Apologetics Radio Uncategorized

BBC Radio Ulster – William Crawley, Michael Nugent and David Robertson – Is Christianity holding Northern Ireland Back?

Talk Back – BBC Radio Ulster

There has been a considerable amount of feedback to this show – broadcast today.


  1. My PhD work explored the affect of post-Enlightenment rationalism on theology in general and church-life in particular. From Schleiermacher, to Ritschl, to Derrida, the path to sterile secularism broadened. The BBC report illustrates the pervasiveness of that secularist spirit. And I speak as a former Christian commentator on BBC radio.

  2. Yes, obviously Christianity is holding Ulster back, and I hope David said so. It’s the only thing still restraining the province from plunging headlong into the mire of moral relativism and death culture that has overwhelmed most of Western society. It’s the only thing that could.

  3. On listening to the programme, I was initially aware of the negative phrasing of the question and likewise the loaded questions you were faced with David and how you were interrupted when answering. I must commend you on the grace that you showed in that environment.

    I would have found that difficult and challenging if it were me.

    So yes this idea of a secular utopia and “sign me up”. It does sound good on the surface doesn’t it? Where neither religion nor atheism “interferes” with politics. However as you rightly say, it is the elite that decides on politics in that sense. I liked your argument that the best liberal societies in the world had protestant principles.

    SSS has shown what this “utopia” leads to however with wanting to abolish denominational schools and remove all religious elements to RO thereby denying human rights of parents to have their children educated the way they would like. This prejudice showed with what Nugent talked of with children being considered Christian being an abuse. So, is it therefor an abuse for an adult to remove a child from RO in school? On the basis of what constitutes abuse then this argument could equally be made. If anyone were to make such claim about homosexuality and a child they would face accusations of homophobia. By that standard Nugent’s comment was Christianophobic. I would have liked to have heard a response to that but I don’t think you were afforded that David.

    He also asserted that the “most logical explanation that there is no God.” OK to be expected from an atheist. I’ve heard arguments form an agnostic that his position was the most reasonable and I think from Lennox that the existence of God is the most reasonable. I would have liked for it to have been afforded time for an engagement with that and I think you weren’t afforded that either. It would have been easy to talk of an evil god as the “god of the world” in biblical terms but only having the amount of power that God has allowed by way of the good and evil argument. I like your response with good an evil being in everyone rather than separating people into good people and bad people.

    And I do like what you mentioned as a final comment about pure religion with care about widows and orphans and not being corrupted as a counter to the negative slant on religion as posed in the questions. I tend to use that approach myself.

    Sorry for the long post but I wanted to cover a few things. Happy for you to edit and remove anything you think superfluous or to not post the comment at all as you choose.

    Wishing you every fulfillment in your continuing engagement with these kind of debates.

  4. Thank you David for articulating Christ’s values so well in such a hostile environment. Praise God that he has given you the gifts and opportunity to do so.

    Interesting that the programme didn’t really get into the troubles which were not a religious conflict although some bad religion did contribute to them. Did Christianity hold back Northern Ireland then? Bad religion did but good Christianity brought about peace – see this article on the priest who brokered the IRA ceasefire http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28812366 and this article on the minister who brokered the loyalist ceasefire – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/891412.stm

    The underlying impression is that Christian influence is holding back people from doing what they want – the convenience of abortion and expression of their ‘sexual identity’. Northern Ireland is fast becoming one of the last places in Europe where these moral constraints have not been completely negated by legislation. As someone who lives here I hope that continues and that my children grow up in a society which continues to be positively influenced by Christian values. I praise God that my daughter comes home singing ‘you are special to God’ which is what they sing to children in school on their birthdays.

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