Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

What Would it Take for A Humanist to Believe in God?

Douglas Murray is a prolific humanist writer and social critic who has authored two bestselling books. He finds himself in the odd position of being a self-professed non-believer who nevertheless has great respect for Christianity and the positive role it has played in building Western civilization--to the point of calling himself a “Christian atheist.”

On an episode of the Unbelievable podcast, Murray was asked, “Why don’t you just believe in God?” His response has always been that he genuinely finds it difficult to accept certain aspects of the Christian argument. Belief in God, he noted, cannot be faked or forced.

Esther O’Reilly, also a guest on the program, noted that if men are rational animals, then God must deal with them as such. Therefore, there can be evidence that fully satisfies man’s search for these truths, both intellectually and spiritually, as opposed to requiring a blind leap of faith. The historical reliability of the New Testament, for instance, is one such piece of evidence, since it attests to the truth of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. This evidence is available to all who wish to judge it, point by point.

The host of the program, Justin Brierley, asked Murray what it would take for him to make a return to faith in God and Christianity. Murray said “I think I’d need to hear a voice.” Brierley asked “Literally a voice from beyond?” “Oh yes,” he replied, “I mean it literally.”

He admitted to being fascinated by the lack of such experiences in the West when compared to places like the Middle East or Africa. He also cited the utter incredulity with which Christians in the West treat individuals who claim to have had such experiences. He said, “this has historically been one of the ways in which religion has thrived, in visions.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

God has given us evidence for belief in him through creation (Psa. 19:1-6; Rom 1:4), through fulfilled prophecy (Isa. 7:14; Micah 5:2), and through the resurrection of Christ (John 20:1-9; Rom. 1:4) to name a few. But there are many who simply choose not to believe.


George Brahm, “Douglas Murray cherishes Christianity. What would it take for him to believe?” Premier Christianity, (1-14-20)

Related Sermon Illustrations

Secular Author Says, 'I Miss God'

"I don't believe in God, but I miss him."

This is the opening line from a book titled Nothing to Be Afraid Of by the award-winning British writer, Julian Barnes. Barnes, who describes ...

[Read More]

Dallas Willard Responds to an Atheist's Definition of Faith

Richard Robinson was one of the leading atheist philosophers during the latter part of the twentieth century. He died in 1996, and he knows better now, but in 1964 he published a book ...

[Read More]