Blogs - Summit Semester
December 13, 2012
I’m staring at a blank page and blinking cursor wondering how exactly to transcribe such a full and rich experience like Summit Semester into words for someone to read. In many ways, I can easily describe the beautiful scenery, the tasty meals we had each day, the exciting adventures I had with great friends, and the information I soaked up from our bright professors. But my words can’t explain how the scenery can affect your relationship with God, how dinnertime conversations strengthened our community, the inside jokes, or how all this knowledge will modify the future of each student here.
As the semester progressed, our time in class went from rough to rich. Dr. Bauman and the other teachers taught us how to think, how to reason towards truth. We said stupid things less frequently. Mike Mandt taught us the problems with Evolutionary theory and the surprising presence of it remaining in the realm of science and education. J.P. Moreland taught us what philosophy is and how useful it can be for theology and the pursuit of truth. Dr. Williams taught us about beauty and how literature can encapsulate truth and humanity beautifully and logically. Jeff Meyers shared his great communication skills with us and better explained how discipleship should work and how it should work well. Eric Smith talked about the inerrancy of Scripture and the historicity of what we’ve been reading for years. Greg Fleming discussed the effects of the Fall, the role of public policy and how Christianity should and shouldn’t mesh with it. Dr. Bauman, who was our teacher most often, walked us through the world of literature, the volatile history and ideologies of politics, and the touchy subject of theology and its fathers. Every idea presented to us we challenged by analyzing it logically and soundly judging its merit. This is what we call ‘thinking’. Dr. Bauman seems to think some people can go an entire lifetime without thinking a single thought. Our final exams required just that; think about different issues of present and past and claim which idea is true and why. That’s what Summit Semester aims to teach us. They want to equip young people with a sharp mind that accepts nothing blindly but tests every idea for truth. We are learning how to take every thought captive, just like it says in Colossians 2:8, one of Summit’s theme verses. The intention of Summit Semester was not to solely increase our knowledge, though it did that, it was to teach us to learn and to be learners. The time we spent here humbled us. We could be prideful and use our knowledge to puff ourselves up, but a pure mindset for a student here is one that allows him or her to learn all the time, realizing they probably will never know everything.
Our community grew strong. Each day brought up a new situation that would require us to die to ourselves, meaning we would have to sacrifice something we wanted for the betterment of our brother or sister in Christ. That’s bound to happen when there are 30+ of us living together, seeing each other every single day. Several times throughout the semester we left campus to visit other parts of Colorado: Ouray, Durango, the Great Sand Dunes, and other places. We spent the night sometimes, too. We camped at Williams Creek Reservoir under the gaze of Indian Head Mountain. We visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona. These trips were bonding experiences for us and grew memories in us that we will probably never lose. When we grow closer to Christ, and look more like Him, that’s when a community can be strong and glorifying to God.
Our personal relationship with God grew stronger as well. Every week, we spent an extended period of time with nobody but the Spirit of God. The purpose of this time was to escape distractions to more clearly hear the Holy Spirit. Many of us found this time to be the most beneficial, the most peaceful, and the most enjoyable. If it was a Friday night, most likely we were approaching the throne of God through music, not led by staff or faculty, but by us, the students.
Our time at Snow Wolf Lodge has been a blessing - anyone here will testify to that. We struggled through our weaknesses to establish strength in every area of life. It was demanding mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But in pressuring those areas, we became more pure (how else does gold or silver become valuable except by intense refining?). Now we are being sent out into “the real world”. Our training time is over. We are equipped with the Truth of Christ to confront the philosophies and traditions of this world.
Thank you, Summit Semester.
Matthew Dunavant, 21
Matthew was raised in a Christian home, but it wasn’t until last year that his faith became personal and the cost accepted. Since then he continues to reorient his life towards God and His plans. Matthew has a heart for the persecuted church and is looking for opportunities to serve them. Currently he is considering joining the Navy and following in the footsteps of the founder of The Navigators. Matthew is contemplating pursuing a degree in Psychology.