Dr. Darrell Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement and Senior Professor of New Testament Studies, and Dr. John Dickson, founding Director of the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney, Australia, discuss Christianity within rapidly secularizing countries.
Dr. Bock is senior research professor of New Testament and executive director for cultural engagement at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has authored or edited more than 40 books, including Jesus according to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels, Jesus in Context: Background Readings for Gospel Study, Studying the Historical Jesus: A Guide to Sources and Methods, Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King, Who Is Jesus?: Linking the Historical Jesus with the Christ of Faith, and Key Events in the Life of the Historical Jesus: A Collaborative Exploration of Context and Coherence.
His journey is an eclectic one. Starting out as a singer-songwriter, he now works as a writer, speaker, historian of religion (focusing on early Christianity and Judaism), media presenter, Anglican minister, and director of a multi-media think tank. With an honours degree in theology from Moore Theological College Sydney, and a PhD in history from Macquarie University, John is also an Honorary Fellow of the Department of Ancient History (Macquarie), and teaches a course on the Historical Jesus at the University of Sydney (Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies). He is committed to delivering creative, engaging content grounded in careful thought. John’s first book appeared in 1993, and he has since produced over a dozen titles, including the award-winning Simply Christianity: Beyond Religion, and A Spectator’s Guide to World Religions, as well as various academic books and articles. His book The Christ Files: How Historians Know what they Know about Jesus was made into a four-part documentary which aired nationally on Channel 7 in 2008. Now a best-selling DVD, it also won the 2008 Pilgrim Media award (see www.thechristfiles.com.au). His more recent Life of Jesus also aired on Channel 7 in 2009 (see www.lifeofjesus.tv) John is a founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), an independent research and media company promoting informed discussion about social, ethical and religious issues in modern life, described at its founding in 2007 by the Prime Minister as “a welcome development in the spiritual and intellectual life of Australia.” A busy public speaker, John delivers over a hundred talks a year in a range of contexts, including conferences, churches, schools, not-for-profits, corporations, and universities. In addition to his passion for promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith, John is also fascinated by the paradoxical connection between high-level achievement and the historical virtues of compassion, charity, and humility, themes explored in his keynote lectures and seminars on Humilitas: a Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership, and in the book of the same name. John lost his father in an air disaster when he was nine years old, an event he freely admits shaped his passion for life’s ultimate questions, and which still motivates him to be the best father, husband, and citizen he can be. He values his family role above all others and lives in Sydney with his wife and their three children.