Blogs - Summit Semester
October 06, 2012
Small Groups and Lewis
I wasn’t particularly looking forward to small groups Tuesday evening, but as we gathered together, the atmosphere gave me a sense of fresh excitement. “We spent two hours preparing for this study,” said Elizabeth, our small group leader, as she swept stacks of books off the bed to make room for the other four girls and me. She pulled references from Bonheoffer, Piper, and many others for that night’s lesson on believing the Gospel. We started by answering a follow up question from the previous lesson in our study book, The Gospel Centered Life: “What do you count on to give you a sense of ‘personal credibility’?” It was hard to be patient sometimes as ideas sparked discussions which fired back and forth among the group.
Our discussion of personal credibility led to the topic of spiritual maturity. The most helpful passage for us was Hebrews 5:14, “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” We also looked at 2 Peter 1: 3-12, a Pauline “chain” for spiritual maturity, which in this case culminates in love. In this verse, we learned that we can avoid becoming ineffective in our knowledge of Jesus Christ by adding to our “faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”
While our zeal for the gospel grew, our dread of Thursday’s Bauman examination on C. S. Lewis’ Experiment in Criticism also increased. We began reading through this thin but thought-provoking book when we first arrived three and half weeks ago; never the less, we students spent most of our free time Wednesday in various independent or group studies preparing for the test. It turned out to not be in essay form as many feared, but still proved to be challenging.
In Experiment in Criticism, Lewis asserts that good literature permits, invites, or even compels good reading. He says we should judge a book not by who reads it but by how it is read. One of the marks of good readership is “receiving” the book instead of “using” it. Good readers receive books with the intent of enlarging their beings; through great literature “I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see.”
Though I consider myself far from spiritual mature or a good reader, I’m so glad to be at Summit where I am presented with these concepts. I don’t believe I would have picked up Experiment in Criticism on my own, but I am a better person for having read it. In my personal Bible study, I would not have explored the concept of spiritual maturity as deeply as I did with my small group.
Hanna Olson, 19
Hanna was raised in a covenant community in which she heard the Gospel daily, and at the age of eleven committed her life into Jesus Christ’s hands. Hanna has a passion for God and His Word. She is marked by a diligence and thirst for a deeper understanding of God, especially as it relates to Godly living. She sees the falleness of society and wants to be a culture-shaper.