Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 42, Summit Semester

We continued our discussion of Milton in Brit Lit, but also looked at his political theory in Politics. He wrote the Areopagitica, the greatest defense of the press ever written in English. He also wrote a book called On Education, which was an interesting perspective. Two quotes from him on the purpose of education:

“Education is that which fits a man to perform justly, skillfully, and magnanimously, all the offices public and private, in peace and war.”

“The purpose of education is to help repair the ruins of our first parents by learning to know God aright.”

In other words, education ought to be part of the process of redemption and sanctification - we need to learn to love God and imitate Him to possess true virtue in our souls.

Today was significant in a somewhat depressing way. It’s our half-way point through the Semester, a rather sobering thought. Perhaps because of our isolation, the rather strict schedule, or simply because we’re having fun, time has absolutely flown by here. It seems like we just arrived a week or two ago.

And as Bethany and I discussed last night, we’re all starting to realize that this Semester isn’t about how much we learn here. We’re learning a ton, but that’s really not the purpose. We’re realizing how much we don’t know, and won’t be able to figure out in the next six weeks. But we are being given the tools to think well and study well for the rest of our lives. With the questions we have to wrestle with now, and the new ones that are sure to come, that’s about how long it will take, too. We all have a list of books to read that’s about three miles long, and we’re always asking Bauman for more books. We’re not gluttons for punishment; it’s just contagious. Once you start learning how to really study and think, you want to keep doing it.

In that sense, Semester is somewhat different than I expected. But I love it. Where else can you wrestle with the big questions of life in a community that’s seeking the Truth together?

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