Boldly Gone

Summit Semester Alexander ClarkCaptains’ blog – Summit, date 10/16/2014. My journey began a short 6 weeks ago, with a heading for the distant planet of “Pagosa”. I quickly landed in a lodge named “Snow Wolf” where there seems to be plenty of provisions. This voyage has brought me to the outer edges of my theology, a treacherous journey. I have encountered many life forms, which for the most part seem humanoid and friendly. At first observation, it is clear that they are a much more intellectually advanced race than the ones I’m accustomed to. I frequently find myself lost in deep conversation, or witty word play, and even unique varieties of music. It is clear that this advanced race, “Christians” as they call themselves, have something that others don’t. Permission for further observation is requested.

The atmosphere among the locals is quite unique, I’m not accustomed to such brotherly love. Back on my home planet, people have little idea of what love is, much less on how to demonstrate it. I have often times felt out of place, even in communities that advertise a family atmosphere. It’s a rarity when someone asks you how you are doing, or stimulates enriching conversation, or even just expresses common niceties. Here at the lodge, you can hardly go a day without seeing at least one of these qualities. I have made several close friends, and at least a general knowing has been achieved between everyone.

It is amazing to me that even though this group is very diverse, we all seem to be here on the quest for knowledge. Although that’s not entirely surprising given the function of this lodge. The community and the atmosphere seems to be specifically designed for students of life to break down barriers that prevent finding the truth. This effort is made possible by the weekly visitations of experts in various fields. The first teacher that came was Dr. Michael Bauman, a master at destroying improper comfort. His teaching style is question based, much like Socrates. He knows the truth about most situations, and because of his knowledge he can ask the right questions. Questions that destroy the world of falsehood you have been living in. Some times he takes the opposite approach however, asking questions that are completely ridiculous in nature, just so that someone will oppose him. Questions such as “Paul wrote that women should not lead a congregation of believers. Does this not mean women are inferior to men?” and the like. His questioning is not designed to provide an answer, it is to stimulate thinking. In this way Dr. Bauman builds up individuals to be confident in not only their answers, but also in their theology.

The next professor is who visited was John Stonestreet, a brilliant man focused on recent history. He made it very clear where this Christian religion came from, and more importantly what its faults were that made it hard to accept. While he was speaking, all I could think about was my home, where many of the same faults were present. It turns out that, for the most part, the only real problems that arose were due to people choosing not to live in harmony. The ironic thing is, that lifestyle of hostility is outside of the actual religion. Christianity preaches love to all, including those who don’t hold the doctrine. Recognizably the entirety of this congregation has been at odds with some of the laws at one point or another, some daily. The beautiful thing about Christianity however, is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, or what you have done, every one can be included in the grace it offers. Understanding the history of where it went wrong helps one understand how to improve the situation: a good principle to apply to all aspects of life.

The most recent expert visitor of the lodge was Dr. Williams. By far my favorite professor up to this point because he is an expert in evangelism, a subject close to my own heart. He went over some very interesting topics, such as the importance of philology. Philology is the study and appreciation of literature, including but not limited to understanding the Bible. He had a lot of useful information, but I found the part about post-modernism the most intriguing. Post-modernism is characterized by the lack of understanding that there is both objective, and subjective truth. In literature it is the act of believing that the author had no intention when writing, leaving the meaning to be derived from the reader. Very unfortunate, but this lack of grasp on reality breaches the category of literature. On my home planet, the congregation is made up almost entirely of people holding this belief. I learned that the trick in helping these people, is to point out irrefutable evidence that there are absolute truths. This skill will take a while to develop, but I’m certain it will have a massive impact when I return with this information.

This Snow Wolf Lodge is one of the most unique cultures I have ever experienced. I look forward to spending more time learning, and hopefully expanding my database to a satisfactory level. I doubt I will have another experience quite like this one, and I will cherish every moment. – End Captains blog.

Alexander Clark joins us from right here in Colorado. Plans for future study are focused on Biblical Leadership. Alex’s passion is for leading people to a deeper Christian walk, both through evangelism and pastoral ministry. While here at Summit Semester, Alex is looking forward to continuing to wrestle with life’s deep questions and develop a firmer foundation for his own beliefs. If you should find Alex with discretionary time, you’d probably find him tracking down new rocks for his collection, playing the guitar, or studying the Bible.