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.
1. If you give the public a free choice they may not do what you expect.
2. London is in a bubble and has little clue about the rest of the country. There is even a petition for an independent London.
3. Many people do not understand how democracy works - the SNP being one example. They don't seem to realise that the vote was about the UK leaving the EU.
4. Another example is the people who have signed the petition to re-run the referendum.
5. Many people do not really understand what they are doing when they vote.
6. The best people understand democracy and look statesmanlike when they resign or accept reality. (Even George Osborne has managed to look reasonable for once).
7. Some people hate losing.
8. Not everybody automatically likes winning.
9. People (like the SNP, Sinn Fein, many Labour MPs and the BNP for example) are often quick to take advantage of the situation.
10. People will make any excuse for violence and abuse of others.
Adding to the interest of last week's momentous events was having a new German friend. Stefan Beyer pastors a young man we have met when he has been in this country on previous occasions. Stefan came over for the Proclamation Trust's EMA in the Barbican Centre, staying with us either end of that time. It was great to get to know Stefan a little and about his church near Leipzig. I did get to the EMA for one day (the Wednesday) and was a little disappointed. I did enjoy Robin Weekes on contentment. It was a very warm and experiential message. At other times, the conference does seem to find it difficult to integrate doctrine and practice. There seems to be a veering from Hypercalvinism to Arminianism. Good people though and it was great to meet old friends.
We had good congregations morning and evening yesterday, which was encouraging. We were saying goodbye to someone again - to Sihle Xulu who returns to South Africa soon. Meanwhile, I was tackling Nehemiah 2 in the morning and how to begin a good work for the Lord and in the evening Matthew 9:9-13. It was especially encouraging to have unbelievers we are in contact with in to both meetings. The evening service was directly evangelistic but I was keen to keep in mind unbelievers in the morning too. It was a good day. God is gracious.
It was the LTS Annual Thanksgiving in Finchley last Saturday. A large crowd gathered. It was my privilege to chair and it was good to hear the Principal's report and the testimonies of the leaving students, including my son Rhodri and Sihle Xulu from South Africa who has also been placed with us during his time in LTS. Rhodri is off to Aberystwyth and Sihle to South Africa. Some of the students are staying on for a third year. The preacher was Paul Mallard who preached clearly and helpfully from the letter to Smyrna in Revelation. It was a bit wet during the tea that followed, which is unusual. Some of us were keen to be away for the Wales game anyway.
Too busy over the weekend to record my sheer delight at the Wales win. It was not a great performance but it was enough. It's a shame it was an own goal but if the Irishman had missed it the Welshman next to him would have scored anyway. Bale's cross was brilliant. Belgium next, on Friday. There is no reason for us not to be in the semi-finals.
Some 13 of us gathered on Wednesday to look at the opening verses of 2 Timothy 3 and to pray. 1 Timothy 3:1-9 talks about the terrible times that will come in these last days. We had a good time of prayer (longer than expected). It wasn't really about the referendum exclusively, although that is one of the things we prayed about. Rather, that combined with the idea of the danger of godliness being a mere form galvanised our praying somewhat. A blessing to be present.
2. Cluttering [also called tachyphemia or tachyphrasia] (rapid rate making speech difficult to understand, erratic rhythm, poor syntax or grammar, and words or groups of words unrelated to the sentence)
4. Dropping aitches
5. Hypercorrection (adding aitches)
6. Verbal tic
7. Speech apraxia (an acquired oral motor speech disorder affecting an individual's ability to translate conscious speech plans into motor plans)
9. Selective mutism
10. Schizophasia (apparently confused usage of words with no apparent meaning or relationship attached to them)
We were a good number morning and evening again as we started, in the morning, a new series on Nehemiah. A pastor from Germany over for the EMA has been staying with us so he introduced himself to the congregation. We know him thorough a young medical student in his congregation who has visited London in the past. We also had a Hungarian lady with us for the first time and friends from Nigeria so it was as international as ever. In the evening I began on Matthew 9 with the healing and forgiveness of the paralysed man. This was proceeded by communion. On the way home a Ghanaian lady we know approached me about why she walked out last week She is a troubled soul but has at least got to the point where she knows she needs the Lord and believes we can help her. I had wondered about preaching in light of the death of Jo Cox but I did not think it appropriate. Perhaps if we were in Yorkshire it may have been different.