- - Saturday, March 2, 2024

After 17 years of hosting the award-winning podcast, “Unbelievable?,” which brings together Christians and atheists for dialogue and debate, Justin Brierley has a unique perspective on how the conversation around Christianity has transformed over the years. That perspective is the focus of his latest book and podcast, both titled “The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God,” which highlight some shocking changes in the atheistic way of thinking that could set the stage for a Christian revival around the world.

Subscribe to have The Washington Times’ Higher Ground delivered to your inbox every Sunday.

“There’s all kinds of ways in which the ground has shifted a lot politically, ideologically over the last several years,” Mr. Brierley told the Washington Times’ Higher Ground in a recent interview. “And this is one of the interesting trends that I note in the book and in this new podcast is that a lot of secular thinkers … who, you know, at one level are very anti-religious … have suddenly realized actually that there’s a far more dangerous kind of quasi-religious ideology in their own backyard of academia.”

One example is Peter Boghossian, the former Portland State University professor who made headlines in 2018 for writing fake scholarly papers to highlight how academia was replacing the marketplace of ideas with woke ideology. As a staunch atheist, the philosopher was shocked at the systemic, religious-like adherence to social justice on campus, especially in the areas of race, sexuality and gender.

“[Boghossian] believed … that it was creating this sort of cancel culture where only certain types of orthodoxy were allowed,” Mr. Brierley explained. “So what you’ve effectively got is a kind of new quasi-religious views that have come into the mainstream … And it does make interesting bedfellows sometimes with Christians who perhaps stand alongside them critiquing those kinds of movements.”

While it may seem contradictory that the very ideology that has put Christians at odds with the cultural tides is the same one driving some atheists closer to God, Mr. Brierley notes that it’s more a matter of semantics. In reality, all people have a belief system — including atheists — and many of them have put their faith in a human race that has historically built its moral foundation around Christian principles.

Listen to The Higher Ground Podcast with host Billy Hallowell:

“Pretty much all the atheists and agnostics I ever encountered, well, they actually had a faith of some kind,” Mr. Brierley said. “Ironically, you know, the fact that they were good people who believed in human rights, equality, dignity, and everything else, that didn’t actually come from their atheism. It didn’t come from science. It didn’t come from the enlightenment. Ironically, as I’ve discovered, it really comes from Christianity … We’re still essentially swimming in Christian waters when it comes to people’s moral instincts, their assumptions about the way life is.”

But more and more, we’re seeing the human race fail those who have put their faith in it, which leaves spiritually-hungry people looking for answers. That’s what happened with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim, turned atheist, who recently announced her conversion to Christianity.

“[Ali’s] atheism simply could not contend against the forces that are going on in the world, both those kinds of big forces of authoritarian regimes, you know, Putin, China, et cetera. Um, but also what she sees as this kind of woke ideology, which she sees as parasitic on culture,” Mr Brierley explained. “And she said, ‘I understand. I finally got persuaded that the only thing that could stand against this was the Judeo-Christian tradition.’”

And Ali isn’t the only one. From high-profile conversions like the Asbury Revival and mass baptisms on set of “The Jesus Revolution” film, to more and more adults turning to Christ later in life, there is a distinct sense that God is still at work. And that’s a big part of why Mr. Brierley feels such a sense of hope regardless of the world’s cultural deterioration.

“God’s still alive. God’s still up to something,” he said. “I believe God’s not finished with the church and we may just be standing on the edge of something like the next great revival … Something’s happening. And yeah, I’ve great hope that God is not finished yet.”

Marissa Mayer is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in Christian Post, The Daily Signal, and Intellectual Takeout. Mayer has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.

Copyright © 2024 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide