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20211221 Top 10

Top 10 most popular Unbelievable? shows of 2021


Unbelievable? received over 4 million podcast downloads in 2021. But which shows were the most popular? Justin Brierley counts down of the top 10 most downloaded shows…

Is the church too woke or just broke?

Owen Strachan author of ‘Christianity and Wokeness’ argued the church is ‘too woke’ when it comes to social justice. Rev Jermaine Marshall author of ‘Christianity Corrupted’ said it’s just broke’ in its complicity with white supremacy.

They debated Critical Race Theory, racism and the gospel in a show that received a huge amount of feedback.

9. Unbelievable? Is the US Church in the grip of political idolatry? Shane Claiborne & Johnnie Moore

Following the pro-Trump riots and the storming of Congress at Capitol Hill, many feared white evangelicals in the USA were in the grip of political idolatry in their support of the outgoing president.

I was joined by Johnnie Moore who chaired Trump’s Evangelical Executive Council and has defended Trump’s administration, and Christian justice activist Shane Claiborne who has been an outspoken critic of the president.

8. Kristin Kobes Du Mez on masculinity, Mark Driscoll and the future for US evangelicals

Kristin Kobes Du Mez is the author of the bestselling book ‘Jesus and John Wayne: How white evangelicals corrupted a faith and fractured a nation’.

She chatted live with me in this livestream edition of the show about the recent ‘Rise and Fall of Mars Hill’ podcast, the support Donald Trump received among white evangelicals, the concept of masculinity and the future of Christianity in the USA.

7. Unbelievable? Egalitarian and Complementarian views on Biblical Womanhood – Beth Allison Barr and Rachel Green Miller

What is the Biblical Womanhood movement and is it actually biblical?

Beth Allison Barr, author of ‘The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the subjugation of women became Gospel truth’ takes an egalitarian view of scripture. Rachel Green Miller, author of ‘Beyond Authority and Submission: Women and Men in Marriage, Church, and Society’ takes a complementarian perspective.

They explored both common ground and differences in their perspectives on the roles of men and women in the church and family.

6. Bishop Robert Barron and Alex O’Connor (Cosmic Skeptic) – Christianity or Atheism: Which makes best sense of who we are?

Bishop Robert Barron of Word on Fire and Alex O’Connor of the Cosmic Skeptic channel discuss the evidence for God, the nature of faith and the problem of suffering in the first episode of The Big Conversation season 3.

The Enneagram has become a wildly popular personality tool in secular and spiritual circles. But is it a theologically valid way of understanding human psychology?

Pastor and theologian Todd Wilson, author of ‘The Enneagram goes to church’ believes the Enneagram can be a transformative tool for churches. Ex-new ager Marcia Montenegro, author of ‘Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret’ believes it is a spiritual deception.

4. NT Wright and Douglas Murray – Identity, myth & miracles: How do we live in a post-Christian world?

Episode 3 of our third season of The Big Conversation saw social commentator Douglas Murray engage theologian NT Wright on whether Christianity still makes best sense of the world in a post-Christian age, and how to address the growing meaning and identity crisis in the West.

Rev Christina Beardsley is a transgender priest in the Church of England and author of numerous resources on trans experience in the church. She engaged with Preston Sprinkle, author of ‘Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say’ who takes a grace-filled but traditional Christian approach to sexuality.

They discussed how churches should engage with trans people, theological questions of ‘bodily’ and ‘gender’ identity, and the issue of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.

2. The Ravi Zacharias scandal: Dr Diane Langberg, Glen Scrivener and Steve Baughman on lessons we need to learn

The Feb 2021 independent report about Ravi Zacharias’ abuse shipwrecked a global ministry and swept away the legacy of one of the most influential Christian apologists. Ruth Jackson and I were joined by Christian psychologist Dr Diane Langberg, a specialist in trauma abuse, and Rev Glen Scrivener, an evangelist with Speak Life, to discuss how we safeguard against more scandals in the future. The focus was on supporting victims, ensuring accountability and the problem with pedestals.

1. Did Adam & Eve exist? William Lane Craig and Joshua Swamidass

How should Christians understand the Adam & Eve story in Genesis? Is it scientifically plausible that humanity can be traced back to a first human couple? What does it mean for the concept of ‘Original Sin’?

These and more questions were discussed by Christian philosopher William Lane Craig, author of the new book ‘In Quest of the Historical Adam’, and computational biologist Joshua Swamidass, author of ‘The Genealogical Adam & Eve’.

And, as a bonus, here are the most-viewed shows of 2021 from our Unbelievable? YouTube channel…

2nd Place: Calvinism vs Molinism on the Problem of Evil: James White vs William Lane Craig

This was a much anticipated pairing, and consequently 2000 people watched the premiere on YouTube (on this December 3rd), and over 130,000 people had watched the video within its first week! At the time of publishing this blog, it’s exceeded 170,000.

1st Place: Jordan Peterson vs Susan Blackmore: Do we need God to make sense of life?

Published three years ago, and standing tall at over 3 million views – over 800,000 of which have been from 2021 – this debate truly kicked off our The Big Conversation series with a bang and continues to make an impact!

Thank you!

It’s been a busy year! As well as broadcasting every Saturday on radio, we also had millions of views on our Youtube channel too. Thanks to all those who have been engaging with Unbelievable? content from around the world and supporting us too.

And don’t forget you can subscribe to the Unbelievable? podcast on your preferred platform, and never miss any of our conversations!

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