Knowing who you are and being true to yourself has never been more important in the 21st century. It's seen as a sign of mental health and well-being, the path to true happiness, and the key to authentic living.
Most people believe the best way to look and find yourself is inwards. But are there other places to look? Brian Rosner, biblical scholar and principal at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia, thinks there are.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Rosner will come to Samford University as the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies Holley-Hull lecturer to discuss his book, How to Find Yourself: Why Looking Inward is Not the Answer. He will examine why looking solely inward is a problematic philosophy and how Christians can approach the topic of personal identity.
"I am super excited to be delivering the Holley-Hull lecture on the topic of how to find yourself," Rosner said. "Personal identity is such a pressing issue in our day, and I’m convinced that the Bible has many true and helpful things to say about becoming and being yourself."
Rosner will deliver a sermon in the Wright Center, titled Jesus, Paul and the Self-Made Self, at 10 a.m. He will also meet with area pastors for a free lunch and learn, titled You Do You: The Bible and Identity Formation, in the Rotunda Club from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. As a parting gift, ministers will also receive a free copy of Rosner's book to share with their congregations. If interested, visit here to register. Seats are limited.
Rosner's time at Samford doesn't end there. He will also give a lecture at 3 p.m. in Brock Forum, titled Be Yourself: A Christian Response to Expressive Individualism.
"I hope to equip people to engage sympathetically and critically with the dominant approach to personal identity in our day and to consider an alternative strategy for identity formation, one modelled and commended by Jesus Christ," Rosner said.
Rosner is a New Testament scholar of international reputation, having contributed to many of the major journals and supervised over a dozen Ph.Ds. He is a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (The International Society of New Testament Scholars), a member of the Holman Christian Standard Bible Translation Oversight Committee, a Humboldt fellow in Germany and the author or editor of a dozen books.
“Dr. Rosner is an internationally respected biblical scholar who has spent years researching and writing on the intersection of biblical studies, theology and personal identity," Biblical and Religious Studies chair Roy Ciampa said. "His work addresses some of our deepest and most pressing questions with remarkable biblical and theological insight. Dr. Rosner’s presentations will be of tremendous help to the whole Samford community.”
The Holley-Hull lectures address topics in New Testament studies and contemporary theological and social issues. They are given each fall in honor of William E. Hull (1930-2013), a Baptist minister and New Testament scholar. Hull served Samford as provost and professor for many years. He also served as a theologian-in-residence at Mountain Brook Baptist Church from 1991 to 2013. The Holleys happened to be members of his church, hence the name Holley-Hull.