Unbelievable? - Podcast review by Nick Ropkins

Updated: Mar 18


Since getting a dishwasher I have missed washing up. (ITK editor: What???) Not because I really love scrubbing baked-on grease and grime and seeing the satisfying sight of a glisteningly clean pan, but because I don’t seem to listen to the ‘Unbelievable?’ podcast as much as I used to. This is a podcast about Apologetics – the defending of the truth of Christianity against objections and showing why we believe. (It’s not, as some people might think, about saying sorry all the time!). I’ve found the show is a great way to help explore the Bible as well as to understand many different questions, arguments and objections that non-Christians may have and may put to us as we seek to talk to them about our faith and our views on life, the world and everything.

The programme takes the format of a debate, usually between two (sometimes more) people on both sides of an argument or discussion. This lasts about an hour and is moderated by the host of the show (Justin Brierley). The great thing about the show is that they usually have well matched debaters who are very well thought of in their fields of expertise and who put great arguments on both sides. The show therefore, despite being produced by Premier Christian radio, is really popular with both Christians and non-Christians who write in to express their views.

The show has been going for over a decade now and covers all sorts of topics with debates between Christians and atheists, Christians and people of other faiths, as well as Christians debating other Christians about doctrine. Some examples of recent show titles give you an idea of its scope: ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’, ‘How should gay Christians express their Christianity?’ ‘Theistic evolution, biology and purpose’, ‘Do we need God to be good?’, ‘Is war justified by Christianity and Nature?’, ‘Is there scientific evidence for Old Testament miracles?’, ‘Is Christianity sexist?’, ‘Why does a good God allow evil?’, ‘Is porn harmful to society?’, ’ Are evangelicals no longer welcome in politics?’, ‘Does Calvinism excuse sinners and make God guilty?’ ‘Comedy, Christianity and being offensive’, ‘Debating embryonic stem cells and biotechnology’.......I could go on for ages as for me there are so many interesting episodes (although my wife Esther may disagree – it’s not for everyone!).

The show has had some great and interesting contributors: Tim Keller, John Lennox, Phillip Pullman, Daniel Dennett, Andrew Wilson, NT Wright, Derren Brown, Alvin Plantinga, Tom Holland, Jordan Peterson, Peter Hitchens.....again I could go on with an extremely long list....

Listening to the programme can be challenging at times as there can be arguments from non- Christians that can ‘rock my theological boat’; however, it’s great to hear counter arguments to these objections and to dig into the issues more myself. This has often made me read my Bible more and I believe over time has bolstered my faith and given me a much broader understanding of many issues. I think sometimes we can worry about hearing different viewpoints thinking that they may negatively impact our faith, but I think a programme like Unbelievable is a great balanced way to explore issues. This can prepare us for conversations with friends, family, colleagues and help us to “always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks [us] for a reason for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Peter 3:15).

The show is also a great example of how this can be done with ‘gentleness and respect’ as the debates are nearly always good natured and demonstrate how to respectfully engage with those who have different opinions to us. The host is a great moderator too.

The show is on Saturdays on Premier Christian Radio at 2:30pm or you can subscribe by podcast if you’re into that sort of thing. You can also catch up on the last decade of shows via the website or podcast if you have a rather large pile of washing up to do!


Find the podcast at: - www.unbelievablepostcast.com - Download the app on Android and IOS devices It is free with no in app charges.

Gateway Church Ashford, is a church in Ashford, Kent, and is part of the New Frontiers movement and within the Catalyst Network sphere.

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