Monday, July 04, 2011

Marcus Brigstocke on God

On Richard Bacon's radio programme the entertaining and ever interesting Marcus Brigstocke articulates his problems with Judaism, Islam and Christianity. He cites anti-feminism, belief in the same god (!!), the content of the bible - old and new testaments, and 'the thug' who is Jesus' father and numerous other charges. Whilst being good to listen to and attempting to be fair and generous... a million miles from Richard Dawkins - this is the witty voice of modern agnosticism.

Inevitably I think he's missed the story of the Bible, but nonetheless there are difficult passages and commands - ones that really aren't going to make much sense without some key issues in place. Consequently, Brigstocke is left with a struggle - a desire to believe in god that he thinks we all generally have, but a desire for that not to be the god of Christianity, Judaism or Islam. Meanwhile in the interview Richard Bacon embodies liberal Christianity by generally saying 'but most christians don't believe it that do they'.
"Atheists think they're cleverer than other people... there are loads of religious people who are cleverer and better read than I am. And lots of stupid atheists? Several of my friends who are atheists are so thick if they tried to hold an idea that beautiful in their heads it'd give them a nosebleed. It doesn't make you clever to be an atheist. The only thing that makes you clever and interesting is a willingness to ask questions. That's what's good. And then listen to the answer with any luck"
He slates Dawkins for being hardline, and notes that reading The God Delusion turned him from an Atheist to an Agnostic. He's aiming to be funny and get people asking good questions - which sounds helpful!
I recommend listening, and await delivery of the book soon.


  1. Really enjoyed this interview. Some of what he says is very true. It will be interesting to see what the book is like!

  2. Dave,

    Thanks for this tip - a fascinating interview which gives us a window in the dark soul of our culture...

    One of the most fascinating points of the interview, was Brigstocke's admission (at around the 17 min mark) of what turned him from atheism to agnosticism: the death of his best friend. This has got to be a very good place to begin our evangelism with so called atheists by asking them, how does the world looks without God and then once the futility of that world is recognised, inviting them come to One Person who can make it whole again (a la Matthew 11:28-30).


  3. Kip - it was a vulnerable admission by him. A friend mentioned to me the other day something Tim Keller said about not just confronting the culture but also consoling it - our apologetics ought to do both. And perhaps more consolation, these are hopeless days and there is some real hope.