My review and experience at the Ezra Institute’s Worldview Leadership Camp
This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Worldview Leadership Camp at the Ezra Institute in Grimsby Ontario.
This week-long camp is meant to teach young people how to think Christianly and understand what it means to be a Christian in today’s world.
Each day was spent listening to multiple lectures and sermons, working in the Institute’s forests and gardens, and playing fun games and activities.
Sixteen lectures were given throughout the week, plus Q&As with the speakers. All of them were incredible and I eagerly looked forward to them every day. Here are a few of my favourite lectures and speakers from the week.
Religious Secularism | by Rev.Dr. Joseph Boot
One thing I learned very quickly was that there were going to be plenty of words I would not know the meaning of, and would have figure out quickly. All the speakers were incredibly accomplished, but anyone who has listened to Joe Boot knows that his vocabulary is at least three levels higher than the smartest person in the room, and if you do not give your full attention to what he is saying, it will go right over your head. Thankfully, I prepared for the amount of brainpower I would need, and I quickly learned to decipher and take in all that Joe Boot said.
One of his first lectures was on the rise of religious secularism. All life is religion, and religion is something that divides. The goal of religious secularism is to make it neutral. The reason this lecture is among those that I remember most is because it broke down and explained what religious secularism is in today’s culture, state, and society. The lecture really set you up for the rest of the week, and I could quickly pick out where religious secularism has influenced the world.
Apologetic Mandate | by Rev.Dr. Joseph Boot
What I loved about this lecture is how clearly it explained that to defend your faith you must understand it and recognize what is not God, but a replacement of God. The heart is an idol machine and unredeemed people serve the creature not the creator. Every worldview out there has some sort of ultimate reality as their divinity concept. Idols are anything that tries to provide ultimate meaning and purpose other than God.
There are five principles to effective apologetics:
- Identify the idol – all explanations of life have a starting point and a belief about origin
- Identify the idol’s reductionism – idolatry always debases creation and the human life, made in the image of God
- Test the idol and its reduction – does it contradict what we know about the world?
- Test the idol – does it contradict itself?
- Replace the idol – make the case for Christianity
Addressing and Answering Islam | by Wes Huff
I have always found learning about other cultures and religions fascinating, so the lecture on Islam was extremely fun to listen to, and I think the whole group enjoyed it too, because there were never more questions asked than after this lecture.
Learning about how Christian and Jewish stories are integrated in Islam was so interesting, and it gave me more understanding of what I believe because I was able to compare it to Islam.
Theology of Evangelism | by Cory McKenna
The two lectures given by Cory McKenna on evangelism were so helpful to me, since I have always struggled to figure out how I can share the gospel with non-Chistians. The practicality of the lectures was awesome and I am very proud to say that I was able to evangelize to a non-Christian a week after the lecture, and it wasn’t a horrible experience like I thought it might be.
What I originally thought and did not like about evangelism is that it felt like it is having someone preaching and lecturing to random people. Something I thought was very out of place and felt unauthentic and disrespectful. But, these lectures taught me how I can go out faithfully, and be authentic and respectful, while sharing the gospel with complete strangers or friends.
Overall, every sermon and lecture was wonderful, and I learned more than I thought I ever could in 6 days, as well as having a great time.
A few more things that made my time at the Ezra institute memorable, is the time we got to spend working in the forests and gardens. There is nothing I like more than hauling out branches and logs out of the woods and stacking them. Why I don’t know, but it is so satisfying and fun to me.
All the people, kids and staff, were just wonderful and we had a blast together. The beach volleyball games where none of us could play were my favourite, and reading and visiting in the Institutes gorgeous library was just lovely.
The talent night was such fun, and I could not believe how many talented musicians we had in our group. My brother and I sang an Italian duet and we choreographed some first rate waltzing at the end. I could hardly sing from laughing, and at the end of the song, I twirled in for my brother to dip me, and his impeccable comedic timing took over and he dropped me to the floor! I highly recommend learning to dance with your sibling.
I will always remember my time spent at the Ezra Institute and I cannot wait to return next year.