Fourth Annual ELS Apologetics and Worldviews Conference
Biblical Identities in an Age of Wokism & Transhumanism
Hosted at Bethany Lutheran College on June 29-30, 2022
Sponsored by the Center for Apologetics and Worldviews
About the Speakers
Pastor Jonathan Conner (husband to Rebecca and father of six children) loves words—words like propitiation (see 1 John 4:10), splagchnizomai (see “compassion” in Luke 15:10), and chesed (see “steadfast love” in Exodus 34:6). Those words will put fire in your veins. Reading this biographic paragraph about Pastor Conner’s 18 years as a parish pastor in western Iowa, along with the numerous boards and committees on which he has served, conferences at which he has spoken, articles he’s written, and master’s degrees that he has earned (Concordia Seminary St. Louis and Biola University) will turn your blood to sludge and your brain to mush. So stop reading about Pastor Conner and go spend some time with Genesis 1, or 1 Corinthians 15, or Luke 15, or John 1, or Isaiah 11 or 35. Chew on these words. Crunch them in your teeth. Drink them as espresso for your soul. Slam them as Jolt for your mind. Ingest words that matter. And then confess them in your church, family, and beyond.
Brandon Steenbock currently serves as Family Minister at St. Mark Ministries in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area. Previously he served as Family and Youth Minister at St. Paul’s in New Ulm, Minnesota. Brandon is a 2006 graduate of the Staff Ministry program at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, and holds a Master of Arts in Family Education from Concordia University–St. Paul (2013), and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Martin Luther College (2021). He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Brandon’s Master’s thesis at Martin Luther College, “Do Cyborgs Have Hope?,” investigated the hope claims of Transhumanism versus the hope offered in the Incarnation of Christ. Brandon is married to Nikki, and they have two sons, Athan (15) and Paladin (14).
Joshua Pauling worked in public education for thirteen years as a high school history teacher and coach, and is now a classical educator. He writes and speaks at the intersections of Christianity and culture, and runs a family business building custom furniture. He is a frequent guest on the Issues, Etc. radio show, and his writings have been featured in Areo Magazine, Forma Journal, Front Porch Republic, Mere Orthodoxy, Modern Reformation, Public Discourse, Quillette, Real Clear Education, Salvo Magazine, The Imaginative Conservative, and Touchstone Magazine. He studied at Messiah College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Winthrop University. He is head elder at All Saints Lutheran Church, while he and his wife Kristi have two children who are being classically homeschooled.
Curved into Ourselves: How the New Gnosticism Cancels Our Own Humanity – Dr. Ryan MacPherson, Director, Center for Apologetics and Worldviews
The Creation Foundation vs. Critical Theory “Identities”: Viewing Human Nature from the Proper Perspective — Keynote address by Rev. Jonathan Conner
Answering the Transhumanist Challenge: Finding Our Dignity and Purpose in the Incarnate Christ — Mr. Brandon Steenbock
The Trojan Horse of ‘Online Worship’: How Embodied Souls Receive Sacramental Blessings from the Incarnate God — Mr. Joshua Pauling
Presenting the Biblical Understanding of Human Nature in an Age of Wokism and Transhumanism — Panel Discussion moderated by Dr. Ryan MacPherson and featuring Pastor Jonathan Conner, Mr. Brandon Steenbock, and Mr. Joshua Pauling
The Ministry of the Word in Our Epilogue World — Dr. Greg Schulz. This bonus session was sponsored by the Bethany Institute for Biblical and Ecclesiastical Languages (BIBEL).