Elizabeth Ewald

Elizabeth Ewald Summit California 2014I have been to several Christian conferences before, and I can definitely say that Summit California has influenced and changed the way I view Truth and my role as a Christian more than any other. Having been raised in a Christian household, I was told certain things about the Bible and Truth that I came to believe for myself. I thought I could defend my faith and what I believed—and to a certain extent I could. But I have learned that it is not enough to know what I believe; I must also know why I believe it to be true.

As I Peter 3:15 says, I must “sanctify the Lord God in [my] heart, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks…a reason for the hope that is in [me], with meekness and fear.” Summit California has shown me just how much is involved in living with a Biblical worldview, a phrase I used often but didn’t know how to live out. But to anyone interested in attending Summit, I would recommend it based on three primary reasons.

1. Summit will challenge you and help you grow in your faith and convictions. Through the lectures and private discussions with the professors, your knowledge and beliefs will be tested, but ultimately strengthened and refined.

Throughout the week, we were asked questions such as,

“Do you believe in a young earth or old earth creation? Why?”

“Why is abortion so wrong”?

“Did Christ have to die on the cross? Did He have to rise from the dead?”

“What is the role of the Church?”

“Why does the existence of the soul matter and how can you prove it?”

These questions broadened my thought life and made me see how much I accepted Christian teaching without aligning and comparing them to Scripture. Though I still have many more questions to ask, I would rather ask them here, in a supportive, nurturing environment, than have to face them unanswered in the heat of a debate.

2. You will learn the foundational points of the major religions and worldviews prevalent in the world today. We hear lectures from speakers who have studied other worldviews and religions extensively and can show how Christianity relates to such worldviews.

Summit explains the importance of understanding others’ beliefs in order to speak truth into their lives. We need to see how other religions work and how to speak into the lives of unbelievers. My favorite session discussed the topic of living out our beliefs with John Stonestreet. He talked about the necessity for Christians today to follow God and live within the context of His laws in order to experience true freedom. He showed the unsustainable path our culture is headed towards and the importance of living with virtue in every area of our lives in order to save culture.

3. At Summit you will find a supportive and nurturing environment where you can practice living out your faith. Everyday, we play fun games and activities that stretch us and take us outside our comfort zones while providing lots of laughs! I really enjoyed going to the beach and relaxing with my fellow students as well as learning how to swing dance with students and staff. At mealtimes, we’re able to fellowship together and process the large amounts of information received during the lectures. And worship brings us together at the end of each day and reminds us of our common faith in Christ.

But by far, my favorite time of the day is during our small group meetings where we gather into groups and have heart-to-heart conversations about what we learned, questions we may have, and the struggles and joys in our lives.

Summit gives you the freedom and opportunity to ask questions regarding the defense and confirmation of the Gospel without fear of being shunned or judged.

They say, “You have some good questions. Instead of spoon-feeding you with answers, let’s look together at what Scripture has to say regarding this matter. What do you think this Scripture is saying? How can we apply that to your situation?”

Summit staff and leaders have shown grace to me and my fellow students and allowed us to show grace to each other and to unbelievers. I feel more confident in the truth of the Christian worldview and am excited to learn more about God’s great love and providence towards His creation.