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August 05, 2009

Session 6 | Day 4

Hello to all from Summit Session 6! My name is Timothy DiPuma, a student from Superior, Wisconsin, and I volunteered to write today's blog. It's about 10:45 p.m. here at the end of our third full day in session, and I'll try to summarize today's share of events, ideas, speakers and other happenstances, typical and otherwise.

The morning started bright and early, as usual, at 7 a.m., which is the required wake up time. As usual, the sun was shining in the window and woke me up before the standard nightwatch thumping on the door to wake all sleepyheads. The (nightwatch are those night owl staff whose job is to patrol the Summit hotel and grounds all night, warding off raccoons, garbage raiding bears, and high hippies.) Breakfast is at 7:15, giving us time to very quickly turn out for the day trying not to look like we just woke up, which some are more successful at than others. (Coffee is a big help.) Of course, beds must be impeccably made and rooms straightened, as inspections take place later in the morning.

After breakfast, Dr. Nobel, the intriguing, hilarious, thoughtful, and inspiring founder of Summit, lead the Bible Hour. Today's Scripture verse was Proverbs 23:23: "Buy and do not sell truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding." Dr. Nobel's thought for the day was: "If you are going to be a leader, you have to be a reader. If you don't read, you're no better off than one who can't read, who is illiterate." He recommended reading a book a week, which is definitely a good goal to shoot for. (He is always recommending good books, so I'm sure many of us are stating a list to begin the process of acquiring a personal library and pressing forward with intellectual growth.) Dr. Nobel concluded with giving us another of his dozen reasons we should study the Bible, which was that this is the mark of an educated man.

Following a short break, Dr. Chris Kersey spoke on "What they don't teach you at Harvard About Career Planning." This practical Christian perspective was very helpful for the many (there are 187 students here) younger students who are still formulating ideas about their future plans.

The staff rushed us all out after this lecture for the outdoor class picture in front of the hotel. (By the way, the staff here have a profound sense of humor, which included pouring water on the students from the roof while we were all focused on waving and cheering for the video camera.)

The next lecture by David Wheaton on "Becoming an Overcomer at the University of Destruction" was very helpful and inspiring for those preparing to attend a college or university, with all the temptations and false ideas propagated by those institutions. Mr. Wheaton is a retired pro tennis player who brought to life the ideas he was speaking on by sharing his story and testimony. Perhaps his most inspiring recommendation was that each of us should develop our own personal life mission statement using Scripture. He also admonished us that we must not only be "professors" of faith, but also "possessors" of faith, as the furnace of the university would reveal where our hearts really lie, as shown by the large numbers of professing believers who lose their faith in college.

After lunch (they feed us very good home-cooked food here at Summit by the way), Darrell Furgason spoke on applying Christianity to the realm of International Relations, which is rife with worldview clashes. After covering the effects of the various worldviews on IR, Dr. Furgason encouraged us to pursue the Biblical foundations that apply to IR to establish blessing, healing, and order. (I won't get too deep into this or other lectures, as all the students will be bringing home their hard-earned notes.)

The following activity was warily anticipated by all the unsuspecting students: the Bible Exam! This is an intense 180 question multiple choice exam covering the Bible front to back, including passage references, historical facts, and summaries of content. We are all eagerly awaiting the return of our scores tomorrow to see if we have to retake it! (The requirement is 100 correct answers.)

After our terrific dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, we joined Dr. Furgason and Mr. Wheaton on the front porch of this historic hotel for an "Open Forum" of questions, answers, and discussion. I really enjoy this time for the well thought out questions and the faculty's terrific answers and counter-questions!

Before the closing lectures of the day, we gathered for a time of praise and worship. The thrill of worshiping God along with over 180 other voices, plus piano and guitar, is just amazing! The enthusiasm in our worship is evidence to the work God is doing in each and every life here, none of which is here by accident!

Dr. Nobel gave the concluding lecture on "Worldviews in Collision" in his characteristic easygoing style. He commands our undivided attention with his humor and insightful commentary on current issues (he usually brings some recent news articles and write ups to illustrate his points). By the way, I might as well spell out his definition of worldview: "A bundle of ideas, beliefs, convictions, and values which is evangelistic and looking for disciples." Dr. Nobel is also working on reviewing quotes for us on worldview issues by many different intellectuals to support his thesis, including blacks, whites, males, females, Protestants, Catholics, military personnel, and Jewish writers.

We concluded this evening with the video "Marxist Leninism," which details the history of communism and socialism, their awful effects on humanity (over 100 million slaughtered in the 20th century), and the intrusion of their worldview into our college campuses, media, and entertainment. A fun addition to the video was the lightning and thunder outside as an electric storm came over the mountains. We seem to get thunderstorms every afternoon or evening here, which is new to me. But I do love a good storm!

I must now bring this to a close, as it's already 11:30, all the students are in bed (lights out at 11, but the blogger gets to stay up later). Some of the staff are still up talking and laughing in the lobby where I write this (one of them spent some time watching me and pretending to quote in "kiddie language" what I was writing!) They are so humorous, perhaps driven to that state by working all summer with unremitting crowds of students! I do thank God for their patience and caring and giving of themselves to help so many grow both in their walk with God as well as intellectually. Well, so long for now, I'm sure you'll continue to hear from the other bloggers what all continues to go on!

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