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Posted: 16 June 2018

The ashes of the physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking were laid to rest in Westminster Abbey yesterday between the remains of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. The inscription on his memorial stone echoes the words on the memorial of his new neighbour, Isaac Newton: ‘Here lies what was mortal of Stephen Hawking’, although it also includes, at Hawking’s request, his most famous equation, describing the entropy of a black hole.

Stephen Hawking identified himself as an atheist. In 2014, he explained what he meant when he said (in his book A Brief History of Time) that if we had a complete theory of why the universe exists, ‘then we would know the mind of God’. He said, ‘We would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an...

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Photo of the Sea of Galilee

Posted: 03 June 2018

In this guest blog post, Peter May explores the ‘hidden’ first 25 years of the Christian faith, examining the impact of Jesus on the ancient world of his time.

An astonishing claim

Famously, Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ But when I first read that passage as a sceptical teenager, I found it very puzzling. Did Jesus actually say that? It is not recorded in the other three Gospels – Matthew, Mark or Luke – which are all thought to have been written before John. It is such a prophetic claim to make. However, I soon found that Jesus said something very similar in Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount. He told his followers, ‘You are the light of the world. Let your light shine...

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Photo of Marcelo Gleiser delivering the Drawbridge Lecture

Posted: 31 May 2018

On 22 May 2018, around 100 people gathered in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral for a unique lecture in the heart of the capital. The Drawbridge Lecture has been running since the 1930s, and has featured Christian leaders and thinkers such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Russian dissident poet of the Cold War era, Irina Ratushinskaya, and Professor Alister McGrath. But the 2018 lecture was different.

So often, the science and religion debates are hijacked by those with the loudest voices – the militant atheists, the creationists and the controversialists. But the Christian Evidence Society decided to put on an event to help the scene evolve and become more representative of what many people know: that science and religion have always had much in common, and have much to gain from...

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Posted: 21 May 2018

In the UK, the dialogue between science and religion is often defined by aggression and tribalism; no progress is made and views become entrenched. But the Drawbridge Lecture, a long-established lecture series organised by the Christian Evidence Society, which has always featured leaders and thinkers from the Christian tradition, will break that deadlock this year. It will be delivered at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on Tuesday 22 May 2018, by the agnostic and world renowned cosmologist Marcelo Gleiser.

Professor Gleiser, who is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the author of several best-selling popular science books, has long championed a positive re-engagement between the sciences and the humanities, including religion and the arts. His...

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Photo of sunset at Big Sur, California

Posted: 19 May 2018

Marcelo Gleiser is delivering our Drawbridge Lecture of 2018 at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on Tuesday 22 May, on ‘Unknowns in Heaven and Earth’. This guest blog post by him examines the choices in the relationship between science and religion beyond the polarized positions of ‘I believe’ or ‘I don’t believe.’ Register here for a free ticket to the Drawbridge Lecture.

When discussing the relationship between science and religion, people often take a polarized position: It’s either ‘I believe’ or ‘I don’t believe.’

Much grief comes from the insistence from either side that the opposite is wrong or meaningless. (Here is an example, as secularist Sam Harris criticizes National Institutes of Health director and believer Francis Collins.)

In practice, however, there...

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Photo of Marcelo Gleiser

Posted: 15 May 2018

The 2018 Drawbridge Lecture, organised by the Christian Evidence Society (which runs this blog), will be delivered by physicist and author Marcelo Gleiser. Gillian Straine, a trustee of the Society and the organiser of this year’s lecture, explains how Professor Gleiser was invited to speak on Unknowns in Heaven and Earth.

In November 2015, delegates from across the globe gathered in a medieval Swiss chateau in a meeting sponsored by a branch of the UK government and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

This may sound like a storyline from a Bond movie, but it was the third and final gathering in a fascinating series of interfaith talks about science and religion sponsored by Wilton Park, an agency of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, providing a global forum for...

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Posted: 10 May 2018

Theoretical physicist, author and science educator Professor Marcelo Gleiser will deliver the Drawbridge Lecture at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 22 May 2018, in a lecture entitled ‘Unknowns in Heaven and Earth’. The lecture will call for a re-engagement between the sciences and the humanities, including religion and the arts. ‘We must confront the unknowns in heaven and earth, many of them crucial to our shared future on this planet,’ says Marcelo Gleiser, who is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.

Entry to the lecture is by free ticket. Please register here

The Drawbridge Lecture is a lecture series of the Christian Evidence Society. Previous speakers have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Russian dissident poet Irina Ratushinskaya,...

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Posted: 15 March 2018

We’re glad to hear that the UK’s leading apologetics gathering, Unbelievable? The Conference 2018, is returning to London on Saturday 19 May 2018.

The conference is hosted by Justin Brierley, whose popular Unbelievable? radio show and podcast brings believers and sceptics together to debate the big issues. He will be joined by 10 internationally renowned thinkers, scientists and Christian leaders, including Rob Parsons, Hugh Ross, Sharon Dirckx and Glen Scrivener.

The conference seminars, talks and Q&A sessions promise to help attendees respond to the questions that we and others frequently ask of the Christian faith.

Early bird booking rates end this Friday 16 March, so do check out this year’s theme and the full speaker lineup. For tickets and more info, visit Unbelievable? The...

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Photo of Stephen Hawking at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Posted: 15 March 2018

The death of Stephen Hawking has evoked a range of positive tributes among Christian leaders, scientists and thinkers online. Professor Hawking, one of the world’s best known and most celebrated scientists, had contrasting things to say about religious faith during his life. In his bestselling book, A Brief History of Time (1988), he famously said: ‘If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God.’ But in 2014, he firmly declared himself an atheist and said, ‘What I meant by “we would know the mind of God” is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.’

The Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to Hawking on his Facebook page:...

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Photo of Rebecca Goldstein, William Lane Craig and Jordan Peterson

Posted: 26 January 2018

Tonight sees a debate, which will be live-streamed on YouTube, between philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig, psychology professor Jordan Peterson, and philosopher and author Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. The debate is expected to be lively and provocative, as the three scholars offer their very insights into questions around the meaning of life.

See the debate live here.

Jordan Petersen, a leading Canadian intellectual, is the author of recently-published 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which has been described as ‘a hardline self-help manual of self-reliance, good behaviour, self-betterment and individualism’. Peterson was recently in the news for his fiery interview on Channel 4 News, focusing on gender issues, which resulted in online abuse of the interviewer,...

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Photos at the top of this column by:
Taro Taylor and Jon Sullivan