The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World
Rider Books, London, 2004, 306pp.
An interview with Paul Barnett. Originally published in Australian Presbyterian (August 2005). Reproduced by permission.
Dr Paul Barnett is the former Anglican bishop of North Sydney, Australia, and is currently a teaching fellow at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a part-time lecturer at Moore Theological College and the Presbyterian Theological Centre, Sydney.
The Protestant Faith radio broadcast, 23 February 1975.
On more than one occasion, Jesus said that those who follow him would not be popular. “If they have hated me, they will hate you also”, were his words. They have proved true. Christian believers and Christian clergy are constantly under ridicule. In other societies such as Russia, they are actively persecuted. On the other hand, we all like to be popular with our fellows, so there is a constant temptation for Christians to play down the gospel message of salvation. For the message is about the awful judgement of God and of Jesus, the only saviour. This message is resisted by the conscience of the hearer, and so there is a temptation to change it into something more acceptable, for example, into a call to set right wrongs and injustices.