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.

10 Popular songs that feature the mandolin

1. REM Losing my religion
2. Rod Stewart Maggie May
3. Steve Earle Copperhead Road
4. Yes, Wonderous stories
5. Shawn Colvin Sonny came home
6. Soggy Bottom Boys Man of constant sorrow
7. Lindisfarne Lady Eleanor
8. Kinks Supersonic Rocket Ship
9. Horslips Dearg Doom
10. McGuinness Flint Dead and gone

10 Jazz Trumpeters

1. Louis Armstrong 1901-1971
2. Bix Beiderbecke 1903-1931
3. Nat Gonella 1908-1988
4. Dizzie Gillespie 1917-1993
5. Humphrey Littleton 1921-2008
6. Miles Davis 1926-1991
7. Chet Baker 1929-1988
8. Kenny Ball 1930-2013
9. Herb Alpert b 1935
10. Wynton Marsalis b 1961
(Not a big interest of mine but this film about Chet Baker is coming out soon)

A childhood memory

I began my preaching yesterday evening with an anecdote from childhood.  It is from the days of cigarettes and fireplaces. It is of my nana or grandmother (my dad's mam) leaning over the open coal fire at home and burning the edge of the white tissue paper on the back of the foil from a packet of her cigarettes (Gold Flake or Kensitas she used to smoke – lots of people smoked in those days). She was then able to peel the white paper from the foil and add it to her collection of silver paper.
Lots of people collected silver paper in those days, in the sixties. My other nana who didn't smoke was collecting it too. The silver foil was sold to companies who would use it tin the steel making process. The money they paid for it was used by charities seeking to help the blind.
There was quite a high awareness of the needs of the blind then. My parents and grandparents were especially concerned about toxacariasis, which can be caught from dog faeces, if the dog has ring worm. They always seemed to be reading about cases where children had become blind by this means.

10 more Marian martyrs

In a footnote Ryle mentions other martyrs worthy of special note. He lists 13 but we will narrow it down to ten
1. Laurence Saunders, Coventry
2. William Hunter, Brentwood
3. Rawlins White, Cardiff
4. George Marsh, Chester
5. Thomas Hawkes, Coggeshall
6. John Bland, Canterbury
7. Agnes Prest, Exeter
8. Rose Allen, Colchester
9. Joan Waste, Derby
10. Richard Woodman, Lewes
(The other three are Alice Driver, Ipswich; Julius Palmer, Newbury; John Noyes, Laxfield)

10 Marian Martyrs

These are ten J C Ryle mentions in his essay Why were our reformers burned?. See here.
1. John Rogers, a London Minister burned in Smithfield on Monday, February 4, 1555. Rogers was a man who, in one respect, had done more for the cause of Protestantism than any of his fellow-sufferers. In saying this I refer to the fact that he had assisted Tyndale and Coverdale in bringing out a most important version of the English Bible, a version commonly known as Matthews' Bible. Indeed, he was condemned as "Rogers, alias Matthews."
2. John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester. He was burned at Gloucester on Friday, February 9, 1555. Hooper was perhaps, the noblest martyr of them all. Of all Edward VI's bishops, none has left behind him a higher reputation for personal holiness, and diligent preaching and working in his diocese. None, judging from his literary remains, had clearer and more Scriptural views on all points in theology. Some might say that he was too Calvinistic; but he was not more so than the Thirty-nine Articles.
3. Rowland Taylor, Rector of Hadleigh, in Suffolk. He was burned on Aldham Common, close to his own parish, the same day that Hooper died at Gloucester. Rowland Taylor is one of whom we know little, except that he was a great friend of Cranmer, and a doctor of divinity and canon law. But that he was a man of high standing among the Reformers is evident, from his being ranked by his enemies with Hooper, Rogers, and Bradford.
4. Robert Ferrar, Bishop of St. David's, in Wales. He was burned at Carmarthen on Friday, March 30, 1555. Little is known of this good man beyond the fact that he was born at Halifax, and was the last Prior of Nostel, in Yorkshire, an office which he surrendered in 1540. He was also Chaplain to Archbishop Cranmer, and to this influence he owed his elevation to the Episcopal bench.
5, 6. John Bradford, Prebendary of St. Paul's, and Chaplain to Bishop Ridley. He was burned in Smithfield on Monday, July 1, 1555, at the early age of thirty-five. With him, a young man called John Leaf was also burned. Few of the English martyrs, perhaps, are better known than Bradford, and none certainly deserve better their reputation. Strype calls Bradford, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer - the "four prime pillars" of the Reformed Church of England.
7, 8. Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, and Hugh Latimer, once Bishop of Worcester. They were both burned at Oxford, back to back, at one stake, on the 16th of October, 1555. Ridley's last words before the fire was lighted were these, "Heavenly Father, I give You most hearty thanks that You have called me to a profession of You even unto death. I beseech You, Lord God, have mercy on this realm of England, and deliver the same from all her enemies." Latimer's last words were like the blast of a trumpet, which rings even to this day, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day, by God's grace, light such a candle in England as I trust shall never be put out!" When the flames began to rise, Ridley cried out with a loud voice in Latin, "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit! Lord, receive my spirit," and afterwards repeated these last words in English. Latimer cried as vehemently on the other side of the stake, "Father of Heaven, receive my soul."
9. John Philpot, Archdeacon of Winchester. He was burned in Smithfield on Wednesday, December 18, 1555. Philpot is one of the martyrs of whom we know little comparatively, except that he was born at Compton, in Hampshire, was of good family, and well connected, and had a very high reputation for learning. The mere fact that at the beginning of Mary's reign he was one of the leading champions of Protestantism in the mock discussions which were held in Convocation, is sufficient to show that he was no common man.
10. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was burned at Oxford, on March 21, 1556. There is no name among the English martyrs so well known in history as his. There is none certainly in the list of our Reformers to whom the Church of England, on the whole, is so much indebted. He was only a mortal man, and had his weaknesses and infirmities, it must be admitted; but still, he was a great man, and a good man.

Lord's Day, July 24 2016

I preached another one off last Lord's Day morning - on Hebrews 10:23-25. Despite my pleas there seemed to be no more present in the evening nor did most seem less lacadaisical about time. There are many away at the moment so things are a little unpredictable. In the evening (when we carried on in Matthew 9) an Israeli man was there at the beginning. He didn't stick around. I also noticed a local Swedish man who likes to talk present at one point but soon gone. When the service was over an East European couple put their head around the door (he was Croatian, she from Kyrghyzstan). At least three friends (Ghanaian and Iranian) who arrived just after the sermon in the morning did stay.

In Writing 128

In Writing 128 the Library's official magazine is now out. Apologies for the protracted delay.

Back in the high life again

This is nice - Steve Winwood on mandolin

Carey Conference 2017

Double click to read. The conference is in Swanwick.

Jim Packer 90 today

See this note from Sam Storms here

10 Singers whose fathers were ministers

1. Alice Cooper (Mormon)
2. Marvin Gaye (House of God)
3. Katy Perry (Pentecostal)
4. Wyclef Jean (Church of the Nazarene)
5. Marcus Mumford (Vineyard)
6. Nat King Cole (Baptist)
7. Aretha Franklin (Baptist)
8. Sam Cooke (Church of Christ [holiness])
9. Tori Amos (Methodist)
10. Jonas Brothers (AoG Pentecostal)

10 Literary Greats whose fathers were ministers

1. Jane Austen (Anglican Rector)
2. Pearl S Buck (Presbyterian missionary to China)
3. John Buchan (FC of S minister)
4. Lewis Carroll [Samuel Lutwidge Dodgson] (Anglican cleric)
5. Stephen Crane (Methodist Episcopal minister)
6. Elizabeth Gaskell (Unitarian minister)
7. Dorothy L Sayers (Anglican cleric)
8. Harriet Beecher Stowe (Presbyterian minister)
9. Charlotte Bronte (Anglican Rector)
10. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Anglican Rector)

Midweek Meeting July 20 2016

We were a good number again last week with 12 or 13 present (two left before the prayer time and one came only for the prayer time). It was good to have two regulars back and two or three visitors. We went back to 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 and looked at two related subjects - the settling of the New testament canon and Calvin on the Inward witness of the Spirit. I used John Piper's book on Scripture A Peculiar glory which I have been enjoying dipping into. You could probably do more n this but I think we'll leave it there and  do something else next week. We had a good time of prayer.

10 national leaders whose fathers were ministers

1. Gordon Brown (son of a Presbyterian minister)
2. Theresa May (daughter of an Anglican vicar)
3. Woodrow Wilson (son of a Presbyterian minister)
4. Grover Cleveland (son of a Presbyterian Minister)
5. Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia (son of a Presbyterian minister and missionary)
6. Lester B Pearson Canada (son of a Methodist minister)
7. Sir Charles Tupper Canada (son of a Baptist pastor)
8. Slobadan Milosevic of Serbia (son of a Serbian Orthodox Priest)
9. Angela Merkel Germany (daughter of an Evangelical pastor)
10. Aaron Burr US Vice-president (son of a Presbyterian minister)

Two recent autobiographical books

Two books have recently appeared from EP (my own publisher) by older contemporaries, both of whom I know to speak to. The two books are quite different but both have an autobiographical thread. One is by a known author one by a first time author.
The first is by author Faith Cook and is called And so I began to read .... Starting when Faith Cook was still a child it seeks to chart her reading experience, chiefly with Christian books such as selected works of Jonathan Edwards, The Reformation in England by D'Aubigne, Spurgeon's own autobiography and Hallesby on prayer, etc. Nearly all of the books I knew of or had read but there were one or two that had passed me by. Faith Cook talks not only about the books content but about reading and the Christian life and so on. Just over a hundred pages long it makes a nice short and stimulating read,
Basil Howlett's 1966 and all that: an evangelical journey is more conventional in many ways but its chief concern is not to recount Basil's story but to present an apologia for the path he has followed in leaving the Baptist Union and becoming an FIEC minister. He writes very warmly of Dr Lloyd-Jones whose views he is seeking to defend and make known again. This backfires slightly for me at one point (p 39) where he gives an example of what he thinks is a brilliant answer from Lloyd-Jones but what I fear shows both a poor theological grasp and a facetiousness that would have been better forgotten. That aside this is a are book seeking to explain the position of independent ministers like myself. Slightly longer, this book is only a little over a hundred pages and can be quickly read.