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August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19 (Session 7, Day 5)

Friday, August 19 (Session 7, Day 5)

The sun has set, the Nightwatch roams, and another day of Summit Session 7 has come to an end, but what a full and thought-provoking day it has been! As a first-time student from Alaska, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Manitou Springs. After rising in the morning to another beautiful day here in the mountains of Colorado, I made it to a great breakfast, prepared by the amazing kitchen crew. Eric Smith opened the day with a second part to a lecture regarding the Bible’s reliability. There was an interesting twist, however, as he asked each student to come up with a single sentence which, as much as possible, summarized the Bible. One sentence? The entire Bible? It seemed almost impossible at first, but after thinking it through and discussing it with other students, some main themes came up. Creation. Man’s Fall. Separation from God. Redemption. And ultimately, restoration. I came away with a unique perspective of how to view the Bible. The Bible does not merely contain a message that the most educated can examine and ponder in minute detail, but it also describes an overall storyline that can be understood by the simplest among us.

Shortly thereafter, I heard three consecutive lectures from Dr. Michael Bauman, who has been one of my favorite speakers this far. One characteristic that distinguished Dr. Bauman from the other speakers up to this point was his brilliant application of the Socratic Method in his presentations. He talked about two topics: first, the importance of true meaning rather than personal interpretation, and second, the contrasting theological beliefs of Augustine and Pelagius. During the latter discussion, I was fortunate to be able to ask a question to him and to have him in return question my beliefs in a way which convinced me of the importance of careful thought and study in the formation of my beliefs.

Lunch provided some welcome respite from the intense schedule, but discussion continued over the dining table, where Dr. Bauman, some friends, and I went into further detail on some of the questions that had been raised. A little free time after lunch simply asked for a game of foosball, which was super competitive as usual.

Chuck Assay, a local cartoonist, proceeded to show how he has been involved as a Christian in the area of humor and art. To the delight of everyone in the room, he also exhibited his skill at drawing on the classroom whiteboard to illustrate his points.

Today was the day for paintball! After getting geared up in camo fatigues, about 24 of us headed to the ravine, where we had an absolute blast. (After all, here at Summit, we believe in absolutes.) The students who opted out of paintball didn’t miss out either; a trip to either rock climbing or the Olympic Training Center ensured that.

After a satisfying dinner, we heard from Dr. Bauman one last time. He spoke on minimum wage laws, welfare, and our duty as Christians to bring truth into the vital debate. The day closed with the second part of the movie Agenda, starring Dr. Noebel among others. In all, it has been a great day of fellowship and learning in an encouraging yet challenging environment here at Summit.

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