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Influential YouTuber admits he is on a spiritual journey

Outspoken podcaster and YouTuber Dave Rubin has admitted in a dialogue with Dr John Lennox that he has changed his mind about God and has begun to rediscover his spiritual roots.

Rubin, who was raised in a culturally Jewish background, but has described himself as an atheist, now has over 1 million subscribers on YouTube. He said: “I have no problem with Jesus – I like the guy. I like the message of Jesus – I love these ideas. I think that if my life becomes a continuing conversation about these things, I can incorporate the best parts of that to be a better person.”

Filmed in front of 1,000 people at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa in California the debate is the latest episode to be released as part of The Big Conversation debate series and also featured Oxford Professor of Mathematics, Dr John Lennox. Rubin’s comments may come as a surprise to his many social media followers who have heard him state that he was an atheist.

“I’d had a series of atheists on [my show] in a row, and then people online just kept saying that I was an atheist. And then I just said it one day … it didn’t mean anything to me one way or another.” However, he went on to describe how he changed his mind recently following a period of reflection saying, “One of the thoughts that I kept having was that: I’m not an atheist. I did this live stream where I said that I just don’t like the word atheist – it doesn’t fit what I believe … I got a lot of hate for that one, because the atheists, they don’t like a converted person either.”

From left: Dave Rubin, John Lennox, Calvary Chapel Costa
Mesa pastor Brian Broderson, host Justin Brierley

The host of The Rubin Report says he has been impacted by his friendship with well-known Canadian psychologist Jordan B. Peterson and that his writings were the catalyst for his beliefs to begin to shift.

He commented “I’m a better person today than I was before I started this journey with Jordan, and that doesn’t mean I subscribe to the Church of Jordan Peterson – it’s just that this guy has communicated the bedrock ideas that we’re talking about here. By me listening to [his teaching] and hearing that and incorporating some of that in my life, I’m a better person. So that means something.”

Rubin says he has been increasingly drawn towards people of religious faith, he continued, “I would say as I’ve sat down with believers and non-believers alike, I’ve genuinely found the believers not only more welcoming but more open, actually happier; less dependent on things outside of themselves – more self-reliant."

Produced by Premier Christian Radio’s faith discussion show Unbelievable? this is the fourth episode in the current season of The Big Conversation, which first aired on Friday 15 November. The episode, titled Is God Dead? A conversation on faith, culture and the modern world features Rubin in debate with author and professor, Dr John Lennox who famously debated Richard Dawkins on his book, The God Delusion.

Rubin, a former member of the Young Turks Network, also spoke about his recent re-engagement with his Jewish roots, “Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the new year and it’s about creation, and then basically you have the week or so between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur where you’re supposed to think about your life, the things that you’ve done, the good things that you’ve done, the bad things – you apologise to people, whoever you may have done harm to.

“So this is the real answer to your question – I really did that this year; I really did think about it. Just a few days ago at that service I really was trying to be cognisant of: it doesn’t necessarily matter if I believe in all of it fully, but there is value in this. So I would be happy to do this again next year, and we could continue the conversation.”

He concluded, “I would say I’m secular basically in my life, but I definitely in the last year have found that there has to be something outside of us; [otherwise] the rest of this makes no sense”

The Big Conversation is a unique video series from Premier Christian Radio's popular faith debate show Unbelievable? Hosted by Justin Brierley, The Big Conversation explores science, faith, philosophy and what it means to be human. Other episodes feature high-profile thinkers across the Christian and atheist community such as Bret Weinstein, Jordan B Peterson, Susan Blackmore, Derren Brown and Bart Ehrman. For videos, commentary and the programme schedule visit www.thebigconversation.show 

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