I think it’s time to be direct in my theology. So, here it is: I’m a five-pointer. I think the Lord Jesus Christ is a five-pointer as well. Don’t believe me?
It all depends on your five points. I know we tend to use that term to identify the Dort formulation of Calvinism, but let’s grab a different five:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ” (Isaiah 9:6, KJV 1900)
Here are five points we should all agree on:
1. Wonderful: in modern days, we have softened this word. We have “Wonder Bread” and various other trite uses of the word “Wonderful.” Let’s take it back a bit, shall we? To be wonderful started out to mean that something was good beyond understanding, that you couldn’t quite explain everything, but you could know it was all good. It’s used in Judges 13, an apparent theophany, as a name. We need to not lose sight of the fact that Jesus is Wonderful, beyond all of our imagining.
2. Counselor: not huggy-bunny counselor, not summer-camp counselor. Think about the image of a wise man who tells a king what to do. Now, make that wise man smarter and all-authoritative. You’re starting to get close. He is our Counselor, the One to whom we can tell our problems, we can seek guidance from, and who knows everything we need to know and do.
3. The mighty God: I think the most important word in this phrase is neither mighty nor God. It’s “The.” Jesus of Nazareth is not one of many gods, not a portion of God, He is “THE mighty God.” If we hold to a Biblically-defined faith, we don’t have another God to recognize or acknowledge. There is only “THE One.”
4. The Everlasting Father: one thing that strikes me as a father is this: most of my mistakes as a father are because of my time limits. I act selfishly with my time rather than being a good parent because I know my life is short. I have things to accomplish, blog posts to write, books to act like I’m going to write, and so on, and so forth. Yet the Lord Jesus makes none of those mistakes. He is the Father who has all the time necessary to parent His own. Moreover, as the Everlasting Father, we would rightfully consider ourselves everlasting children: we will never be grown up enough to move out.
5. The Prince of Peace: this one has always bothered me. Isn’t a “prince” lower than a “king?” While there’s plenty of exegetical work to be done here, the point that struck me is this: Jesus says in Matthew 10:34 that He didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword. I think part of why He takes the title “Prince of Peace” is because peace isn’t His main goal. Not in all things, while bringing peace between man and God is certainly part of the atonement, I think part of what is meant here is that peace is not the end goal. Rather, peace is a by-product of the right relationship with God that comes through the righteousness of Christ.
So, there you have it. Five points.