by Noah Tang
Cedarville University held its annual Fall Bible Conference on August 22nd through the 25th. This year, the event provided the University community with biblical teaching on the topic of surrender. Pastor Brian White spoke to promote a mindset of surrender to God as the University begins another academic year.
Pastor Brian White serves as the lead pastor of Harvest Church in Carmel, Indiana. When asked to preach at Cedarville, Pastor White chose the topic of surrender for various reasons. Luke 9 and John 6 provided some inspiration, and personal reasons also played a part.
“As a student at Cedarville, I was a Christian but not totally surrendered. Cedarville was a time of surrender to God in every area of my life. The topic of surrender is a key issue as to how it affects every other part of life.” Brian White said. “At Christian colleges, many think they are Christians but are not, and have not surrendered their lives to Christ. And even believers can be distracted by idols and not live according to surrender.”
Dr. Jeremy Kimble, Associate Professor of Theology, is a friend of Brian White’s. Kimble exhorts those who were saved during the conference to “let your local church be the central place of your discipleship.” While Cedarville is full of spiritual resources, he strongly advises students to find and be involved in a local church where they can learn how to live out their faith.
“The focus was on surrender, which is a biblical theme we tend to overlook. How are we to live as disciples of Jesus—dying to self and living for Him?” Kimble said. “If it’s true that we should die to self and live to Christ, how are we to do that? How do we live out God’s will in terms of loving our neighbor as ourselves?”
Perhaps most foundationally, surrender is important because the Bible teaches it. To learn more about it is to better understand the Bible. Brian White maintains that those who wish to surrender must do so rightly.
“Surrender is defined by whom you surrender to and how [Jesus] defined surrender. We might not have the right view of surrender, that is Jesus’.” Kimble said. “Part of surrender is dedicating ourselves to studying the Bible day by day—and not just that, but studying to be doers of the Word. You can’t surrender to what you don’t know. We should engage with the Bible to know what and to whom we surrender.”
Alexander Miller, a freshman mechanical engineering student, felt that the conference paralleled his personal journey.
“God has been working on me regarding the concept of surrender since mid-summer—namely, that I should do more to surrender my whole life to Him and be a doer of the Word,” Miller said. “Fall Bible Conference was a continuation of this process in me and helped to remind me of the things I’ve been learning this summer.”
Benjamin Vincent, a junior molecular biology student and Resident Assistant of Carr 1, had this to say: “We are not able to fully surrender if we do not know who Jesus is. If we do not fully understand what He did, we will not truly surrender to Him.” He continues, “This conference relates to what we plan to do with our lives. At the beginning of the year, it is important to keep God’s will in mind. Life is not about getting the highest-paid job; it is about surrendering oneself wholly to God.”
Noah Tang is a graduate student majoring in Biblical Leadership, and a writer for Cedars. He likes to spend time with friends, ride his bike, and watch movies.