“Christian Revival Is Under Way in Britain,” Faith Leader Asserts

A well-known author and podcaster in the United Kingdom says he believes his country may be undergoing a revival and that both research and anecdotes support his claim.

Justin Brierley, the author of the book The Surprising Rebirth of Belief In God and the host of a podcast of the same name, asserts in a new column for The Spectator that a “Christian revival is under way in Britain.” Brierley formerly hosted the popular Unbelievable? podcast.

He cited multiple anecdotes and high-profile stories of faith from around the world.

“The author and poet Paul Kingsnorth surprised his readership when he announced his conversion in 2021,” Brierley wrote. “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] Tom Holland’s thesis that Christianity is the foundation on which the ethics of the West sits.”

Further, influencers such as “Joe Rogan and Douglas Murray are increasingly talking about the value of Christian faith and the dangers of casting it off,” Brierley wrote. 

“The 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,” he wrote. “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 in the midst of a ‘meaning crisis’ in the West.

“Another significant voice speaking about the value of Christianity is the psychologist Jordan Peterson. In November I attended a lecture by him at the O2 Arena,” he added. “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.”

Brierley referenced an evening “Evensong” church service he attended with Holland at St Bartholomew the Great, the oldest church in London.

“In contrast to the usual ageing demographic of many Anglican churches, the congregation of St Bart’s seems to mainly consist of young professionals, both male and female,” he wrote. “I noticed a famous politician among the gathered faithful, and was told that a well-known melancholy rock star has also been frequenting the church of late.”

To be fair, Brierley noted that Peterson and others don’t believe the Bible is true. But Brierley says he has seen signs that God “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,” he wrote.

Holland himself is now open to faith and credits prayer for cancer disappearing from his body. 

Brierley acknowledges that most data does not support his claim of revival. But he cites research in Finland which shows that “church attendance among 18- to 29-year-old men more than doubled between 2011 and 2019.”

“The same uptick applies to their prayer habits and belief in God. The stats might just be a weird anomaly (this hasn’t been recorded in other Nordic countries), or it may be a canary in the coal mine.”

God, he wrote, “moves in mysterious ways.”

“As a Christian I believe things that are dead can come back to life,” Brierley wrote. “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.’”

Image credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Eachat

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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