Blogs - Student Conferences - Colorado
August 19, 2009
Session 7 | Day 3
Hello, I'm Sarah, and I'll be your blog writer today! I always feel it is important for any news reporter to make their bias clear from the start. Therefore I should tell you that I am a politically conservative homeschool graduate who does not excel at sports and who was fighting off a case of sleep deprived fuzzy-headedness on this: the third day of Summit. Please do not let my bias sway your opinion of these factual events!
If ever a day was set off to the best start, this one was: it began with French toast. Our first class was "Jesus' Favorite Mind Games" by Chuck Edwards, and Mr. Edwards began by pointing out to us how the world typically considers Christian people to be stupid, but that it was an honest conclusion considering how frequently we live down to their expectations. This wasn't always the case; many of the major American universities were founded by Christians, Harvard among them. What has changed? Mr. Edwards suggested that we don't often appreciate how smart Jesus was. We read incredible stories in the Bible that showed he was a master of the scriptures, debate, language, and yes: invective! Conclusion: In our pursuit of Christ, we should aim to mirror not only his heart, but his mind.
If ever a mid-morning was put to the best possible use, this one was! Dave Nutting (who has an awesome beard, it is important to point out) began the presentation of our second class, "Creation or Evolution?" with the story of how he evolved into a creationist. He then showed us how many of the facts presented in evolutionary text books are backed up by pretty art work, and not observation. We looked at the actual fossil evidence behind artistic renderings of primitive man, such as the Nebraska Man or the Piltdown Man. At best these were built out of imagination and small fragments of human bone, at worst: widely scattered ape bones, or the tooth of a pig.
Next Mr. Nutting turned the class over to his wife, Mary Jo Nutting. She took us into the fascinating world of biology. Though the similarities between species have been used as evidence for evolution, she showed us that they are greater proof of a single artisan designing all creatures. Furthermore, though evolutionists contend that the only thing needed to increase complexity is energy, Mrs. Nutting pointed out that intelligence is needed to direct that energy, or else you might as well try to build a house by throwing a grenade at a lumber pile. She finished her segment by showing us the principle of "irreducible complexity": the idea that a mechanism, mechanical or organic, cannot work if any one piece of it is missing or defective. Therefore, a complexly designed animal, like a dolphin, could not develop one trait and survive while it waited for another crucial trait to evolve.
To finish, Mr. Nutting came back to show us more rocks! It is a great credit to Mr. Nutting that his enthusiasm could raise even dirt to the level of high. In this case he wanted to show us the evidence for a global flood, and there was a lot more than I had ever realized. From rock strata to rolling hills, it all came down to a simple concept: 'conditions' trump 'time'. A big enough flood is a much more likely catalyst for a huge canyon than a little river is, even in a million years.
Lunch was popular; I know, because it disappeared even faster than usual.
If ever an afternoon was resumed to the best affect, it was with Dr. Michael Bauman's class "The Dangerous Samaritans". He challenged us to look the attempts our country has made to help the poor through legal policy changes, and particularly to observe how often those attempts have backfired. Through a series of points that ranged from economic principles, to biblical precepts, he showed us that it is not only intent that counts, it is consequences. My favorite maxim: "You get more of what you subsidize less of what you tax!" What is welfare, Dr. Bauman asked, if not the subsidizing of poverty? And what are the best ways to follow God's command to have compassion on the poor? Oh, and if in the near future a pair of swimming trunks are invented with wireless internet built in, credit Dr. Bauman.
Next we went to the park and these strange things called 'sports' were played. In spite of the occasional rain, the Sports People seemed to enjoy themselves greatly! Volleyballs scored touchdowns, Frisbees were tossed over nets, and tennis balls were kicked neatly into their goals. I think... At any rate, the scenery here is beautiful!
Dinner gave way to open forum, which was the best possible combination of interesting questions and extra material that Mr. and Mrs. Nutting could not cover in their class, such as dinosaurs. You know that you've done a good job captivating your audience when you all have to be kicked out to make way for evening worship!
If I had to pick the best way to finish off a challenging class roster, this was probably the most challenging class thus far - literally! Dr. Bauman came back to give a talk on the "Problem of Pain", as presented by C.S. Lewis. His chief intention, however, was to see how well our beliefs on the topic held up to scrutiny: to play the devil's advocate and see how we fared. We debated over why a loving God cannot teach us lessons through happy circumstances, rather than sad ones. We compared pain to gravity and questioned whether it was equally fixed. We discussed whether or not one can have a world with free will, and yet no pain. When we finally ended we had not answered the question, and neither had Dr. Bauman. But as he said, "I wanted to show you the holes in your theology! You're welcome."
If ever a day was ended in the best possible way, Small Groups was the way to do it! In mine we discussed the day's classes and our personal testimonies. Most everyone else went to bed; I went to the computer to write this entry. Remember my fuzzy-headedness? Well, my tiredness finally fell in on me like a load of bricks and when the words started jumbling together into an ungrammatical mess, they said I could finish it the next morning - meaning today. I hope it was worth the wait!
And if you were going to demand an explanation for how many times I have used the word "best", please believe me when I tell you that this is an incredible camp, and we are having the best of times! Though admittedly, I'm biased.