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Albuquerque, New Mexico

Clarus 2016


Alistair Begg

Owen Strachan

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Owen Strachan (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) serves as Associate Professor of Christian Theology and the Director for Theological and Cultural Engagement at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as President of The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), an organization whose purpose is "to set forth the teachings of the Bible about the complementary differences between men and women, created equally in the image of God, because these teachings are essential for obedience to Scripture and for the health of the family and the church."

A well-established writer, Owen is author of several books, including: The Colson Way: Loving Your Neighbor and Living with Faith in a Hostile World, The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision, and Risky Gospel: Abandon Fear and Build Something Awesome. In addition, Strachan has authored popular articles for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, First Things, The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, The American Spectator, and Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, 9Marks, and at his blog, Thoughtlife, hosted by Patheos. He can be found on Twitter at @ostrachan.

Owen and his wife, Bethany, reside in Kansas City and they have three children.
D. A. Carson

Justin Taylor

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Justin Taylor (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Executive Vice President of Book Publishing and Book Publisher at Crossway. Crossway's aim is "to help people understand the massive implications of the gospel and the truth of God's Word, for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God." Prior to this role, Justin served as Director of Theological Research and Education at Desiring God. He has been an elder at New Covenant Bible Church in St. Charles, IL, since 2010.

Justin is the co-author of The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived, and has contributed to several volumes which he also edited, including: For the Fame of God's Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper, Overcoming Sin and Temptation, and A God Entranced Vision of All Things: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards. Justin writes regularly at his blog, Between Two Worlds, hosted by The Gospel Coalition. He can be found on Twitter at @between2worlds.

Justin is his wife, Lea, reside in the Chicago area, and they have three children.
David Helm

Andrew Walker

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Andrew Walker (M.Div., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the Director of Policy Studies for The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), an entity of The Southern Baptist Convention whose purpose is to "engage the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ and speak to issues in the public square for the protection of religious liberty and human flourishing." In his role, he researches and writes about human dignity, family stability, religious liberty, public theology, and the moral principles that support civil society. He also examines how ethics inform public policy decisions and investigates the role that religion plays in American political culture. Andrew is currently a Ph.D. student in Ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Andrew is author of the recent book, Marriage Is: How Marriage Transforms Society and Cultivates Human Flourishing, and a contributor for Sexual Brokenness and the Hope of the Gospel. He is managing editor of Canon & Culture and his writing and commentary has appeared in National Review, The Daily Caller, First Things, The Gospel Coalition, Time, Public Discourse, The Federalist, and The Weekly Standard. He also serves as the Associate Director of the ERLC's Research Institute. Prior to working for the ERLC, Andrew served as a policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation's DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. He was featured by the New York Times as one of America's "undaunted" young leaders in defense of marriage. His writings can be found at He can be found on Twitter at @andrewtwalk.

Andrew and his wife, Christian, reside in Franklin, TN, and they have two children.


Pilgrim is a good name for the Christian. Scripture says that "our citizenship is in heaven" and that we are "sojourners and exiles" in this world. (Philippians 3:20; 1 Peter 2:11). This world surely is not our home. But it is a kind of home for now. While Jesus said that we are not of the world, we are nevertheless in the world, and here for a reason (John 17:9-19). We are pilgrims here.

What this means is clear to all of us when it comes to matters of first and ultimate importance: we are here to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Along the way we know that in our personal lives we should be good workers, good neighbors, and generous to the poor. But some things that aren't ultimate aren't so easy, even if they are of great earthly consequence for people made in God's image. How exactly should we think about and engage our particular role as citizens of cities and states and nations in this world? And how is that responsibility transformed or not transformed by the changes that take place within the culture around us, especially when our view of humanity and human flourishing runs against the grain of the more popular views of the day? In love for neighbor, what do we owe our communities and nation by way of the truth about the world and the consequences for accepting or rejecting that truth in the policies that govern our life together? Yes, hard questions that draw on basic assumptions about the world are for everyday Christians, not just those in political or cultural leadership. They're hard questions, but they're also an opportunity to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ even as we seek the good of our neighbor and the next generation.

With this in mind, this year's Clarus conference is intended to help inform a framework for a theologically thoughtful political and cultural engagement, and then tease it out across a number of topics. Here are six aims for what we're trying to do through Clarus '16:

Of course, Christians of various traditions, and individual Christians within them, will approach the public square in different ways. It is the purpose of this conference to help spur Christians on to a more thoughtful witness in the public square in whatever spheres they find themselves in.

To this end we have invited three men to address a spectrum of topics that demand careful Christian reflection. Owen Strachan, Justin Taylor, and Andrew Walker, each represent reliable Christian cultural think-tanks, and write on the issues of the day on a daily basis. These men are thoughtful, they are careful, they are winsome, they are committed first to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they are prolific. Across three days they will address topics including: gender, race, marriage, abortion, conscience and religious liberty, and the role of politics. We'll begin with a reflection on the Image of God in humanity and we'll end with our eyes on the horizon of the New Creation where Jesus' kingship will be realized in full.

We are indeed pilgrims in a strange land. Join us for Clarus '16.


Desert Springs Church | 705 Osuna Rd NE | Albuquerque, NM 87113
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