Summit 2010 will run Sunday through Wednesday and will focus on the way Christians interact as aliens in their own world, Dr. Brady Bryce, director of ministry events said.
“It’s one of the most contemporary themes ever,” Bryce said. “It comes from two images. We are an alone people, and God has called us into his magnificent light.”
The theme for this year’s Summit is “Aliens and Light.” Bryce said inspiration for the theme is found in 1 Peter 2: 9-11, as well as the Tower of Light. He said he uses Bible readings and personal reflection to develop the theme each year.
“Each year I try to think of a theme that surfaces from scripture,” Bryce said.
The lectures will have seven theme speakers and three featured guests. Bryce said the theme speakers will address issues drawn from the passage in I Peter, but the featured guests are free to speak on any topic. The seven theme speakers are preachers from Churches of Christ across the nation, and they will speak either during Chapel on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday or from 7 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday in Moody Coliseum.
This year’s featured guests include a Methodist minister from Kansas, an award-winning author and poet and a Christian activist. The featured speakers will deliver their messages at 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Moody Coliseum.
James Bryan Smith, Monday’s featured speaker, is an assistant professor of religion at Friends University, where he serves as the director of the Christian Spiritual Formation Institute. He has also written several books about spiritual formation. Bryce said Smith, although not well-known by students, will be well-received when he delivers his message.
“He will bring a practitioners and good public speakers approach,” Bryce said. “He will talk about being apprentices to Jesus.”
Tuesday’s featured guest Kathleen Norris was scheduled to speak at Summit last year, but was unable to attend because of the death of her mother. Norris has authored several award-winning books, including her most recent work, Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks and a Writers Life, which examines the sin of slothfulness.
On Wednesday, Summit attendees will hear from Shane Claiborne, a Christian author and activist. Claiborne is the author of several works, including Jesus for President and The Irresistible Revolution.
Claiborne’s book Follow Me to Freedom, co-authored with fellow Summit speaker John Perkins, was the common reading assignment for this year’s freshman class.
“Shane Claiborne brings a prophetic edge to Summit,” Bryce said. “He is one that holds our feet to the fire to hear and believe the words of Jesus. He will challenge you in a humble, simple and unorthodox way that gently nudges you to be a better person.”
Claiborne advocates a simpler life and addresses issues of social justice. While some of Claiborne’s ideas may seem controversial, Bryce believes that should not prevent students from hearing what he has to say.
“Almost anybody you listen to is controversial. If not, you are listening to someone you agree with or not listening at all,” Bryce said. “Controversy is not something to be afraid of – it’s something to engage.”
Amy Morris, freshman accounting and finance major from Sugarland, said she appreciates Claiborne’s heart for ministry, but questions the feasibility of some of his ideas.
“I have a lot of respect for him. He has a really good heart and a good ministry,” Morris said. ” But there is a certain impracticality to a lot that he says.”