Sam studied medicine at Otago University and worked as a doctor in emergency medicine before pursuing interests in bioethics, media, theology and popular culture. Exploring how these intersect with aspects of faith has him involved in a diverse range of activities including the Venn Foundation Internship, the Compass Summer Conference, and co-hosting a radio programme on Newstalk ZB. Sam is married to Julia and they have three children.
We’re really excited about Sam’s keynote sessions! Below is a little taster of what he will be speaking about over the weekend.
IMAGO DEI – Made in the Image of What?!
We live in a culture that says you get to make yourself. But, the gospel story says otherwise; it suggests that we need some external input if we are going to find out who we really are. So which inputs should we listen to – and why? Join us as we introduce this concept of Imago Dei and start to unpack some pretty fundamental questions that get to the heart of humanness.
VOCATIO DEI – Workin’ 9 to 5…to 9
Philosophers and Theologians have largely agreed that it is very difficult to consider the “Who am I?” question without considering the “What am I supposed to be doing?” question. Again, our culture doesn’t give us much of a steer here: “Do what you love!”, “Do what makes you happy!”, “Just do it!” our self-help gurus declare. And unfortunately, sometimes, churches are offering the same Oprah-esque answers.
In this session, we’re going to ask if there might just be a little more to it:
Does God have a vocation in mind for me?
If so, what does that vocation look like?
Is it just a 9 to 5 thing, or should it be a bit more hard-wired into my identity than that?
FORMATIO DEI – So tell me what you want, what you really, really want
The craziest thing about Christians isn’t that they claim to believe in God – it’s that they claim to imitate him. So how’s that working out for you? It might work out for the spiritual giants like the Apostle Paul, but it seems pretty unrealistic for the rest of us. Our third session focuses on what we might imagine a fully integrated life looks like. How have Christians over the centuries changed who and what they value? How have they changed who and what they are?