Thursday, July 26, 2012

A View from the Summit

In June, Tess had the opportunity to attend a fantastic worldview conference in Colorado.  And since we have been having a kind of “missions” week for the past few days, I asked her to write about her experience.  Here is what she wrote:

This summer I had the opportunity to attend a leadership, worldview, and apologetics conference with one of my good friends, Bethany. Although the complexity of such an experience can hardly be described through words or even pictures, despite their thousand word reputation, I will try to recreate the fascination, depth, community, and beauty I found during my two weeks at Summit.

Our adventure began as we drove up the winding mountain roads of Manitou Springs, CO, towards Summit’s circa 1880’s hotel. The aged building boasted wooden siding, large windows, and a porch lined with green rocking chairs. Situated at the foot of the mountains, peaks were visible in every direction. As we walked in the doors, we were bombarded by gentlemen wondering if they could carry our luggage up to our room. I was in love immediately.

The next two weeks flew by, with classes every morning and evening, and we were able to hear from leading apologists on every topic imaginable: politics, law, abortion, homosexuality, government, scripture, popular culture, science, sociology, history, worldviews, morality, art, leadership. I had never felt so unprepared to defend what I believe in my life. As Christian, I think that we often take our trust in God to be something simplistic and blind. We don’t know why we believe, only that we do. We know that the gospel is truth, but are unable to defend in the light of unbelief. Yet, we are called to love God with our heart, our souls, and our minds. The beauty of Christ is His intricacy, despite simplicity, and His indescribable complexity discovered through reason. We need to embrace both sides of our faith: trusting and reasoning, because the two do not oppose each other, rather, they work in unison.

My idea of what the Christian faith and worldview are broadened immensely as we studied different topics. I learned how God has established a moral code that is known by all, and therefore there is a “right” and a “wrong” (applying a Christian worldview to law). I learned that the laws of physics are set to such an exact measure, that the chances of them being such that humans are able to survive are akin to throwing a dart and hitting a target the size of one atom in the entire universe (applying a Christian worldview to science). I learned that Christianity is the only worldview that has a solution for the problem of evil (applying a Christian worldview to philosophy). I was able to see the Christian worldview applied to all facets of life and was awed by how God planned out the world in a way that we can discover it.

In between classes, we had time to enjoy the beautiful scenery, play volleyball, eat amazing food (Summit even applies a Christian worldview to food – think about it), and meet people from all over the country and the world. Oh yeah… we also got evacuated due to the forest fires. And although it was difficult and uncomfortable at times, it really was a blessing. We were able to witness the body of Christ come around us as all our needs (and beyond) were provided for by Mountain Springs Church and local businesses. Our whole group grew closer as we slept and lived in close quarters. We were able to keep our class schedule, thanks to an amazing staff. It was, in fact, such a small event in light of the whole two weeks, that I often forget to mention it when I talk to people about my trip. God truly did provide and look after us.

Looking back, Summit has provided me with a foundation on this summer and next year. I’ve committed to reading a book a week for the rest of the summer (so please ask me about it!) to learn why and not just what. It has also given me a desire to have discussions about my faith, whereas before, I would shrink from them. I strive to glorify God with my mind, as well as my heart and my soul, and show the world that I am serious about knowing what I believe. Are you?

Tess Haverkamp

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