Jerry Johnston Interviews Julian Baggini on the Decline of Christianity in Britain
Once producing ministers and missionaries like Charles Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor, and George Muller – Britain seems to have lost her Christian fervor. While in London, I interviewed Julian Baggini, philosopher and critic of Christianity. Baggini is the editor of the The Philosopher’s Magazine and a writer for the newspaper, The Guardian. I asked Julian about Britain’s dramatic shift in Christianity. He replied,
“I’m really not sure. I mean, to me it seems the kind of slightly complacent view, I think, of people like myself, who are non-believers, and who perhaps came to non-belief relatively early in life. Is the – the default’s shifted, okay. So there was a time perhaps in society, where the common sense would involve a kind of belief in the supernatural, or god. And it took something exceptional to take you away from that. And slowly, I think, the modern world view has made sort of a non-theistic, or at least, a non-traditional theistic world view, the common sense – although people do have a kind of spiritual yearning still. Most people still think there’s something beyond the physical world; something beyond the body. The idea that involves a personal god who gave a son to be sacrificed, who gave a special book to a small people who were living in a particular place in the Middle East – all of that, it just seems not credible anymore. People need a particular reason to believe that, whereas in the past, they needed a particular reason not to believe it.”
What are the factors that have accommodated this drastic change in Britain? Cristie Jo and I are traveling around the world, tracking these dramatic shifts with the top theologians and researchers of today. Our research will be highlighted in our documentary, publications, and digital resources for all ages.