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Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah? Michael Brown vs Jonathan Romain

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...


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

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...


Hitchens vs Hitchens debate on War and God - podcast special

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...


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

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...


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

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:...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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:...


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

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...


Faitheism: Why can’t atheists and Christians get along? Krish Kandiah & Terry Sanderson

Krish Kandiah’s new book ‘Faitheism: Why Christians and Atheists have more in common than you think’, aims to elevate the conversation between both sides. Krish is joined by Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society as they discuss the good, bad and ugly of how Christians and atheist engage each other. For Faitheism: https://www.hodder.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9781473648951 For the National Secular Society: https://www.secularism.org.uk/ For Big Conversation videos, updates and...


NT Wright and Tom Holland: How St Paul changed the world

Renowned New Testament scholar NT (Tom) Wright returns to Unbelievable? to talk about his latest book Paul: A Biography (SPCK). Joining Wright is historical writer Tom Holland, author of popular books on the rise and fall of the Roman empire such as Rubicon and Dynasty, Tom Wright unpacks the life, character and untold story of Paul. Tom Holland explains why as an agnostic, he is nevertheless convinced of the massive cultural significance of Paul’s message in Roman culture and how it would...


Leaving Islam: A Christian and atheist tell their stories. Abdu Murray & Aliyah Saleem

Aliyah Saleem was a Muslim at one time but is now an atheist. She tells her story and those of other former Muslims in ‘Leaving Faith Behind’. Abdu Murray, North America director of RZIM, was a Muslim but converted to Christianity. He engages with Aliyah on why they both left Islam but came to different conclusions about faith. For Aliyah Saleem: http://dltbooks.com/titles/2224-9780232533644-leaving-faith-behind For Abdu Murray: https://www.abdumurray.com/ For Big Conversation videos,...


Derren Brown & Rev Richard Coles: Can we have meaning without God?

In the third Big Conversation episode, Justin is joined by illusionist Derren Brown and popstar-turned-media-priest Rev Richard Coles. In a wide-ranging conversation they tell their respective stories of moving away from and towards Christian faith. Drawing on his book Happy: Why more or less everything is absolutely fine, Derren makes the case for living a fulfilled life as an atheist in the absence of God. Richard draws from his experience of ‘meeting the resurrected Christ’ as they...


Justin Brierley vs atheist David Smalley on Dogma Debate

In a podcast special Justin goes head to head with atheist podcast host David Smalley debating Justin’s arguments for Christianity in his book “Unbelievable? Why after, ten years of talking with atheists, I’m still a Christian”. They debate suffering, the moral argument and the evidence for the resurrection in a wide ranging discussion of over 2.5 hrs. For Dogma Debate: https://www.davidcsmalley.com/ For Big Conversation videos, updates and bonus content sign up:...


Steven Pinker vs Nick Spencer: Have science, reason & humanism replaced faith?

In the second Big Conversation episode, Justin is joined by Harvard professor of psychology Steven Pinker and Nick Spencer of Christian think-tank Theos. They debate the future of humanity in relation to Pinker’s recent book ‘Enlightenment Now’, addressing his claim that science, reason and humanism are the drivers of progress in the world, rather than religion. Nick Spencer argues that science and enlightenment values are firmly tied to the West’s Judeo-Christian tradition. The Big...


Is there scientific evidence for Old Testament miracles? Colin Humphreys & Bob Price

Sir Colin Humphreys is a Cambridge scientist with an interest in Biblical studies. His book ‘The Miracles of Exodus: A Scientist's Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories’ makes the case that events like the parting of the Red Sea, the stopping of the Jordan river and the sun standing still in Joshua all have a basis in scientific facts and natural causes. The miracle is in the timing of the events by God. Sceptical Bible scholar Bob Price debates Humphreys on...


Jordan Peterson vs Susan Blackmore: Do we need God to make sense of life?

Launching The Big Conversation debate series, Justin is joined by Canadian psychologist Jordan B Peterson who has risen to fame in recent months for his political, social and religious views. He engages with atheist psychologist Susan Blackmore on the psychology of belief. They debate Peterson’s own religious convictions, the new atheists, whether society needs God, and whether atheists are truly atheists… The Big Conversation is produced in partnership with Templeton Religion...


Where did the laws of nature come from? Hugh Ross vs Peter Atkins

Justin is joined by Christian astrophysicist Hugh Ross, founder of Reasons to Believe, and atheist scientist Peter Atkins of Oxford University, to debate whether the laws of nature came from ‘nothing’ or from God. Peter Atkins’ new book ‘Conjuring The Universe: The Origins of the Laws of Nature’ claims that the Universe and it’s laws reflect the ‘nothing’ from whence they came. Hugh Ross has recently released a 4th edition of ‘The Cosmos and the Creator’ and explains why he believes the...