CNLP 311: John S. Dickerson on the Bias Against Christianity, How Christianity Has Made a Surprisingly Positive Contribution to History, and Why Christianity is the Opposite of Anti-Intellectual

Award-winning journalist turned mega-church pastor, John S. Dickerson, is back on the podcast to talk about why skeptics might want to rethink their suspicion about Christianity.

John took his journalistic skills through centuries of history to discover why Christianity isn’t anti-intellectual, why it’s been far more progressive than repressive, and how a skeptical generation may want to rethink its bias against Christians.

Welcome to Episode 311 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Jesus Skeptic

Episode Links

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Conversation Links

Real Christianity by Dale Partridge

The Christian Virtuoso, The First Part by Robert Boyle

Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell

3 Insights from John

1. Most of the things that have made our world great came from Christians

In Jesus Skeptic, John outlines three of the greatest moral creations in history and how Christianity is responsible for them. The major leaders who abolished slavery and brought the Civil Rights Movement were all Christians, and their major motivation was that it’s wrong to follow Jesus and have slaves.

Christianity is also responsible for the creation of modern universities. If you look at the top ten universities in the world, eight of them have blatantly Christian language in their charters, and the other two were founded by all Christians. The third thing that Christianity is responsible for is modern medicine. Nine of the top ten hospital systems in the world were founded by Christians. The effect that these three major movements have had on our modern lives is almost immeasurable.

2. Many modern Christians are more committed to their mindset, lifestyle, and prosperity than Jesus himself

So easily, we fall into this “who’s right and who’s wrong?” mindset. Many Christians think we always have to be right and we have to prove that we’re right, and we have to prove that the other person is wrong. Even if we are right, that doesn’t help. Nobody cares if we are right if they don’t like us.

John points out that we can easily fall into thinking that Christianity is about making our life perfect here and now, and anyone who threatens that is against us, rather than really seeing what Jesus taught—that his kingdom is not of this world, and that we are here to radically lay down our lives to help others.

3. The people who actually follow Jesus will continue to change the world

When we look throughout history, the people who are devout followers of what Jesus actually said, and not what the Church says, have always been the radical world-changers that add value. These are the people and examples that caused John to have faith in Jesus and his teachings.

The biggest threat to Christianity is the people who claim to be Christians but are actually using their faith to propagate hate and judgment on the world. These were the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, and they are still alive and thriving in our modern world.

Quotes from Episode 311

Christians can do a better job of showing that we're good for society. @JohnSDickerson Click To Tweet

It turns out that many of the great advances that have made the world a better place were initiated by followers of Jesus. @JohnSDickerson Click To Tweet

You can't just say you're a Christian and live a self-pleasing life and only use Christianity when it helps you. That's not actually following Jesus. @JohnSDickerson Click To Tweet

There are bad people who claim to be Christians in every generation, and sadly there always will be. @JohnSDickerson Click To Tweet

If you think of any movement that's one out of three people in the world, it's going to have a lot of wackos and weirdos in it. @JohnSDickerson Click To Tweet

The greatest argument for Christianity and against Christianity is Christians. - C.S. Lewis Click To Tweet

The scientific revolution is a tree that grew from the soil of a Christian world. @JohnSDickerson Click To Tweet

Where Christianity goes, women have better education, more equal pay, they're allowed to vote. @JohnSDickerson Click To Tweet

A true skeptic isn't someone who refuses to believe anything, it's someone who refuses to believe what's false. @JohnSDickerson Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 311

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Next Episode: Jordan Raynor

Jordan Raynor is a serial entrepreneur who has bought and sold several fast-growing businesses by the time he turned 30. He’s been a Google Fellow and spoken at SXSW, Harvard and TedX. He talks about what makes for a successful launch, the qualities and characteristics that make for great entrepreneurs, and why so much of the career advice people give young leaders is wrong.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 312.

CNLP 311: John S. Dickerson on the Bias Against Christianity, How Christianity Has Made a Surprisingly Positive Contribution to History, and Why Christianity is the Opposite of Anti-Intellectual


  1. tonuri de apel iphone on December 22, 2020 at 2:19 am

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  3. Rev. Godfrey Byamukama on December 24, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Greetings from the Diocese of Kinkiizi and happy Christmas.
    Am very grateful for every post you have sent for since I joined you.
    Many blessings.
    As a way of promoting my understanding and exposure to the experience of God I request you to facilitate me on attending your trainings over there. Support and finance my study in your institutions.
    Your scholarship is very important to my life today.
    Thank you very much
    Rev. Godfrey Byamukama
    Diocese of Kinkiizi

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