Anne Carman

Summit Student Conference Anne Carman 2014 TennesseeAs a Summit alumna, I came to this session with high expectations. I came with questions, expecting to receive answers. I came with doubts, expecting to find resolve. I came with beliefs, expecting to be challenged. I came as a Christian, expecting to be strengthened.

Well, the first week is complete and was packed with intense afternoons of beach volleyball, exciting new friendships, and a whopping 36 hours of lectures. The Lord’s grace is abundant. Some of my favorite times during Summit’s program are the open forums with the speakers.

This week, we’ve tackled an array of questions, including I.V.F. and family issues with Dr. Morse, interpretation of the Bible with Turner, and discussions on doubt and faith with Bobby Conway. During one of Conway’s lectures, he encouraged us to “be willing to be vulnerable.” In the context he addressed doubt and inquiry. He encouraged that being vulnerable is an important and valuable quality to cultivate and maintain. It means being real. It requires humility and a safe environment that not only welcomes inquiry but answers those inquiries with truth.

Even so, we’ve already had speakers who have posed questions that remain unanswered. Why? For multiple reasons,  but one of the prominent reasons being to instill the pursuit of truth as a lifestyle, and not an answer.

After all, truth is something discovered, but human minds are finite. Thus the pursuit for truth will not be complete in the course of a lifetime.

Turner spoke about this idea during his open forum with the commission for us to continue “grasping” as Christians. Mr. Turner’s lectures focused on how to read, study and apply the Bible. He exemplified the importance of Bible study not being a task but rather a lifestyle.

Too often do we as Christians treat Christianity as merely an aspect of our life when it’s meant to be our foundation. This idea of “circle Christianity,” as I’ve heard it explained – where Christ is someone you accept and then check off. Rather we need to live “Christ-centered” lives as Christians, where we live our lives continuing to pursue godly pursuits.