Who Am I? 2019 Always Ready Youth Conference
Posted On September 11, 2019
On Saturday, we hosted our youth conference, Always Ready, and more than 450 young people joined us on campus to hear faculty and staff sessions on the origins of humanity, personal identity, and what matters most in this world.
In the opening session, RBC President, Dr. Stephen Nichols, reminded us that we are surrounded by false images and idols. While fleeting things in creation promise to provide us with a meaningful identity, ultimately they cannot deliver. Christ alone is the true image of God, and only through faith in Him will we be reconciled to God to receive our ultimate identity in Him. Watch Dr. Nichols’ session on our YouTube channel today.
Next, RBC faculty members and Ligonier staff led respective breakout sessions on various challenges related to our identity in a fallen world.
Professor of systematic theology, Dr. Keith Mathison, spoke on the often-controversial discussion between faith and the natural sciences. Whereas the world assumes that faith and reason inherently contradict, the Christian religion is a reasonable faith. The Bible itself assumes its message will be read by people with rational minds, and affirming the infallibility of Scripture enables us to trust that no new scientific discovery can possibly refute our Creator’s existence. Rather than pitting science and faith against one another, we can study the natural sciences in order to see how the universe displays the majesty of its Creator.
Academic dean and professor of theology, Dr. John Tweeddale, unpacked the Apostle Paul’s teaching that we are complete in Christ (Col. 2:10). In the incarnation, the Son of God took on humanity while retaining His eternal divinity. As the perfect Mediator between God and man, possessing both natures in His person, Christ is the only One who can give us a complete identity. Watch Dr. Tweeddale’s session on our YouTube channel today.
Ligonier Director of Communications, Nathan W. Bingham, explored the unique challenges and temptations we face as people living in a digital world. While technology can be useful and beneficial to us, its irresponsible use can depersonalize our lives. If we aren’t watchful, the very devices designed to bring convenience to our relationships can drive us apart and distract us from the great callings on our lives to glorify God and love our neighbor. Watch Nathan W. Bingham’s session on our YouTube channel today.
After the first round of breakout sessions, Dr. Matthew Dudreck and Professor Anthony Salangsang joined Nathan W. Bingham, Dr. Keith Mathison, and Dr. John Tweeddale in a panel discussion on the topic of human identity.
Among the questions the panelists considered was the image of God. Whereas humanity’s fall did not annihilate the imago Dei, the image of God was distorted through our enslavement to sin. Only through the gospel does humanity find hope in being restored to the image of God. In Christ, God conforms us increasingly to the image of His Son.
The panelists also looked at the value of friendship and our need to choose friends wisely. Ultimately, Christ Himself is the Friend who sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). He never rejects those who come to Him in faith, but He only receives those whom the Spirit draws to Him in repentance. Watch the panel discussion on our YouTube channel today.
After lunch and an additional round of breakout sessions, Dr. Stephen Nichols concluded the conference by opening the floor to attendees for a Questions & Answers session. Watch the session on our YouTube channel today.
Registration will open soon for Always Ready in Miami, Fla., taking place on November 2, 2019.