“The Hard Work of Human Flourishing”

Poverty plagues every nation and should be the concern of every Christian. Southern Seminary is serious about equipping Christians to bless the nations with the gospel and its fruit, including the alleviation of economic suffering. This conference brings theologian Wayne Grudem (Phoenix Seminary) and economist Barry Asmus (National Center for Policy Analysis) to the Southern Seminary campus to address “The Hard Work of Human Flourishing.”

From their recent work, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution (Crossway 2013), Grudem and Asmus will present an integration of historical analysis, biblical theology, and sound economic principles to explain the reasons for poverty and to describe what is necessary for nations to move forward into prosperity.

Plenary Speakers

Wayne_Grudem_square2Wayne Grudem

Wayne Grudem is research professor of theology and Biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary in Phoenix, Ariz. He received a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.Div. and a D.D. from Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia, and a Ph.D. (in New Testament) from the University of Cambridge, England. He has published over twenty books, including Systematic Theology, Business for the Glory of God, and Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (co-edited with John Piper; Book of the Year for Christianity Today, 1992). He was also the General Editor for the ESV Study Bible (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Book of the Year, 2009). His newest book, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution (Crossway, co-authored with Barry Asmus), was published in August, 2013.

He is a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a co-founder and past president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible. He and his wife Margaret have been married since 1969 and have three adult sons.

BarryAsmus_squareBarry Asmus

Barry Asmus is a Senior Economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Dr. Asmus was named by USA Today as one of the five most requested speakers in the United States. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee regarding our income tax system and was a featured speaker in a privatizing Social Security conference for Western European leaders. On recent trips to Romania, Albania, China and Peru, Dr. Asmus encouraged government leaders to focus on economic freedom.

Dr. Asmus is the author of nine books including The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution, published in 2013 with co-author Wayne Grudem. As a Professor of Economics, he was twice voted University Professor of the Year and was honored with the Freedom Foundation Award at Valley Forge for Private Enterprise Education. Dr. Asmus is an advocate of free market economics and delivers his ideas in an enthusiastic and energy filled presentation.


The Commonweal Conference is an annual conference designed to encourage Christians to integrate the Gospel and the biblical worldview into all areas of life.  In particular, The Commonweal Conference engages issues of work, vocation, economics, and general human flourishing from a robust biblical and theological perspective.  While recognizing the radical effects of the sin on human life in this age, this conference also recognizes mankind’s high calling as the image of God to glorify God through obedience to the Creation Mandate (Gen 1:26-28). The Commonweal Conference celebrates the many ways Christ intends to use his people in the world as salt and light (Matt 5:13-16), doing good to all to all as we have opportunity (Gal 6:10).  The Commonweal Conference challenges Christians to embrace work, individual vocation, and economic exchange as key areas for disciples to glorify God by promoting human flourishing.  The Commonweal Conference also aims to equip pastors and teachers (present and future) on these issues so that they may in turn more effectively equip the church.