We are thirty-seven days into an adventure that we thirty students decided to embark on for our own reasons, but ultimately for the same purpose. If one were to ask what this sole purpose was, it would be best to respond as Dr. Bauman has taught us, which is with another question to help clarify. So, “Why should thirty college students take the time, money, and effort to attend a religious discipleship/college program in a secluded lodge, hidden within the Colorado Mountains, and tucked away among evergreens?”
I would “summit” (“submit?” Sorry, my roommate and small group leader are both rubbing off on me) that the end goal of everything we are learning and experiencing here is solely for the purpose of seeking Yahweh wholeheartedly. Some might think, as I did at the beginning of the semester, that I was here to be educated and to improve how I thought about the world as a whole. However, having been here over a month now, the answer has become as clear as the stars that we can see nightly, in a sky untouched by city lights! It can be nothing other than to draw near to God, and to do so, much in the same way, without the pollution of a culture that sees no reason to believe in a God they can’t see. Just because clouds or light obscure the stars doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’ve quickly learned that Summit Semester is the perfect “night sky” in which to do this, being wholly dedicated to creating an atmosphere where we are free from the distractions we find ourselves so fully immersed in our culture today. What better way to discover how to operate in a cloudy world than by finding clarity in the one who created us? There is no better way! And this brings me to our Old Testament scholar Dr. Ken Turner, who began this cool, crisp autumn week by teaching us more about the Bible so we could better understand the God whom we are all seeking.
Dr. Turner began by having the guys define the God of the Old Testament and with the girls defining the God of the New Testament. The results looked like two completely different gods. With his point effortlessly made for him, Dr. Turner continued by telling us that this was a result of reading the Bible incorrectly and he was here to help us read it the right way. We then went on to learn as much as Dr. Turner could teach us during his short time with us. We learned about the metanarrative that is interwoven throughout the Bible, we learned the ways to woo a women (according to the Old Testament…not the best advise we’ve received so far J), we talked about whether or not Israel could be compared to ISIS in their conquest of the Promised Land, we looked into the areas of the Bible often overlooked, such as the spiritual realm and Song of Solomon. These were both very…informative. Last of all, after Dr. Turner had just about torn apart the way in which we often read the Bible, he then showed us a better way to approach it – one that honestly brings new excitement to a book overflowing with more truth than we can ever hope to fully comprehend!
Now it would be an injustice to make it seem as though all we did with our week was study, yes, despite being the most dedicated group of students Summit Semester has seen to-date J, and as hard as it may be to imagine, we do spend our time doing other things besides reading books! In all honesty, we can seek God in more ways than just intellectually or spiritually, and sometimes He is found most in Christian community! As we go through our weeks here we are building community in a lot of ways, and even Dr. Turner got involved. During meals his table was the probably the most exciting to sit at, and he even played volleyball with everyone which was a blast! Overall I think the best way to summarize our week and Dr. Turner’s time here is with a quote from the book he has committed his life to studying, in one of the most informative chapters, and…with no context (sorry Dr. Turner), “…and behold, it was very good!” – Middle of Genesis 1:31
Caleb Berberich, from Castle Rock, Colorado, traveled only a few hours south to join this year’s Summit Semester class. This fall, Caleb looks forward to cultivating his enthusiasm for presenting the beauty of life through stories. He enjoys uniting critical thinking with imagination to better communicate truth and the realities of life in a way that helps people understand God’s love for them. When not developing this passion, he is likely to be hiking, working, eating, or engaged in deep conversation. Having already obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship, Caleb hopes that he can eventually start his own business in conjunction with mission work that would allow him to build relationships and support local communities.