SBC 2017: Guide to Phoenix

The SBC 2017 is almost here. So, it’s with great pleasure that we introduce our fifth annual ERLC guide to food and fun at the convention. We want to bring you the best of what Phoenix has to offer so that you can make the most of your time at the annual meeting. Freddy T. Wyatt has another great guide to Phoenix on his blog as well. And while you’re at the SBC, make plans to join the ERLC at these events:


There’s no shortage of food in Phoenix, whether it’s one of your favorite chains or somewhere new. With the help of a few friends, we’ve compiled a list of options—in order of zip code—near the Phoenix Convention Center and further out. We hope you enjoy!

Breakfast Club | $$  “Bright, modern counter serve providing coffee, breakfast standards & lunchtime sandwiches & salads.” Address: 2 E Jefferson St #22-213, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Cartel Coffee Lab  “Hip coffeehouse chain serving up house-roasted brews in chill, bohemian surroundings.” Address: 1 N 1st St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

CIBO | $$  “Quaint, circa-1913 bungalow presenting Italian staples, including red & white wood-fired pizzas.” Address: 603 N 5th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003

Lol-o’s Chicken and Waffles | $$  “Down-home restaurant fixing up fried chicken & soul food accompanied by hearty sides.” Address: 1220 S Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003  

The Vig Fillmore | $$  “Fashionable fixture for high-end pub fare, with a brunch menu, music, outdoor seating & bocce court.” Address: 606 N 4th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003  

Pizzeria Bianco | $$  “Cozy, brick-walled restaurant serving wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas & Italian small plates.” Address: 623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004  

Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana Phoenix  “Pizzeria providing Neapolitan pies, plus Italian fare from antipasti to gourmet panini.” Address: 705 N 1st St #120, Phoenix, AZ 85004  

La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop  | $  “Inventive burritos, tacos & quesadillas are the forte of this counter-serve spot with a salsa bar.” Address: 1919 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006  

Welcome Diner | $  “Pint-sized, circa-1945 diner with counter seating & a menu of comfort fare featuring Southern flair.” Address: 924 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85006  

Ocotillo | $$  “Locally sourced, seasonal American fare in a cavernous space with a modern industrial vibe.” Address: 3243 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85012  

Taco Guild | $  “Set in an old church, this gastropublike spot serves sustainable Mexican fare.” Address: 546 E Osborn Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012

St. Francis | $$  “Bi-level restaurant featuring seasonal New American fare.” Address: 111 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012  

Gadzooks | $  “Diners choose their own tortillas, fillings & fixin's for enchiladas & tacos at this Mexican eatery.” Address: 3313 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014  

Fuego Bistro | $$  “Small, colorful storefront bistro serving a menu of Latin eats.” Address: 713 E Palo Verde Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85014  

Okra Cookhouse | $$  “Custom Southern dishes with Italian flair in hip, contemporary environs.” Address: 5813 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014  

Otro Cafe | $$  “A colorful, casual destination serving Mexican fare all day.” Address: 6035 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014  

Luci’s Healthy Marketplace | $$  “Organic coffeeshop, sandwich eatery & health-focused food marketplace with a colorful, retro vibe.” Address: 1590 Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014  

Delux | $$  “Trendy, stylish setting serving elevated takes on burgers & fries.” Address: 3146 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016  

Hopdoddy Burger Bar | $  “All-natural burgers made with meat ground in house, fresh baked buns,  and a side of hand-cut fries.” Address: 2033 E Camelback Rd A13, Phoenix, AZ 85016  

The Parlor Pizzeria | $$  “Parlor serving gourmet pizzas & other Italian dishes in an airy space with recycled-wood accents.” Address: 1916 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016  

ATL Wings | $  “We started in 2012 with the Idea to make the Best Wings in Arizona.” Address: 3923 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018  

Ingo’s Tasty Food | $  “Innovative New American eatery with a roomy patio for salads & grass-fed burgers.” Address: 4502 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018  

The Stand Burgers & Tacos | $  “Utilitarian quarters serving up elevated fast-food items crafted from area-sourced ingredients.” Address: 3538 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018  

Chelsea’s Kitchen | $$  “Bustling, industrial-chic eatery featuring American comfort fare & a patio overlooking the canal.” Address: 5040 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018  

Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe | $  “Modest, family-owned eatery serving homestyle Southern & soul food 7 days a week since the '60s.” Address: 808 E Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85034  

Bobby Q | $$  “Family-friendly eatery serving steak, BBQ ribs & other American comfort items in a rustic setting.” Address: 8501 N 27th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051  

The White Chocolate Grill | $$   “Contemporary restaurant serving refined riffs on American staples plus shareable signature desserts.” Address: 7000 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85054  

Elmer’s Tacos | $  “Long-running eatery serving traditional Mexican fare in a low-key, counter-serve setting.” Address: 355 N Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225  

Dazzo’s Dog House | $ *Cash only*  “Snug outpost with sports memorabilia decor offering fries & hot dogs with a variety of toppings.” Address: 6143 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301  


The most well known place to go in Arizona is, of course, The Grand Canyon. Since we’ll be within a few hours drive, the trip to visit this majestic landmark is worth it.  But there are also plenty of other things to see and do, including hikes, staying at resorts and visiting shopping centers, while in Phoenix.  

The Grand Canyon | about 4 hours away

Slide Rock & Sedona “Slide Rock State Park is a state park, taking its name from a natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek.” Address: Coconino National Forest, 6871 N. Highway 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336  

Camelback Mountain (get on it early to beat the heat & take plenty of water)

Hole in the Rock  | Great to do with kids “Hole-in-the-Rock is a natural geological formation in Papago Park.” Address: Papago Park, 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008  

Children’s Museum of Phoenix “Expansive museum with 300-plus interactive play areas for babies to kids up to age 10.” Address: 215 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034  

The Phoenix Zoo   Address: Papago Park, 455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008  

Butterfly Wonderland “Indoor, interactive rainforest habitat housing thousands of butterflies, plus a cafe & gift shop.” Address: 9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85256  

Aquarium “OdySea Aquarium is a marine aquarium, and the largest aquarium in the Southwest United States. It holds more than 2,000,000 US gallons of water and spans over 200,000 square feet.” Address: 9500 East Vía de Ventura A-100, Scottsdale, AZ 85256  

Wet-n-Wild   “Wet'n'Wild Phoenix is situated on approximately 35 acres of land, making it the largest theme park in the state.” Address: Adobe Dam Regional Park, 4243 W Pinnacle Peak Rd, Glendale, AZ 85310

Top shopping and splash pad combos: Pick up a few souveniors and allow your kids to cool down and run around at one of these shopping centers.  

CityScape   “CityScape Phoenix is a high-rise mixed-use development in Downtown Phoenix consisting of residential, retail, office, and hotel components.” Address: 1 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85004  

Desert Ridge Marketplace   “Desert Ridge Marketplace is a super-regional shopping mall.” Address: 21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050  

Kierland Commons   “Stylish outdoor shopping center with upscale designer shops and restaurants.” Address: 15205 N Kierland Blvd #150, Scottsdale, AZ 85254  

Outlets at Anthem   The Outlets at Anthem is an outlet mall that has hosted the tallest Christmas tree in America for multiple years.” Address: 4250 W Anthem Way, Phoenix, AZ 85086    

Top (family friendly) resorts: Many people simply aren’t aware that the resorts in Phoenix during the summer are much cheaper. These listed are a few of the wellknown “Staycation” types, but be sure to search Groupon for some good deals.  

The Arizona Grand   Address: 8000 Arizona Grand Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85044  

The Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale   “This upscale resort hotel is a 5.2-mile drive from shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square, and 8.5 miles from Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home.” Address: 7500 E Doubletree Ranch Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258  

Westin Kierland   “This sprawling Southwestern-style resort is 3 miles from the TPC of Scottsdale golf course, and 9.8 miles from Downtown Scottsdale.” Address: 6902 E Greenway Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

The Scott   “Less than a mile from shopping in Old Town Scottsdale, this upscale modern resort is a mile from the Camelback Mountain trailhead.” Address: 4925 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251  

Other activities to consider:

Drive out in the desert on Route 66 or the Apache Trail (the desert landscape is amazing).  

Peruse Old Town Scottsdale (Scottsdale was founded by Baptist Chaplain Winfield Scott).  

Eat at El Chorro ($$$) for an authentic Arizona experience. “1937 landmark offering upscale American fare, a bocce ball court, big patio & occasional live music.” Address: 5550 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Freddy T. Wyatt

Freddy Wyatt currently serves as the pastor of Real Life Church in San Diego. Freddy also was privileged to serve as a contributing author to the study notes of The Jesus Bible. Read More by this Author

Phillip Bethancourt

Phillip Bethancourt is Senior Pastor of Central Church in College Station, Texas. Before he was called to pastor Central, he served as the Executive Vice President of the ERLC team. He completed an MDiv and PhD in Systematic Theology at Southern after attending Texas A&M University. Phillip and his wife, Cami, have been married since 2005, … Read More

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24