Blogs - Student Conferences - Colorado
May 26, 2012
Friday, May 25 (Session 1, Day 5)
I have these sharp pains in my sides that are beginning to get to me. This likely has something to do with hiking this morning at an altitude considerably higher than my home state of Georgia. During the hike and despite the chilly temperature, I enjoyed God’s creation and was able to talk to my older peers about college. But the pain that I am now feeling is not entirely from exercising. My aches and oxygen deprivation is actually a product of laughing during 24 attention-grabbing, brutally honest and politically incorrect seminars. The other students who are here with me have personally challenged me as well. If you haven’t read the previous blog posts, you are missing out on the insight of our world’s future leaders. These young people have eliminated all traces of “teenager,” leaving the deprecating cultural label in their wake.
Yesterday (Thursday, May 24th) Brett Kunkle really challenged my approach to evangelism and defending the Christian faith. As a competitive male, I tend to enjoy winning over losing. In fact, I often think I am always winning, so I would rather defend my beliefs than initiate a peaceful conversation with a devout atheist. Kunkle’s message, simply titled “Tactics,” laid down the foundation for the framework of his seminars, “Doubting your Doubts” and “Pluralism.” “Tactics” led off the series with simple but forceful arguments and defenses for common questions about Christianity. It was perfect to feed my tendency to attack, because I now had another set of tools that promised greater success in debates. Later, however, Kunkle made a statement that challenged my approach to evangelizing: “If you get angry, you lose, and if they get angry, you lose.” He was clarifying that there was a more effective way of getting my point across. I began to think of the approach that Jesus took. Suddenly, it became clear to me that Christ made even the “worst of sinners” feel heard, loved, and forgiven if they chose to repent. It’s such a simple concept, but many Christians push seekers away by not listening to the reasoning behind their beliefs.
Today, Neil Mammen’s energy through his message entitled “Politics” kept everyone awake and attentive after a hearty lunch. He has the tendency to reveal the core truths behind the most complex and controversial topics of this age. He covered the issues of government corruption, the effects of divorce on children, and much more.
Dr. Mike Adams, the humorously self-titled “Community Disorganizer,” delivered very helpful advice on how to approach “Sociology 101” in college. He stressed the value of “putting the ball in the professor's court” by asking them questions to challenge their thinking. While most professors won’t change their beliefs when questioned, pointing out logical flaws in their reasoning can inspire other students to go out and research the topics in search of the right answer. That is how a worldview is formed.
From hiking Red Mountain at 6 AM this morning to trying to remember the details of the 19-hour day, I’m exhausted but extremely grateful for the people who make it possible for this phenomenal program to operate. As we southerners say, “G’night Y’all!”