Joseph Cook

Summit Student Conference Joseph Cook 2015 TennesseeWhat spurred my desire to go to Summit wasn’t the allure of two weeks up in the mountains, though that did sound exciting. Instead, it was the tangible difference I could see in the lives of my siblings and friends who had gone to Summit. They weren’t perfect, but they had a desire to know God better, paired with convictions that the gospel was true. They had faith – a faith based in reason and evidence. I wanted that, and I went to Summit with the hope that my faith would be strengthened.

My hopes were not disappointed.

I was overwhelmed with the amount of solid, biblical truth that the speakers presented. Bioethics, economics, tactics for defending the faith? There was plenty to absorb! One thing that stood out to me, and I was grateful to learn, was the reliability and completeness of the Bible. The amount of manuscripts and the detailed process scribes used to record Scripture assures us that we have it almost exactly as it was written. And despite the variety of authors and topics in the books of the Bible, they all fit together well, in order to tell the story of God’s redemption and grace. It was encouraging to be assured of the veracity of Scripture, and the completeness of it as a whole.

Summit “fed the soul” through solid teaching, but it also brought me into a diverse community of believers. I was able to form friendships while whitewater rafting, hiking by mountain rivers, and recapping the day in small group sessions. Every meal was a chance to meet someone new, and each day was a chance to make a friendship deeper.

I was inspired by Summit to take hard questions head on, love unconditionally, and pursue God daily. 

One verse that stood out to me during the two weeks was Colossians 2:8, where Paul warns believers to beware of man’s hollow philosophies, and instead, seek completeness in Christ. Jesus – who is Truth – is the answer to this world’s questions. Summit gave me the confidence that, in spite of my questions, I can be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that Scripture is trustworthy, the gospel is true, and my life has incredible purpose. Summit fueled my desire to know God and make Him known.