“We saw the need to [produce something] of catechetical theology, something that was aimed at the young people in our church.”
Cameron Clausing has a passion for seeing Christians better equipped in their understanding of theology. Currently Christ College Dean of Students, Cameron is also a lecturer, podcast host and author. His latest translated book, Bavinck’s Guidebook for Instruction in the Christian Religion, is soon to be released.
From America to Colombia to Scotland to Australia
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA to a single-parent home, Cameron was raised in the Christian faith by his mother, who had become a Christian right before he was born.
He says, “I can’t say that there was ever a time where I didn’t know the Lord or the love of the church. As I was going into high school I had this moment in my life where I thought – ‘I either need to take this seriously or go my own way’. But I couldn’t really imagine a world where I didn’t believe in God, so I started taking my faith more seriously.”
Around this time Cameron’s youth pastor at church got alongside him and started discipling him. This pastor helped Cameron explore the Bible and theology and how to live as a Christian. At the end of high school, Cameron decided he wanted to go into ministry, so his pastor encouraged him to study at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. There Cameron studied biblical languages.
After studying at Moody Bible Institute, Cameron moved to Northern California to work as an intern in a Presbyterian church there. While doing his internship, the church had a short mission trip to Bogota, Colombia that he went on. This shaped his next steps.
Cameron shares, “We were getting on a plane to come back home and I said to one of the elders who was with us, ‘I’m either never going on another short-term mission trip again, or I need to do something longer-term.”
The elder encouraged him to look at longer-term missions, and a few years later Cameron went back to Bogota, Colombia as a missionary with Mission To The World. While there Cameron taught Hebrew and helped train Colombian church planters. He also finished his Master’s Degree and met his wife, Taryn, who was originally from South Australia.
At the end of his term in Bogota, Cameron and Taryn moved back to America to Nashville, Tennessee, and Cameron started working as a pastor again. After several years, he was sent by his church to do a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Upon completing his PhD, Cameron and his family returned to America and he took a one-year position at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Now a family of four, Cameron, Taryn and their two adopted children were considering their next move as that one-year position came to a close.
Cameron says, “We were trying to figure out what was coming next. Then the job advertisement from Christ College came out and a colleague, Kelly Kapic, recommended that I look into it. Kelly said, ‘I think this might be a really good fit for you’. So I applied for the position.”
Although they never thought they’d move to Australia, God, in His providence, continued to place Cameron and his family. Cameron was hired, and he and his family moved to Sydney.
Working at Christ College
Although Australia is different from America and all the other places Cameron has lived and worked, one thing remains the same throughout the world – Christian fellowship and community. This is something Cameron has found in his local church but also at Christ College.
He shares, “ I love the camaraderie of the faculty here at the college, we all get along and have a shared vision for what we’re doing. I love our students. I am encouraged by the future of our denomination by the students that I interact with. We have men and women coming through the college that are thoughtful and engaged with thinking through how to love the Lord, love each other and love the church.”
According to Cameron the staff at Christ College are second to none. He says, “They are so theologically and biblically thoughtful. I think we have some of the best faculty in Australia and some really thoughtful minds. So I’m really impressed with what we’re doing. I think the way in which we’re developing leaders for the church is just really encouraging.”
Bavinck’s Guidebook for Instruction in the Christian Religion
Cameron’s passion to see Christians and the church equipped through theological training extends past his work in theological college and into authorship and translation work.
Cameron and his co-translator Gregory Parker Jr. have recently finalised an English version of Bavinck’s Guidebook for Instruction in the Christian Religion. Previously they have translated and edited Bavinck’s The Sacrifice of Praise.
Having done his PhD on theologian Herman Bavinck, working to translate and edit his exceptional work into English was something Cameron was excited about. Initially he and Gregory translated The Sacrifice of Praise, one of Bavinck’s shorter works, targeted at teenagers.
Cameron says, “Greg and I were finishing up that book, we said, ‘Well what do we want to do next?’ And the Guidebook seemed like the right next move. “We saw the need to continue down that path of catechetical theology and with something else that was aimed at the young people in our church.”
Bavinck is most well known for his 4 Volume masterwork, Reformed Dogmatics. The density and richness of these volumes can make it difficult for the theological student to digest, let alone an average church member not practised in reading similar literature. Cameron describes the Guidebook as rich theology that is written in a way that is accessible. Bavinck originally wrote the Guidebook for teenagers, so it is a great book for young people, but also for anyone that wants an introduction to systematic theology in the reformed tradition.
Cameron says, “I was thinking about the need of the church and at the time, it was helping people think more theologically, at a level that’s more accessible to them with a man who many would consider to be a giant of the reformed tradition as well.”
Cameron’s English translated version of Bavinck’s Guidebook for Instruction in the Christian Religion is out for pre-order now, and is being launched at the upcoming Christ College Eliza Ferrie Lecture, featuring Cameron’s friend and prior colleague Kelly Kapic. In thinking through who the Guidebook is for Cameron says, “I would love everybody in the church to read it. It is a great entry into basic yet profound theology.”