Blogs - Summit Semester
October 23, 2012
It is another beautiful day in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The fall weather is in full swing as we continue to learn more about ourselves and the world around us. This week, Dr. Bauman continued to teach and stretch us in the areas of Politics, English Literature, and Church History.
In politics, we discussed terrorism, how it affects us, and what government (federal and local) measures have been and can be taken to prevent future attacks. It is a very interesting and demoralizing problem to try and figure out. Throughout the discussion, we continued to come back to the question “What use of force can and should be used to eliminate the threat?” We discussed the Gayle Rivers approach on how to eradicate terrorist cells, as well as airport and airline precautionary measures that we can take in case of high jacking or terrorist attacks. We also talked about “Augustinian Just War Theory.” What qualifies as a just war? Is there such a thing as a just war? Can Christians practice self-defense? According to Augustine, there are 5 criteria that should be met in order to have a just war. On the reverse side, we also talked about whether or not it is possible to have “Just Peace or Just Pacifism.”
In English Literature, we were introduced to the writings of Sir Phillip Sidney, what he was like, and why he wrote what he wrote. We went over his works “The Lady of May” and “The New Arcadia”. In “The Lady of May”, he wrote in an attempt to show Queen Elizabeth how to properly choose a husband aside from romantic love and desire. She, however, did not appreciate his efforts and had Sidney sent away to Wilton House, where he wrote “The New Arcadia”. The Arcadia was his way of explaining to his younger sister and her friends the importance of virtue in preparation for marriage. In most of his works Sidney tries to teach virtue by means of delighting the audience, which makes his works enjoyable and thought provoking. Sidney led a good life, after being sent off he began to work his way back into society and eventually back to the queen’s court. Shortly after making his way back, however, his life ended tragically on the battlefield at the age of 32 in 1586. I certainly look forward to reading and learning more about him.
During Church History, we tried to understand our confusion about the Trinity. Coming at it from a philosophical standpoint we discussed, debated, and darn near cried over it. We spent the majority of our time trying to understand how Jesus is fully God and fully man. How was he fully man but without sin? How can a human be divine? Does the Son have two separate natures or are they mixed? Did the Son become a man or take on human nature? Is trying to figure this out philosophically even possible? Definitely food for thought. Our next subject was definitely easier to comprehend: Pelagian vs. Augustinian theology. What is the truth about human nature; are we born sinful or neutral? If we are sinful and yet we claim that God made us, did God make us sinful? Now you have a little taste of what we are going through!
We did have a special treat this weekend. About thirteen alumni from past Semester classes came back to the Lodge and participated in some of Dr. Bauman’s lectures. It was great talking and hanging out with them. Being able to ask them questions about how Semester has made an impact in their lives was greatly encouraging. It was also exciting that my sister was one of the visiting Summit Semester alumni! It was grand to see her for the first time in over a month. I particularly enjoyed the conversations I had with Cliff Conrad, Rob Oakley, and Andrew Krueger, three alumni from 2011. Their most invaluable advice to me was to make sure that I take the time to study well and focus on building good long term friendships.
Life goes on and my time here has already had a major influence on my life. From learning in a classroom setting to washing tons of dishes by hand, from learning how to fix sink drains to reading and hanging out with new friends until the early hours of the morning, this is certainly the opportunity of a lifetime. Thank You, Lord, for this blessing.
Richard Keller, 19
Richard was raised in a Christian home and accepted Jesus into his life at the age of eleven, since then Jesus Christ has become the driving force behind his life choices. He is planning on joining the Marine Core after Summit Semester. He wants to find a job in which he will be a valuable asset, but is also concerned about being able to support a family as well as giving generously. He loves being active outdoors but also plays several instruments (including the penny whistle). Richard is always seeking to better himself as a man, scholar, worker, and recreationist. While at Summit Semester he is looking forward to growing spiritually, intellectually, and socially.