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Leading atheist calls church to ‘preach its gospel’

August 2021 | by John Tredgett

Douglas Murray CREDIT Andy Ngo
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Best-selling author and social commentator Douglas Murray has expressed concern over what he perceives as the compromised state of the UK church.

Murray was being interviewed alongside former Anglican bishop N. T. Wright as part of Premier Christianity’s Unbelievable YouTube series. The episode was entitled ‘Identity, myth & miracles: How do we live in a post-Christian world?’

Despite being a homosexual unbeliever, Murray expressed great affection for ‘the values and virtues’ of Christianity, such as its cultural heritage in Britain. He drew attention, for example, to the seminal influence upon the English language of the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer.

However, Murray was troubled by what he sees as a current and widespread departure from the core, historic values of Christianity: ‘My fear is that the church is not doing what so many of us on the outside would like it to do,’ he said, ‘preaching its gospel [and] asserting its truths.’

Murray suspects many churches ‘fall into the latest tropes’ of cultural compromise, such as woke ideology or anti-racist political movements, while the church itself is ‘failing to tell its own story’.

Murray also felt that many ‘faith groups’ have become little more than ‘social action groups’, providing not much beyond charity work and soup kitchens. ‘I don’t think of this as religion,’ Murray said.

Despite his perception of compromise across many churches, Murray spoke of a ‘hunger’ for the ‘old, great truths’ of Christianity among many people.

Several of his friends, Murray said, have made the step of turning from atheism or other religions to Christianity – and quite specifically to churches which adopt older, more traditional forms and which are not ‘watered-down’ by involvement in modern social justice movements. Such people, Murray said, ‘want to drink as directly from the well as they can’.

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