Rev Dr Brian S. Rosner

Brian grew up in southwest Sydney and spent sixteen years studying and working overseas before returning to Australia in 2000. He has worked as an electrician’s off-sider, a public servant, a school teacher, and a university and theological college lecturer. His ministry experience has ranged from student work and the local church to theological education, a field in which he has been serving for most of the last twenty years.

Brian’s father was an Austrian Jew who became a Christian while living with his parents as a refugee in Shanghai. Brian was raised in a Christian family, but it wasn’t until his university years that the Lord took hold of his life and his faith and trust in Christ crucified and risen took root.

The family put a high value on education, with ‘Dr Rosners’ going back several generations. A ‘slow learner,’ Brian has three degrees from three different countries, culminating in a prize-winning Cambridge University PhD.

In the 1990s he worked as a lecturer in New Testament at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where Professor Howard Marshall was the department chair. From 2001 he taught New Testament and Ethics and was Faculty Research Coordinator at Moore Theological College.

More About Brian's Session - Known by God: Biblical Reflections of Personal Identity

In our day personal identity is a do-it-yourself project. Personal autonomy is paramount and designing yourself is a moral imperative. However, despite the attractive possibilities this presents, many factors weigh against constructing a stable and satisfying sense of self using this approach.

This lecture explores the Bible’s teaching on personal identity from two angles. First, humans as social beings. The Bible puts great stock on the social dimension of human nature. Yet, while the role of human relationships in defining the individual is acknowledged as important, something more lasting and stable is seen to be of utmost importance, namely, being known personally and intimately by God.

Secondly, human lives as stories. Our life stories, with all their ups and downs, play a vital role in forming who we are. But it is not just experiences in a person’s own lifetime that forges their identity. Family and national histories also play a major role. The Bible makes much of this aspect of what it means to be human and emphasises the role of corporate memory and destiny in forming identity. We don’t discover, let alone forge our identities. Instead, we embrace our true identities by listening to a story.