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July 18, 2012

Summit Semester: Nomadic Edition

Summit Semester: Nomadic Edition

Summit Semester: Nomadic Edition continues on – now brought to you from Denver Colorado. Despite moving to our third location this summer, our studies carry on and we continue to grow with each passing day. Dr. Bauman has pushed us to deeper levels of thought on a range of issues, from proper worship to civil rights. Our time with him is broken into two class segments, C.S. Lewis and Politics. In both areas, Dr. Bauman's questions direct us to look critically at different ideas, examining them in light of the Bible and the life and teachings of Jesus to determine whether they fit within a Christian worldview. To give you a picture of what our time in class is like, I would like to highlight two of the issues that we have spent time discussing with Dr. Bauman – one from our study of Lewis, and one from our study of politics. I would also like to present some critical questions that we, as Christians, should think about.


In our study of Lewis, we discussed The Abolition of Man, in which Lewis presents his views on education. In this book, Lewis explains natural law (which he calls the Tao). This is the concept that values are objective, and that there is a universal moral order. With this concept in mind, Lewis argues that education must be predicated on the Tao. It cannot simply be intellectual training. Rather, it is the process of training mind and soul (or heart and head) so that humanity is passed from one generation to the next. When we neglect the Tao and the training of the soul in education, we create what Lewis called "men without chests". These are people who have untrained emotions and who do not know how to rightly respond to things such as beauty, good, or evil.


This raises several important questions that Christians must be prepared to answer. First, what does it mean to be human? Second, what makes humans different from animals? Third, how should we educate humans? Fourth, what is a good education? And fifth, what does it mean to be an educated person? As with most things in life, there are often more questions than answers. But this must not prevent us from asking tough questions and seeking truth.


We are also being asked tough questions in our study of politics. We have studied and critiqued various political ideologies such as liberalism and conservatism. In examining and comparing each ideology we look at which elements fit best within a Biblical worldview. The liberal ideology is based on the idea that things can be changed for the better and that the primary obstacles to change are various forms of inequality, such as social, economic, or political. Liberals tends to be future oriented, believing that government can bring about equality in its various forms. In contrast, conservatives tend to look to the past to conserve the wisdom that the human race has accumulated over time. Furthermore, they believe the primary purpose of government is to apply justice (which is defined by conservatives as "getting what you deserve", rather than as "equality").


As Christians, we can't simply go in whatever political direction we wish. We must seek to understand the different ideologies in our world more fully so we are able to make informed decisions that honor God. As we look to make changes that improve our world, we must realize that while making change is easy, making true improvement is hard. 

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