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July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22 (Session 5, Day 5)

Friday, July 22 (Session 5, Day 5)

This is my first time at Summit, and I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of every day. It blows my mind that today is already Friday! The classes today were so interesting and attention-catching because we were encouraged to share our thoughts with our teachers who played “devil’s advocate”. It was stressful at times, but I can already see myself starting to think for myself instead of accepting what I hear as absolute truth. Both Eric Smith and Dr. Bauman created a very open and discussion-based learning environment which helped me discover my confusion about certain aspects of Christianity, the need to the truth, and the sloppiness of thought that comes from sloppy language.

During Bible hour this morning, we split into small groups to discuss the archeological evidence of the Bible. When we couldn’t come up with a ton of proof on our own, Eric Smith taught us about amazing findings throughout history proving that the Bible is not a fiction story as many claim it is. It was so much fun to hear about the discoveries of artifacts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls being found. It’s just so exciting and amazing that there are artifacts hidden under the ground that further prove the authenticity of the divinely inspired Bible! I am also very grateful that Mr. Smith gave us the opposing views. I now see how important it is to know your facts and ask good questions when people challenge your beliefs. College is less than a month away, and I am super excited about implementing these skills in the classroom.

Later in the day, Dr. Michael Bauman spoke about the meaning of meaning. Not only was his message an urgent one, but the way in which he teaches is just as enlightening. Through the years, the word “meaning” has come to mean “interpretation”. I never thought this was a big deal before today, but now I see how harmful this can be on our society. When we assume that meaning is simply one’s interpretation of a work, we are actually shutting up the author’s intended meaning. As words begin to mean whatever each individual interprets them to be, words lose their strength. Once words lose meaning, it doesn’t matter what anyone says because everyone will only care about the “interpretation” of their words. Even in evangelical Bible studies, this dilemma shows up. When you are asked, “What do YOU think this verse means?”, you are being asked what your interpretation is, which then turns into you ignoring what God actually means and making your assumptions truth. I was very convicted by this and hope to change my response to this question in the future. I want to start digging out the meaning from Scripture and literature instead of just assuming all the time.

Today during free time, we had the choice of rock climbing, playing paintball, chilling around the campus, or touring the Olympic Training Center. I ended up rock climbing with a fun group of people! It was my second time to rock climb, and I had a blast! The accomplishment of reaching the top of an extremely tall wall is an invigorating one. Of course now my legs and arms feel like rubber, but it was totally worth it!

The day is not over yet, and I have already learned so much. That happens every day here at the Summit.

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