Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Unbelievable- Justin Brierley

I love the unbelievable radio show on Premier Christian Radio show so I have been looking forward to reading Justin's book. Justin hosts the show and acts as moderator either between a Christian and a non-Christian or a inter Christian debate (often I disagree that it is an inter Christian debate but that's another story) . In this book Justin reflects on the 10 years of the show and why he is still a Christian after having some of the best arguments for atheism thrown at him.

Justin always comes across as winsome and a genuinely nice guy trying to be fair to both sides. 
I've listened to the show for a long time and in the book he reflects on various discussions and I remember the episode it's like we are reminiscing together.  If that was all there was to this book I'd love it, yet this is a book that also claims to be an apologetics book. It is to some extent but as it covers such a large area it's just bite size apologetics, not getting into the nitty gritty.

Justin is (now) an Anglican married to a vicar, so for me as a complimentarian and a non conformist you can see we have a different understand of the authority of Scripture and a different eccelesiology (understand of the church). As in this book his moderator's hat is off we get to see his own views, I was disappointed to see him defend annilationism, although the show has had a few inter-christian dialogue conversations on this issue, so I did wonder if it reflected his own views. Annilationism might have been the view of John Stott a leading British Evangelical of the C20th but it is still on the fringes as a belief and certainly not an evangelical belief. Justin said that 'he felt there is more support in scripture for this view. I have to disagree, the biblical position is for conscious eternal punishment, however much that idea repulses us it is the one presented. We perhaps have a different understand of the importance of the Holiness of God and the seriousness of sin.

This also comes out in Justin's theodicy chapter, he presents an argument that appeared on the show, how a mom came to terms with the death of her child by seeing God involved in a war and sometimes He loses the battle. He rightly points out that this argument isn't very popular with reformed people, well of course it isn't. The argument that God is either not all powerful or not all good, common in theodicies is an emotive one. I like that Revelation ends with God wiping away all the tears, all the sorrow and death being defeated that ends this broken stage we live on. I take comfort in a God who is all powerful and all loving knowing that a day is coming when He will right all wrongs.

As an apologetic book Unbelievable didn't work for me as Justin covered too much ground in a short space of time. I'm glad I've read it and I am thankful for the show.

God Bless
Stephen Barton 

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