The Victoria Cross is the UK's highest military award. A total of 1,357 VCs have been awarded since 1856 to 1,354 men. Among them are these.
1. Andrew Fitzgibbon - youngest recipient (15)
2. William Raynor - oldest recipient (61)
3. Noel Chavasse - twice awarded
4. Arthur Martin-Leake - twice awared
5. Charles Upham - twice awarded (only non-doctor)
6. Charles Davis Lucas - first recipient
7. John Gough - only recipient whose father and uncle were also recipients
8. William Congreve - one of only three recipients whose father was also a recipient
9. Frederick Roberts - the other son whose father was a recipient
10. Lloyd Trigg - the only recipient to be vouched for by the enemy
James Ashworth (2013) is the most recent recipient at the present time.
Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.
I was trying to remember someone's name - was it Justin or Julian. Turns out it was Jason. A lot of boy's names begin with J and end with N, it seems. Here are ten
I currently seem to be drawn to books about the world wars. Diary of a man in despair came out in English translation in 1974. I became aware if it reading Richard Evans trilogy on the whole Nazi movement. It's taking me a little while to get round to reading it. Friedrich Malleczewen was a very cultured writer who the Nazis eventually caught up with and killed even though he was a minor character in every sense and no agitator. He kept a secret diary through the year wars and before which is a fascinating and well written read. Not sensationalist in any way it gives a good idea of the horror of those years. Malleczewen's Catholic faith peeks through at certain times. It is difficult to see how anyone can look at those years with any degree of composure without a theistic worldview. Always the remarkable thing for many of us is that it happened here in Europe and not so very long ago. How sobering.
So I'm listening to a recording of Carl Trueman on Bernard of Clairvaux and he begins "On Courtney Love ... see the chapter ... on Courtney Love". He's a hip guy, I guess, so I wasn't too phased and I soon cottoned on that he was actually talking about courtly love, of course. Still going deaf.
Most of those who know the name of Erroll Hulse will be aware that he had a stroke while in South Africa last year and although he is now back in England his progress to health continues to be slow. Meanwhile his book One in a thousand has appeared. It is an excellent book on pastoral ministry made up of a series of an introductory chapter followed by eight studies first in the New Testament (The Chief Shepherd and Paul the inspirer of pastors) and then in church history. With each biography he seeks to draw out one aspect of the ministry. We begin with a Martin, Martin Luther, and end with a Martin, the recently deceased Martin Holdt. With them we have William Perkins - application in preaching, Richard Baxter - the pastor as evangelist, Jonathan Edwards - the pastor as theologian and Martyn Lloyd-Jones - the pastor as preacher. We thus learn some church history at the same time as looking at pastoralia. This EP book works as both an entry level book for budding pastors or those still wet behind the ears and for those longer in the tooth.
PS See what I did there with the title to this post?
Quite behind with this but it was good to be back in Childs Hill last Sunday. We started with communion. We were rather few for that but numbers picked up. Still quite a few away, however. I covered the end of Matthew 4 with what proved to be a relatively long sermon. Briefer in the evening looking at that fundamental text in Hebrews 11.6 on faith. I have an LTS student on placement with me so I asked him to read Proverbs 8 in the morning and to pray in the evening, which he did well. So a good day rather than a great day. Good to be there though.
I was preaching in Aberystwyth, in Alfred Place Baptist Church, on Sunday. We went up as a family on Thursday and enjoyed being with various members of the family over the few days we were there. I was able to attend a men's breakfast in the church on the Saturday, which was good. The Sunday morning sermon was followed by a fellowship lunch and that was good too. I preached from 1 Thessalonians 1 and Esther 6. It is always difficult to decide what to preach when you go away but I felt these were a good pair until I looked at them again and felt their inadequacy but I preached as best I could and I think they were appreciated. Alfred Place was erected in the same year (1870) as our building and apart from Childs Hill being quite wide they would be very similar except that our pews have been replaced by chairs and I preach from the communion table rather than the pulpit. This makes for quite a different experience. The other feature in AP for me is that I know a lot of people there but not overly well. It was great to see 20 or 30 students in the morning lapping up the teaching. Some were fresh in from this weeks CU mission I understand. Tim Curnow kindly preached here for me. Geoff was in Gorseinon.
The fourth and final programme on the Great War fronted by Jeremy Paxman sustained the interest to the end. Perhaps the most interesting section was the second where Paxman spoke to someone about aplastic surgeon called Harry Gillies. They mentioned a man called Stan Cohen who you can read about here. They say he taught a Sunday School in Bromley. Children were curious but not horrified by his appearance. I wonder if he was a believer.
Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski 1857 – 1924) Born in Russia and dying in England, Conrad was a Polish author who wrote in English. Granted British nationality in 1886, he always considered himself a Pole. He is regarded as one of the greatest novelists in English, though he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties (and always with a marked accent). He wrote stories and novels, often with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of an indifferent universe. He was a master prose stylist who they say brought a distinctly non-English tragic sensibility into English literature. His modernist style influenced many. Films have been adapted from, or inspired by, his An Outcast of the Islands, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, The Duel, Victory, etc, etc. I have only read the novella Heart of darkness I must confess.
This is from the film and despite the odd sepia presentation it is hauntingly beautiful. Love the promoter's line at the end.
I have now listened to all 35 lectures from Dr David Calhoun on ancient and medieval church history given I the nineties at Covenant Theological Seminary. Each lecture is around 45 minutes in length and is a helpful introduction or refresher course in the main points of the history of the period from a Christian point of view. Church history is the subject rather than theology as such but there is some helpful stuff here all delivered in a warm and helpful way and well worth checking out. They are available on itunes u.
I was talking to someone about the American novel Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter the other day and so I selected it from the shelf and started to read it. It is not long and quite charming. The heroine is the orphaned daughter of a minister who plays a game based loosely on a biblical principle though more of the positive thinking variety. It's a charming and attractive story if a little saccharin in some ways. It first appeared in 1913 and several film adaptations have been made down the years.