Update from Jefrey Breshears, President and Founder of The Areopagus
Dollie and I returned Saturday evening from a two-week trip to Cambridge. It was a great experience, and we enjoyed our time together with Ranald and Susan (Schaeffer) Macaulay, Peter and Ilona Greyling, and the others who are involved in Christian Heritage ministry in Cambridge. They have developed a creative and effective apologetics-based evangelistic outreach ministry to the thousands of students and visitors who come to Cambridge each year, and it was quite a stimulating spiritual and intellectual atmosphere.
During our time in Cambridge we stayed in the Greylings’ home, and we appreciated very much their gracious hospitality as they went far beyond our expectations in accommodating our needs and showing us around the university, the city and its environs (including Bury St. Edmonds, the U.S. military cemetery in Cambridge, and the indescribably magnificent Ely Cathedral). We also spent three days in London where we visited the British Library, the British Museum, Westminister Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Churchill World War II Museum, several sites associated with John Wesley (Aldersgate, Wesley Chapel, and his home), the Nonconformist Cemetery (where John Bunyan and other non-Anglican Christians are buried), and of course the Beatles Shoppe and Abbey Road(!). We also took in “Les Miserables,” which I have to say was the most impressive theatrical performance I’ve ever seen.
We attended a week-long summer school course at Westminster College on “The Doctrine of the Bible,” taught by John Collins of Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, an OT scholar and a member of the team that translated the ESV (English Standard Version) Bible. Coincidentally, among the other attendees was our pastor, Bryant Wright of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, and his wife Anne, whom we were not aware were attending the course when we registered for it several months ago. One day John Lennox, the renowned Oxford mathematician and philosopher of science, happened to show up and sat in on the class, so one never knows who he’ll encounter at these kinds of events. I also had the opportunity to visit with Peter Williams at Tyndale House, which houses one of the largest collections of resources on biblical scholarship in the world. Those of you who attended the last Passages lecture in Atlanta will recall Peter’s brilliant lecture on the use of biblical names as an apologetical argument for the historical validity of the NT.
Christian Heritage is based in the Round Church, the second-oldest building in Cambridge which was built by returning crusaders in 1130 on the model of the rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Round Church attracts thousands of visitors each year, and Christian Heritage uses the facility as a base of operations and to organize historical tours of Cambridge. Through the ministry of Christian Heritage, countless numbers of visitors have been introduced to the Gospel, and undoubtedly hundreds have been brought to faith in Jesus Christ. As you know, Great Britain in general has descended into spiritual darkness. Only about 5% of the British population is involved in a church, and in the established state church, the Church of England, only about 35% of the ministers and members are Evangelicals who hold to a high view of Scripture. So the ministry of Christian Heritage offers a very bright light in the midst of a nation that has largely forfeited its rich Christian heritage.
Dollie and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to be in Cambridge the past two weeks and to observe and participate in the ministry of Christian Heritage. We are also thankful for your ongoing involvement and support of the ministry of the Areopagus. I pray that our outreach will continue to expand here in Atlanta as we seek to encourage and equip Christians to “Set aside Christ as Lord in your heart, and always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reasons for the hope that you have… and do this with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15).
Blessings, grace and peace in your life and on all your involvements this summer.