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December 04, 2010

Reclaiming Culture

Reclaiming Culture

For three months, we devoted our time to intellectual growth. We explored tough theological questions, studied ideas and their consequences, and contemplated how these areas of study relate to living a good life. Our time here has now come to an end, dispersing us across the continent. Each of us is called to a different family, a different town, and a different vocation. Next week we will be thrust back into “the real world.��? As our planes land on home ground, we expect an initial jolt. We return to an apathetic, pleasure-obsessed culture, one that does not see the value in living a coherent and thoughtful life.

We remind ourselves that not many think it is reasonable to set aside a large amount of time to study and prepare for life, as we have done at Summit Semester. How will we communicate the importance of what we have done at this place? Will we be able to live in a way that makes the value of our time at this place evident? The call of our culture is to live a convenient, self-focused life. It is our task upon returning home to redefine this call.

Throughout the semester we examined how God calls us to live. We wrestled with what a human being is and what we, as creatures made in the image of God, are called to do with our lives. We have experienced the benefit of a good education. We learned that education is not simply job training, but life training. It should enrich our being and bring us into closer relationship with God. It will not cease at the end of four years at college, or even with the completion of a Ph.D. We must continue to educate ourselves for the rest of our lives.

In educating ourselves, we do not aim to gain knowledge simply for the sake of knowledge; rather, it must propel us outward in love. Christ commanded us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Only the hope of the gospel brings reconciliation and meaning to the empty lives and false ideas in the world. We are now living in a world where Christ redeems that which is fallen, and as stewards of His creation, He enlists us as part of this process. If we are going to be successful in communicating this, we must immerse ourselves in prayer and the study of scripture.

As difficult as it is to leave this place and each other, we are confident that all we have learned will move us to action. If we are going to be influential leaders who stand for the truth, in a world that instructs everyone to determine their own truth, we must commit to being lifelong thinkers and lovers of wisdom. We must take what is good in culture and “reclaim and retool��? it, as T.M. Moore puts it.

Just one plane flight away is a culture that we are called to redeem for the glory of God. Our flight might have a rough landing, but we know that our time at Semester has prepared us well to reclaim culture for Christ after we touch ground.

Blogger's Bio: With two years at Arizona State under her belt, Caitlin is taking a break from the world of Interior Design to attend summit semester. Caitlin is detail oriented and pursues excellence in what she does. In the world of interior design that means creating spaces that “meet physical needs while being both functional and aesthetically pleasing as they attest to the beauty and perfection of God.” Caitlin enjoys playing the piano, running, hiking, learning foreign languages, and working on summer staff at Summit.


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  • December 08, 2010 // 10:48 pm //  # 
    Kevin Vollema's avatar Kevin Vollema

    Caitlin, this may well be one of my favorite blogs of the entire Semester. Well expressed thoughts. Very honest and robust. As I read, I felt as though you had managed to get down and dirty with the heart and soul of this place called Semester. If I was wavering on a decision to attend Semester next year and I had read this, I would have just made the decision to be the next 2011 Semester student. Miss you!

  • December 09, 2010 // 12:04 pm //  # 
    Caitlin DiSilvestro's avatar Caitlin DiSilvestro

    Caitlin,
    This was beautiful and well put together.
    I am so happy you have learned so much during your time at Summit.
    It sounds like such a thought provoking, life changing place.
    Thanks for writing this remarkable blog!

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