Get Clarity to the Tough Questions and Doubts Encountered in the Christian Faith

Embark on a transformative journey from ‘Confusion to Clarity’ at the Thinking Matters Conference 2024. This inspiring event is dedicated to those seeking answers in a world brimming with philosophical, ethical, and spiritual questions. Through a series of engaging talks, interactive workshops, and thought-provoking discussions, our expert speakers will guide you through the complexities of faith, reason, and modern challenges to Christian belief. Whether you’re wrestling with doubts, eager to deepen your understanding, or looking to equip yourself with reasoned arguments for your beliefs, this conference is designed to provide clarity and confidence in your spiritual journey. Join us as we navigate the waters of confusion together, emerging with clearer minds and stronger faith.

Our Tauranga speakers are:

Dr Melissa Cain Travis

Author and Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture

Melissa Cain Travis earned a Ph.D. in Humanities with a Philosophy concentration from Faulkner University, where her dissertation research focused on the natural philosophy and natural theology of Johannes Kepler. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Science and Religion from Biola University and a Bachelor of Science in general biology from Campbell University. She serves as a Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Cuture, and has taught university courses since 2014.

Melissa is the author of Thinking God’s Thoughts: Johannes Kepler and the Miracle of Cosmic Comprehensibility (2022), Science and the Mind of the Maker: What the Conversation Between Faith and Science Reveals About God (2018), and contributed a chapter to The Story of the Cosmos (2019)

Rebekah Valerius

Author and Podcaster with Mama Bear Apologetics

Rebekah earned a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MA in Apologetics from Houston Christian University. Her academic interests include the works of G.K. Chesterton, philosophical and literary apologetics, and the philosophy of science. You can find her writing at The Christian Research Journal, An Unexpected Journal, Perennial Gen, and Worldview Bulletin. A favorite Bible passage for her is from the book of Job when God answers him out of the whirlwind: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth … when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” (Job 38: 4-7.)

She lives with her husband and two daughters in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. She teaches biology and chemistry at a university model, classical Christian school in the area.

Brendan Malone

Brendan has been working full-time in pro-life, marriage, and family ministry for the last 14 years where he speaks at churches, universities, high schools, and conferences on bioethics and sexuality issues throughout New Zealand and Australia. During that time he has delivered over 500 presentations, and spoken to more than 30,000 people. He is one of the founders of ACTIV8 Pro-Life Training Week – an annual philosophy, apologetics, and media/social-media training event for young adults which has been running for 10 years in New Zealand and over 7 years in Australia. He is married to Katie and they have five children. Brendan also has a background in communications and media training, and he regularly connects with people in the online space via his YouTube channel which has approximately 20,000 subscribers.

Dr Sam Bloore

Dr. Sam Bloore grew up, and still returns to holiday, in the Far North and has a deep appreciation for small town and city life. After graduating from medicine and bioethics at Otago University, he worked as a doctor for five years before a gradual career change saw him join the staff of his church and complete a Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology. Sam is passionate about the intersection of faith and culture, in particular how individuals establish and enhance a personal spirituality that is stable and sustainable.

He recently completed a Doctorate of Ministry through Fuller Theological Seminary—including papers that explore Sexuality and Ethics, Technology, the Visual Arts, and the discipling of Emerging Adults. He is a teaching pastor at St. Paul’s Symonds Street and has joined the board of the Parenting Place. At Venn, Sam previously contributed to the Residential Fellowship and Resources, including Venn Presents and Common Ground.