Matters of Life & Death

In each episode of Matters of Life and Death, brought to you by Premier Unbelievable, John Wyatt and his son Tim discuss issues in healthcare, ethics, technology, science, faith and more. John is a doctor, professor of ethics, and writer and speaker on these topics, while Tim is a religion and social affairs journalist. We talk about how Christians can better engage with a particular question of life, death or something else in between.

Neo-Luddism and the ‘myth’ of progress: Should Christians be pro or anti technology?

17 Jul 2024

In recent weeks we have discussed how to keep modern technology at arms-length (smartphones in the home) and our excitement at how humans may be about to untap God’s blessing in creation through technology (the solar energy revolution). Today we ask...

Energy abundance: Is the coming solar power revolution a blessing from God?

10 Jul 2024

Even sober-minded experts are getting excited about solar power. Respectable estimates suggest the price of energy derived from sunlight will continue to drop spectacularly as the number of panels installed worldwide continues to explode exponentiall...

Julian Assange, whistleblowers, and the Christian case for journalism

3 Jul 2024

The controversial hacker and activist (and maybe journalist?) Julian Assange was suddenly freed for five years in a British jail last month, after he reached a surprise deal with the US authorities over classified military files he published online m...

Physics and the gospel: Richard Cheetham on how churches can embrace science once more

26 Jun 2024

Despite reams of research debunking the myth and countless examples of pioneering Christian researchers, many people still believe intuitively that somehow science and religion are in constant conflict. There are even those within the church who, per...

Dependence: Should Christians embrace ‘being a burden’ on others as we get old?

19 Jun 2024

Tim’s been away this last week on holiday so we’re bringing you an episode from the Matters of Life and Death vault today. There is a looming ‘demographic timebomb’ – a growing mass of elderly and increasingly chronically ill people in many developed...

Are smartphones damaging our children? with Andy Crouch

12 Jun 2024

This week we interview the writer Andy Crouch on a question which has been everywhere in recent months: are smartphones damaging our children? A growing number of writers and thinkers are arguing that our digital technology, most notably social media...

How much is too much to genetically screen your children?

5 Jun 2024

In the first half of this episode we explore new research into public opinion around polygenic embryo screening. This technology allows people undergoing IVF to see what genes each potential embryo has and then choose to reimplant the one with the ‘b...

Elections, the church and threats to democracy

29 May 2024

We in the UK have been startled by the sudden announcement from the prime minister that our general election, due at the end of the year, would actually be held in six weeks’ time in early July. In this episode we reflect on why Christians are so pol...

Autism: Disability or superpower?

23 May 2024

Diagnosis rates for autism have been steadily rising for decades now, and as the condition has become more prevalent there has been a growing debate within the community and wider society about what autism is. Some prefer to talk about neurodiversity...

Two is the loneliest number: Can AI friends stop us feeling alone?

15 May 2024

Science fiction has long been fascinated by the idea of humans becoming friends with computers. And the dream of an always-on digital companion you can talk to day or night is closer than ever before, thanks to advances in AI software in recent years...

‘Playing God’: Science and religion in the 21st century

8 May 2024

What would contact with intelligent aliens mean for humanity? Will doctors ever be able to cure depression with a drug? Can we bestow personhood on animals? Nick Spencer, senior fellow at the religion and society think tank Theos, is the author of t...

Assisted dying in Scotland: A bad law but also an inevitable one?

1 May 2024

A new law has been proposed in the Scottish Parliament which would allow terminally ill people to request doctors assist them in committing suicide. This is the latest push in a growing campaign across the UK and more widely in the Western world to l...

Abusive relationships and coercive control in church

24 Apr 2024

Society has been on a long and slow journey in recent decades into a richer and more sympathetic understanding of how abuse and coercion work within relationships. We are much better at both identifying and prosecuting this kind of abuse, and at bein...

Q&A: Did ending Roe v Wade actually save unborn children’s lives, and have we got food culture wrong in church?

17 Apr 2024

Our first topic in this Q&A episode is a recent study which found that in 2023, the first full calendar year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade and the constitutional right to an abortion, total abortions actually increased. Despite 21...

ADHD, over-diagnosis and should Christians try to enhance our brains with stimulants?

10 Apr 2024

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the faster growing mental health diagnoses of our age. More and more people, including those well into adulthood, are seeking out and being diagnosed with ADHD. And the typical treatment plan...