High-Profile Non-Believers Embracing Christianity in Britain

British Christian author and radio host Justin Brierley is optimistic about a steady resurgence of belief in God and suggests a revival of sorts is already underway in the UK. The author of The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God cites as anecdotal evidence the apparent conversion of high-profile celebrities. He wrote in The Spectator under the headline A Christian Revival Is Underway In Britain: “Russell Brand is now calling himself a Christian and says he plans to get baptised. Former new atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali says she has embraced Christianity after realising she was ‘spiritually bankrupt.’ The tech pioneer Jordan Hall recently went public about his conversion to Christianity.” “Significantly, both Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Jordan Hall have mentioned the influence of author and historian Tom Holland’s thesis that Christianity is the foundation on which the ethics of the West sits,” Mr. Brierley added. He also recognises the impact of psychologist Jordan Peterson, broadcaster Joe Rogan and journalist Douglas Murray. He said they may not be believers, but they talk up the value of the Christian faith and the dangers of casting it off.

He attended a London lecture by Dr. Peterson and noted that: “As he often does, he pointed his vast audience of mainly young men back to the Bible as a source of deep wisdom about the human condition.” Mr. Brierley observed that: “Women’s rights campaigner Louise Perry has been advocating for a return to traditional Christian morality since writing her book The Case Against the Sexual Revolution. The evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein often describes religion as ‘metaphorically true.’ Secular psychologists such as Jonathan Haidt and John Vervaeke have written extensively about the value of faith during a ‘meaning crisis’ in the West.” Historian Tom Holland believes the confident atheism spearheaded by the likes of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in the 2000s has “crumbled and collapsed”. Professor Dawkins recently described himself as a “cultural Christian” and lamented the faith’s waning cultural influence in Europe, despite deriding its key tenets as “nonsense.”

In an Easter interview with British journalist Rachel Johnson, Professor Dawkins agreed that the UK is “fundamentally a Christian country,” and he still personally values the Christian ethos despite not believing the religion from which it emerged. “I call myself a cultural Christian. I’m not a believer, but there’s a distinction between being a believing Christian and being a cultural Christian. I love hymns and Christmas carols, and I sort of feel at home in the Christian ethos. I feel that we are a Christian country in that sense.” While claiming he is “happy” the number of practicing Christians in the UK is plummeting, Richard Dawkins acknowledged that Islam appears to be gathering strength in Europe as Christianity recedes. He expressed being “slightly horrified” that Ramadan lights adorned London’s Oxford Street top end shopping precinct during Easter. “If I had to choose between Christianity and Islam, I choose Christianity every single time. It seems to me to be a fundamentally decent religion in a way that, I think, Islam is not. The doctrines of Islam are fundamentally hostile to women and homosexuality.

A survey of more than 3,000 UK adults commissioned by five Christian organisations in 2022 found only 6% identify as “practicing Christians,” with 42% identifying as “non-practicing Christians.” According to data released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics in 2022, less than half the population identifying as Christian. Just 46.2% said they were Christian. But Justin Brierley perceived: “They say God moves in mysterious ways. As a believing Christian, I see signs that He is moving in the minds and hearts of secular intellectuals. Many of them are recognising that secular humanism has failed and, against all their expectations, seem to be on the verge of embracing faith instead.” “C. S. Lewis wrote: If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.’ If people hadn’t believed in the Christian promise of redemption and if they hadn’t been able to hope in the face of death, they wouldn’t have had the courage to change the world in Jesus’s name.” Mr. Brierley concluded his article: “As a Christian I believe things that are dead can come back to life. That’s the point of the story after all. As G. K. Chesterton wrote: Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew the way out of the grave.”

Source: Vision Christian Media

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