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May 26, 2008

Session 1 | Day 9

Hello! I'm Russell, and I am on staff here at Summit on the Night Watch, which means that my day starts at around three o'clock in the afternoon, and ends at seven A.M. So every day is an adventure in its own right, but today was especially scintillating.

I woke up in the mid-afternoon and the whole hotel was bustling with excitement like a beehive that was just hit with a Louisville slugger. A Louisville slugger named J.P. Moreland. He spoke in the classroom on postmodernism and the various Christian reactions to thinkers like Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, whose philosophies have flowed out of France and are making an impact on college campuses everywhere.

Saying that J.P. Moreland is smart is like saying that the Indian Ocean is wet, or alternately like saying the Indian Ocean is in the vicinity of India. Most statements about the Indian Ocean are also applicable to J.P. Moreland. Though I was regrettably asleep for his classroom sessions, I sat in on his open forum in the evening and basked in his brilliance. I think I may have gotten a tan... a knowledge tan. Chuck Edwards also spoke on postmodernism and is also a great speaker and comparable in many ways to the Indian Ocean.

After all the classes and open forums were done, the big defining events of the evening got underway. They were the Manference and the Feminar. As anyone with a keen eye for wordplay can deduce, that translates to a conference for men and a seminar for women. The two genders divided into separate rooms of the hotel and various members of the staff talked about what it means to be a Christian man and a Christian woman, respectively.

I had the privilege and the honor to tell a bit of my story and describe some of the things Christ has been doing in my life in recent years, as did some of the other staffers. I'm not entirely certain what happened in the Feminar; they were very secretive about it and the realm of women is not one in which I lightly tread. That being said, I heard excellent reports and I can likewise attest that the Manference was overwhelmingly positive and served to open discussion on some issues that often go unexamined and un-discussed. It's a real boon to take the mantra "ideas have consequences" and apply it more personally to the ideas and consequences that shape our own lives.

After the Manference and the Feminar, we all broke off into small groups and engaged in some critical dialogue with the friends we've made at the Summit about what God's doing in our lives to form us into mature and holy men and women. Giddy after all this lively discussion, the students and staff tried in earnest to fall asleep but had to still their beating hearts before settling into much-needed rest.

I feel fortunate to be on Night Watch because it means I have an extra eight hours awake to steep my mind in the piping hot water of the day's events. But for now, my duty calls. I need to make sure that the students are nestled snug in their beds with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads. If they are dreaming about anything but sugarplums, I will (needless to say) be distraught. But that's my burden to bear until dawn breaks and another action-packed day at the Summit commences. If it's anything like today was, it's going to be as enthralling as the Indian Ocean.

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