Southeastern's Exploring Personhood Conference concludes series, addressing challenges to humanity


WAKE FOREST, N.C. — Created in God’s image, humanity was made for flourishing and relationship with him. However, in our cultures and in our own lives, we see confusion about what it means to be human, and we encounter challenges to living faithfully before God in this world.

Addressing these challenges, Southeastern Seminary’s L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture hosted its annual Exploring Personhood conference last week, concluding its three-year series, Being Human: Theology and Praxis. This three-year series was made possible by a $1.53 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, enabling the center to host annual conferences, forums, workshops, and residencies designed to equip students, leaders, and lay people to approach anthropology from a biblical perspective.

This week’s conference featured presentations from a variety of Christian speakers on challenging topics related to anthropology, helping attendees develop a biblical framework on these issues and offering implications for faithful ministry. Topics and speakers included:

  • “Who Will We Become? The Promise and Peril of Transhumanism” by Fuz Rana, president, CEO, and senior scholar at Reasons to Believe
  • “A Christian Approach to Healing the Racial Divide” by George Yancey, professor of sociology at Baylor University
  • “The Dead, the Living, and the Yet to be Born: Tradition and American Nationality” by John Wilsey, associate professor of Church history and philosophy at Southern Seminary
  • “Meaning-Making, Suffering, and Human Flourishing” by Liz Hall, professor of psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University
  • An evaluative response by Jacob Shatzer, associate professor of theological studies at Union University

Attendees also engaged with speakers during Thursday’s panel discussion and got to sit in on Praveen Sethupathy and Molly Worthen’s live podcast recording entitled, “Science and the Journey to Faith” (a dialogue about Worthen’s conversion story). The conference concluded with a final charge from Ken Keathley, senior professor of theology and director of the center — a charge to continue these conversations and engage neighbors with what the Bible teaches about humanity.

“I hope that all of us will take out of this conference the commitment to demonstrate the kingdom of God in whatever venue or vocation the Lord has given us,” commented Keathley. “These conversations remind us that we need to be more conscious and proactive about opportunities to share our faith.”

Through events and series like these, the center challenges and equips the Church to embody the truthful and compelling reality of life in Christ and engage culture with a robust biblical worldview. Southeastern believes these efforts are integral to the task of training students as disciple makers because a faithful Christian witness must be able to meaningfully engage society’s pressing questions with the gospel.