ERLC Panels Discuss Current Topics with OBU Faculty at SBC 19

June 26, 2019

OBU hosted two panels to discuss current topics with representatives from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Tuesday, June 12, during the South Baptist Convention’s 2019 annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. The discussions took place at the OBU booth inside the convention’s trade show.

The ERLC is an entity of the SBC. The ERLC is dedicated to engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ and speaking to issues in the public square for the protection of religious liberty and human flourishing. The ERLC exists to assist churches by helping them understand the moral demands of the gospel, apply Christian principles to moral and social problems and questions of public policy, and promote religious liberty in cooperation with churches and other Southern Baptist entities. The ERLC has offices in Washington, D.C., and Nashville, Tennessee.

The first discussion covered the topic of “Human Dignity in Today’s World.” Dr. Heath Thomas, dean of OBU’s Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, led the discussion among three ERLC panelists: Dr. Russell Moore, president; Dr. Trillia Newbell, director of community outreach; and Dr. Dan Darling, vice president for communications.

The second discussion focused on “Christian Civility for a Contentious World.” This panel included Thomas and Moore, along with Dr. Mathew Emerson, OBU associate professor of religion, and Dr. Andrew Walker, director of research and senior fellow in Christian ethics at the ERLC.

Moore is president of the ERLC. In this role, he leads the organization to connect the agenda of the kingdom of Christ to the cultures of local congregations for the sake of the gospel. He holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of several books, including, “The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home.”

Darling is the vice president for communications at the ERLC. He is a columnist for Homelife and is a regular contributor to In Touch and a contributing editor for Christianity Today's “CT Pastors.” His work has appeared in USA Today, CNN, Washington Times, Huffington Post and The Gospel Coalition. He is the host of “The Way Home Podcast” and an associate pastor at Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. He is the author of several books, including his latest, “The Dignity Revolution.”

Newbell is the director of community outreach. She has a degree in political science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is currently pursuing her M.A. in biblical counseling from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is the author of two books, “United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity,” and “Fear and Faith.”

Walker is the director of research and senior fellow in Christian ethics at the ERLC. In his role, he researches, speaks and writes about the intersection of Christian ethics, public policy and the church’s social witness. He also oversees the ERLC's academic initiatives and directs the ERLC's Research Institute. He holds a B.A. from Southwest Baptist University, and an M.Div., Th.M., and Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.