Five Points Blog
- Steve Sullivan
- Mar 19, 2014
Teaching has existed at Oxford, England since the year 1096. Today, Oxford University is the oldest place of learning in the English-speaking world; it has been a school for 918 years. From its early days, Oxford was a center for lively controversy, with scholars involved in religious and political disputes. John Wycliffe, a 14th-century professor, campaigned for a Bible in the vernacular against the wishes of the papacy. During the Reformation in the 16th century, the Anglican churchmen Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley were tried for heresy and burnt at the stake in Oxford. In the late 17th century, the Oxford philosopher John Locke, suspected of treason, was forced to flee the country. The 18th-century professor of geometry, Edmund Halley, predicted the return of the comet that bears his name, and John and Charles Wesley's prayer meetings laid the foundations of the Methodist Society.
It was at this historic wellspring of scholars that C. S. Lewis schooled, graduated, and later taught in its halls. He was the famous Christian apologist who helped steady the courage of the British people during World War II with his weekly radio program of hope and faith; the famous debater of his time who challenged the atheists with well-reasoned arguments for the truthfulness of Christianity; the author of many Christian-focused fiction and non-fiction books widely read today.
I was privileged to be traveling to this place last October to attend a conference on C. S. Lewis knowing full well that I did not comprehend the impact this school and its graduates have had on the world. I left a week later having had my brain crushed under the weight of trying to absorb a fraction of what was shared on Lewis, his life, his views, his faith, his thinking, and the heights of his intellect which call us upward to a God we will never stop knowing more fully. Among the speakers was Dr. Michael Ward, a research fellow at Oxford and author of The Narnia Code.
Each morning Dr. Ward shared a part of his amazing insight into how Lewis loved myth, lore, and stories of medieval literature (Lewis’ academic focus). One story of Lewis’ life that was shared was how before Lewis was a Christian, his friend J.R.R. Tolkien would share the gospel with him. One day as they walked together, Tolkien—remembering Lewis’ love of mythology—said, “What if one of those myths you love were actually true?” Tolkien talked to Lewis of the story of a person who so loved that he gave himself, so that others might live. Lewis knew this story—it was common in the ancient medieval myths. It speaks to a desire for virtue common to all people. This was the turning point in Lewis’ life, the day he began to realize, “What if one of those myths actually happened?”
Lewis went on to lecture and write on medieval literature in a new way. It was no longer mankind’s existential hope in virtue but now a foreshadowing of the true myth. Lewis would write about how we live in a “shadow land” that is only the weakest of images of what is waiting for us. We live now as vapors full of holes, but then we will be solid for the first time. We go to a reality that will not compare to this world, to a glory that has weight.
The mythological story form Lewis uses in his fiction enables us to identify, to feel, to experience more fully the truthfulness of ideas in our world in a way that speaks to our humanness. God makes us both rational and imaginative—by using both we can know God more fully.
Join us for a two-part event, “A Voyage into Narnia,” that will help you understand and appreciate more of C. S. Lewis, his world of Narnia, and how he intended for us to see God by breathing Narnian air. On Wednesday, May 28, Dr. Michael Ward will join us to discuss the imagery of Narnia that C.S. Lewis used to speak to our souls and draw us to God. And on Saturday, May 31, Joe Rigney, professor at Bethlehem College & Seminary and author of Live Like a Narnian, will apply Lewis’ Chronicles to our call to be and make disciples.
- JJ Sherwood
- Sep 05, 2012
JI Packer wrote in Knowing God, "Disregard the study of God and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul."
Fraternal begins next Wednesday, September 12 at 7pm in the Library and I invite the men of Five Points to lock arms with each other in the fight for faith and the battle for our souls as we begin a study of the Doctrine of God. The task ahead is no easy sledding and we will make a number of commitments to one another next Wednesday, but studying the person, nature and character of God is the most practical activity a person can engage in. The digging will be hard, but the reward is beyond what you can imagine!
The cost is $75 for the year, which covers the books and materials for the class. Please sign up here so we can be prepared with your materials for our time together. If for some reason are not able to register online early, you may register at the door on September 12 and we'll get you your materials as soon as possible. Also, if the cost associated with the class is the only reason you are not signing up, please contact me so we can work together to enable your attendance. I ask everyone to join us in prayer that as we set our faces towards seeking Him in His Word, God would graciously reveal His glory to us and change us from one degree of glory to the next.
- Brett Toney
- Aug 25, 2012
Fall is just around the corner and I am excited for the many different classes that will be starting up on September 9. Let me highlight for you some of the opportunities you will have to connect with others in digging into God's word.
We will continue with a full spread of Bible Study Hour classes for adults. Pastor JJ will be teaching a class called "God Saves: Studies in Jonah & Hosea" (Room I/J), highlighting how these often-obscured prophets clearly anticipate Christ. One of our elders, Mike Houston, will continue to partner with Eric Leiendecker in leading the College & Career class through the Letter to the Colossians (Room A). Another elder, Dick Mills, will be teaching an expositional or topical study in the Sanctuary. Cindy Verner will continue teaching the women's class in the Gospel of John (Room D). And I will have the privilege of walking through redemptive history, looking at how God is working to establish his people in his place with his presence by creating his kingdom through a covenant (Room C).
And while we will mainly focus on the deep truths of God’s word on Sunday mornings, we will consider how those truths impact our daily lives at our Evening Family Gatherings. Pastor Brent will be teaching a class titled, "Marriage: A Marvelous Mystery" (Sanctuary). Elder Mark Kakkuri will teach "Apologetics to the Glory of God" (Rooms I & J), and Ken Whitely will be teaching the class "The Fruitful Credit of Faithful Finances" (Rooms C & D).
And of course, classes for children and students will be held during the same times as well.
Consider joining us as we pursue joy in Christ alone through the study and application of his word together.
- JJ Sherwood
- Jul 13, 2012
"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God."
-A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 1
What is the chief end of man? To glorify God by enjoying Him forever. It is an understatement of epic proportions to say that there is no greater subject to study than the doctrine of God. The very heart and soul of theology—indeed all of life, meaning, and truth— is centered on the glorious Triune God of the Bible. The greatest need in the Church today is for its people to be God-centered. If we want to glorify God by finding all our satisfaction and joy in Him alone, we must become God-centered.
Beginning September 12, we invite the men of Five Points to join us as we plumb the depths of God's glorious revelation of Himself in His Word on the second Wednesday of every month at 7pm. We will band together to push each other Godward, for His glory and our joy. Through reading, memorizing Scripture, theological reflection and biblical discussion, we we will pursue our joy in God as we gather together to know Him in all of His glory and splendor.
This is no journey for the faint of heart as we will commit to our fellow Fraternal brothers in spurring one another on to find in all God all our joy, laboring for His glory in our study of this grand doctrine. The cost is $75, which will cover all materials for the entire year. Registration can be found here and more information can be found throughout the year here.
- Brent Nelson
- Jun 19, 2011
When the Apostle Peter assumes believers call God our Father, he means for us to pray to him, to fear him with holy fear and to obey him even when it is hard. Listen to I Peter 1:17, “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile…”.
Many see that we are to call God Father and define it as a metaphor. Calling God our Father, they say, employs a metaphor for us that we can understand because each of us had a real father on earth. They hold that God is metaphorically our father, so we can relate to him with love and respect as we do our human fathers.
Actually the exact opposite is true. All earthly fathers are metaphors for the one true and eternal Father, who is Almighty God. How do I know this? I know it because God is the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Look at how Peter begins his message:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (I Peter 1:3). God is Father to Christ and has been forever.
When Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane praying as with drops of blood he prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). He did not call God his Father just as a word-picture - it is true! He is the eternal Son, and God is His eternal Father.
All human fatherhood is the metaphor, the shadow, pointing to the one true and ultimate Father, the Sovereign God of heaven and earth.
No matter what kind of earthly father you have, honor him. Give thanks for him. Tell him you love him, not because he is perfect. But because he is the shadow and his very existence points you to the light in the face of the true Father. Come to the first Father by faith in His eternal Son, Jesus Christ.