A little less than two decades ago, you might walk past a bookstore and see The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins featured among the bestsellers. The mid to late 2000’s were the heyday for the New Atheists, a small cohort of scientists and philosophers who were convinced religion was both untrue and a bad influence in the world. At the time, it was easy to see the rise of the New Atheists as the latest peak of secularism, a sign that public belief in religion was long gone, and there was no going back.
Where we sit now in 2024, we can see that the New Atheist movement fell apart due to internal disagreement and concern about its own influence on the world. According to our guest Justin Brierley, public opinions towards religion are complex and mixed, not nearly as negative as the New Atheist movement would have anticipated. In fact, there are many signs that a Christian renewal is underway. From notable conversions of high-profile individuals to the rise of secular thinkers defending Christianity to the increasing skepticism that science and atheist worldviews can answer our most important questions, Justin observes that the Christian story is far from dead.
Justin Brierley is a writer, speaker, and podcaster committed to building dialogue between Christians and non-Christians. His first book was titled Unbelievable? Why, after ten years of talking with atheists, I’m still a Christian and in September 2023 he published his second book, The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God.
Zach interviews Justin in this episode, and the conversation ends with several fascinating questions: will there be a renewal of Christianity and belief in God? If so, are the churches prepared for it? How can the Christian world transcend tribalism and culture wars to welcome a new batch of seekers?