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August 24, 2010

Session 8 | Day 3

Session 8 | Day 3

It is only Tuesday, our second full day at Summit, and already our minds are being stretched to accommodate the “information overload” we were warned about. As students of Summit’s eighth session, we are learning just what is expected of us. We rise early—at the crack of 7—but don’t actually wake up until we have breakfast and coffee in our stomachs. Our mornings are spent entirely attending lectures and having discussions with excellent scholars. This particular morning I was blown away by the speakers.
Crossing the great distance from Oxford, England to Manitou Springs came our first lecturer, Kevin Bywater.  His rich vocabulary, passion for his topics, and incredible amount of knowledge snatched the sleepy class’s attention from the start. Backing up his information with resources along the way, Mr. Bywater taught us about the facets, basic beliefs, and pillars of Islam. He spoke about how the growing faith is affecting our world population and manipulating United States law.

“Tolerance of Islam means granting great privilege,” he stated. I learned so much in that short hour and easily could have listened to more.                        
After a short stretch break, John Stonestreet took the podium to discuss Christianity and Culture. The class was not disappointed, as he is such an engaging speaker, and began to build up the courage to interact a bit more on this topic. Stonestreet directed the group in its realization of responsibility for the welfare of this culture and how to respond to this burdensome task. As Christians, we should not be offended by the culture and withdraw from it, nor should we should be distracted by it and blend in. Instead, we ought to strike a balance: be engaged in our culture and remain faithful to the gospel. There is no need to use silly gimmicks as Christians to get our message across; we need only to stay true to God’s Word. Stonestreet used an effective quote in his explanation: “The Gospel is like a caged lion. It does not need to be defended; it just needs to be let out of its cage.”—Charles Haddon Spurgeon 
Our third and final speaker of the morning, Dr. Jeff Myers, had taught us before. His animated story telling, good sense of humor, and wealth of knowledge quickly earned my attention each time.  Dr. Myers entered into the relevant topics of love, sex, and marriage (and kids). He took us back to the beginning, into Genesis, where we studied the creation of the first man and woman. Explaining the meaning of the original text aided in the power of Myers’s message: that the family unit is Satan’s target of revenge. Following an entertaining story of how he had personally killed three snakes, Dr. Myers really opened my eyes to the reason for the deterioration of the traditional family. God cursed Satan in Genesis 3:14-15, specifying that Eve’s offspring, or family, would crush the serpent’s head.

“If I were the devil,” Dr. Myers wondered aloud, “and I knew that more children born would mean more to crush my head, then I would seek revenge on the family.”

He continued his lecture after our delicious and nutritious lunch, discussing how we can respond to this intense revenge. Just like both of the previous speakers of the morning, his lecture was over too soon.
After spending the entire morning and the first half of the afternoon in desks, we were glad to load Summit’s school buses and head out for the some sunshine. The class made a quick trip to Wal-Mart to purchase forgotten items and junk food before spending the late afternoon hours playing in a large, grassy park.
It is only Tuesday, and already it is turning out to be better than I expected. Learning loads, asking questions, and having 80 other students with whom to spend time and learn alongside is a huge encouragement to my faith personally.  I am so grateful to my parents for sending me to Summit this summer and am already wishing that the session would last longer than two weeks.  I am certain that this time will help sharpen my focus on God and help me find just where and how I can aim His light.

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