walton vs James Price

12/14/2018
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The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gave a keynote speech at the UK Trade Union Congress in September 2018 calling for the government to change its tax and welfare policies in order to support the neediest in society. James Price of the Taxpayers Alliance strongly criticised Welby’s intervention, quoting Jesus’ words ‘Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s’ and saying the Archbishop should ‘stick to his theological work’. Left-leaning Christian journalist Andy...

Duration:01:22:01

Debating the Statement on Social Justice – Jarrod McKenna & James White

12/7/2018
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Are ‘social justice warriors’ a danger to the Gospel? In August 2018 a group of conservative Christians in the USA, led by John MacArthur, released The Statement On Social Justice And The Gospel to take a stand against the church being influenced by “questionable sociological, psychological, and political theories presently permeating our culture”. Some of the affirmations and denials in the document caused controversy among both evangelicals and progressives for its statements on political...

Duration:01:32:33

Bart Ehrman vs Peter J Williams – debating ‘Misquoting Jesus’

11/30/2018
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In a ‘classic playback’ edition of the show, Justin re-airs the debate he hosted with agnostic Bible scholar Bart Ehrman opposite Christian Bible scholar Peter J Williams. They debate the reliability of the Gospels, textual criticism, and Bart’s claim that we can’t know what some of the original texts actually say. For Peter J Williams new book ‘Can We Trust the Gospels?’: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/can-we-trust-the-gospels For Bart Ehrman: https://www.bartdehrman.com/ Buy the...

Duration:01:22:44

How should gay Christians express their sexuality? David Bennett & Justin Lee

11/23/2018
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In his new book ‘A War Of Loves’, David Bennett tells his story of being an atheist gay activist who experienced a dramatic conversion to Christianity. David still identifies as gay but lives a celibate lifestyle, holding to traditional Christian sexual ethics. He engages with Justin Lee, author of ‘Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gay vs Christian debate’, who affirms faithful same-sex relationships. To support Unbelievable? on #GivingTuesday:...

Duration:01:26:04

The agnostic and the Bishop on searching for Christ in literature and life - Lord Richard Harries & Sir Anthony Kenny

11/16/2018
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Lord Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford is the author of ‘Haunted by Christ: Modern writers and the struggle for faith’ (SPCK). Philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, former master of Balliol college Oxford, is the author of ‘Brief Encounters: Notes from a philosopher’s diary’ (SPCK) which recounts anecdotes from a life meeting significant personalities. They discuss their friendship, stories of significant encounters, why Anthony lost his faith as a young Catholic priest and why Richard...

Duration:01:30:42

Is War justified by Christianity and Nature? Michael Ruse vs Nigel Biggar

11/9/2018
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As Remembrance services take place to mark the 100 anniversary of the end of WW1, Justin is joined by atheist guest Prof Michael Ruse and Christian guest Prof Nigel Biggar to discuss Darwinism, Christianity and just war theory. Michel Ruse is Professor of Philosophy of Science at Florida State University. Nigel Biggar is Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford. Ruse’s latest book ‘The Problem of War’ critiques Biggar’s work on just war theory ‘In Defence...

Duration:01:24:46

Andy Bannister vs Peter Singer – Do we need God to be good?

11/2/2018
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Justin is joined for the 6th episode of The Big Conversation by moral philosopher and atheist Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, and Christian theologian Andy Bannister of Solas Centre for Public Christianity. They debate whether humans have intrinsic value and dignity as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago. They debate Singer’s controversial utilitarian approach to disability, the problem of suffering, and whether a moral reality to...

Duration:01:28:10

Halloween and horror films - Peter Laws & Michael Cummins

10/26/2018
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Should Christians take part in Halloween festivities? And is it ok to watch grisly horror films? These are the two questions debates by Peter Laws and Michael Cummins ahead of Halloween. Peter Laws is a Baptist minister and lifelong fan of the horror genre, as he explains in his new book The Frighteners: Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death & Gore. He believes that Christians don’t need to fear being involved in the spooky side of Halloween and thinks horror films aren’t bad for people who...

Duration:01:21:09

A tale of two doubters: Austin Fischer & Ed Atkinson

10/19/2018
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Austin Fischer is a church pastor who tells the story of his own struggle with doubt in the book ‘Faith In The Shadows: Finding Christ in the midst of doubt’ and how he has kept his faith. Ed Atkinson is a former Christian and co-host of the Doubts Aloud podcast. He talks about why he lost his faith and why he believes Christians should take doubt more seriously. For Austin Fischer: https://www.ivpress.com/faith-in-the-shadows For Ed Atkinson on Doubts Aloud:...

Duration:01:26:56

Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah? Michael Brown vs Jonathan Romain

10/12/2018
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Michael Brown is a Messianic Jew and hosts The Line Of Fire radio show in the USA. He engages with liberal UK Reform rabbi Jonathan Romain on whether Jesus fulfilled the role of Messiah. Michael and Jonathan end up disagreeing on much more than just Jesus as they debate the rabbi’s pluralist view of religion compared to Brown’s belief that Jesus is the only way to God. For Michael Brown: https://askdrbrown.org For Jonathan Romain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Romain For Big...

Duration:01:22:19

Daniel Dennett vs Keith Ward: Are we more than matter? Mind, consciousness and free will

10/5/2018
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In the 5 episode of The Big Conversation, Justin is joined by atheist guest Daniel Dennett and Christian guest Keith Ward. Daniel C Dennett is Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, USA and a leading naturalist voice in the philosophy of mind. Keith Ward is a British philosopher and former Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University as well as being an ordained priest in the Church of England.. They debate physicalism, idealism, the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness, whether an...

Duration:01:31:44

Hitchens vs Hitchens debate on War and God - podcast special

9/28/2018
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In this podcast special edition of the show Justin broadcasts the 2008 public debate between Christopher Hitchens and his brother Peter Hitchens. Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was one of the four so-called ‘horsemen of the new atheism’, well known for his colourful anti-theistic polemical writing and speaking. In contrast his journalist brother Peter Hitchens is a Christian who converted from atheism in his adult years. In this classic public debate from 2008, hosted by the Hauenstein...

Duration:02:04:59

Peterson vs Harris, atheism and the alt-right – Esther O’Reilly and James Croft

9/20/2018
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Thousands of people recently attended four high-profile debates on religion and atheism between psychology professor Jordan Peterson and atheist writer Sam Harris. Why are Peterson and Harris so influential, especially among young men? Why is Peterson’s approach making waves in atheist circles? Does the atheist movement have an alt-right problem? These and more questions are debated by Humanist leader James Croft and Christian blogger Esther O’Reilly as they discuss the popularity of...

Duration:01:41:56

Live USA show: Sean McDowell & Hemant Mehta debate what atheists and Christians get wrong

9/14/2018
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Justin is joined by Christian apologist Sean McDowell and ‘Friendly Atheist’ blogger Hemant Mehta for a live audience edition of the show recorded at Westside A Jesus Church in Portland, Oregon. They discuss motivations, faith, science, evidence, atheism, life after death, morality and bigotry. Each guest sets out two ways in which they believe the other side frequently mischaracterises their worldview. Includes audience Q&A. Watch the video: https://youtu.be/Hhuxq7wLpFc For Sean:...

Duration:01:51:58

John Lennox vs Michael Ruse: Science, faith and the evidence for God

9/7/2018
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In the 4 episode of The Big Conversation, Justin is joined by Prof John Lennox and Prof Michael Ruse in front of a live audience in London. Christian guest John Lennox is professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and author of books including ‘Gunning for God: Why the new atheists are missing the target’. Atheist guest Michael Ruse is professor of Philosophy of Science at Florida State University and author of books such as ‘Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose?’. They...

Duration:02:00:42

Can Islam overcome sexism and violence? Ed Husain vs Beth Grove

8/31/2018
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Ed Husain was once a Muslim extremist. Today he is still a Muslim but says the Islam he once practised is a distorted version of the faith. In his new book The House of Islam: A Global History he argues that his religion needs to return to a once-golden age of pluralism, tolerance and diversity. Beth Grove of Pfander regularly engages in debate with Muslims. She disputes Ed’s view of a golden age of Islam, saying that both Muslim history and scriptures advocate violence and mistreatment of...

Duration:01:31:35

Can Justin defend his own book? feat. David Johnson, Andrew Knight & Randal Rauser

8/24/2018
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Justin joins the debate fray himself this week as he tag teams with Christian apologist Randal Rauser to defend Unbelievable? the book against two atheist critics David Johnson and Andrew Knight. Since Justin’s book ‘Unbelievable? why, after ten years of talking with atheists I’m still a Christian’ was published, Andrew and David, along with other sceptical show listeners, have produced a response book called ‘Still Unbelievable? Why, after listening to Christian arguments, we remain...

Duration:01:27:34

Debating the Kalam Cosmological Argument - Stephen Woodford (Rationality Rules) vs Blake Giunta

8/17/2018
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Keep kalam and carry on... In the second of two ‘deep dive’ shows into philosophical arguments for God, Justin is joined by atheist YouTuber Stephen Woodford (aka Rationality Rules) and Christian apologist Blake Giunta, creator of the Belief Map website. They debate the Kalam Cosmological Argument and whether, if the universe had a beginning, it points to a divine cause behind it. For a video of today’s show on the Rationality Rules channel...

Duration:01:27:19

Why is there something rather than nothing? Alex O Connor & Cameron Bertuzzi debate the Argument from Contingency

8/10/2018
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In the first of two philosophical ‘deep dive’ shows debating famous ‘cosmological’ arguments for God, YouTube atheist Alex O Connor (aka Cosmic Skeptic) debates apologist Cameron Bertuzzi of Capturing Christianity. They discuss the argument from contingency and whether the existence of the universe is contingent on a necessary being - God. For a video of today’s show on the Cosmic Skeptic channel https://www.youtube.com/user/alexjoconnor For Cameron Bertuzzi:...

Duration:01:27:06

Theistic evolution, biology and purpose – Denis Alexander & Perry Marshall (plus Dominic Done)

8/3/2018
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Dr Denis Alexander is a notable British proponent of theistic evolution – the view that Christianity and Darwinian evolution are perfectly compatible. Many atheist biologists claim that evolution has disproved the idea of purpose in biology. Denis’ new book ‘Is There Purpose in Biology? The cost of existence and the God of love’ sets out how he believes Christians can still discern God’s purposes in evolutionary history. Denis is joined in discussion by Perry Marshall, author of ‘Evolution...

Duration:01:23:25