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.

Midweek Meeting September 20 2017

Another look at angels last night in the midweek meeting, looking at Hebrews 1 and 2. Good session with ten present, mostly men, including three seminary students. At least two not well enough to come out. Nearly everyone prayed. Plenty to cover as ever. I was especially encouraged by one man's prayer for the Lord's Day.

10 National Flags Depicting the Sun

1. Argentina
Bangladesh flag
2. Bangladesh

3. Greenland
Flag of Japan
4. Japan
Flag of Laos
5. Laos
macedonia flag
6. FYR Macedonia
Malawi flag
7. Malawi

8. Philippines
Rwanda flag
9. Rwanda
Taiwan flag
10. Taiwan

Flags courtesy of ITA's Flags of All Countries used with permission.

Bunhill Fields Again

I did not think we would be returning to this subject so soon but if you have been watching the series of J K Rowling detective stories you may have noticed that Bunhill Fields features (slightly egregiously) in the second episode of silkworm, as illustrated. The snag here is that no new graves have been made in this London graveyard for well over a hundred years. (In this episode you also see shelves of books in someone's home and people have spotted a fat Harry Potter book there). I've enjoyed the episodes so far.

10 National Flags Featuring Crescents

Image result for flags with crescents
1 Algeria

Image result for flags with crescents
2 Lybia

Image result for flags with crescents
3 Malaysia

Image result for flags with crescents mauritania
4 Mauritania

Image result for flags with crescents mauritania
5 Pakistan

Image result for flags with crescents turkey tunisia
6 Turkey

Image result for turkmenistan
8 Turkmenistan

9 Uzbekistan
Image result for Nepal flag
10 Nepal

10 National Flags Featuring Crosses

  1. Georgia (country) Georgia - the "five-cross flag"; the central element of it is St George's Cross (used also in the national flag of England); there is one smaller cross within each of the four quadrants
  2. Switzerland Switzerland - a bold, white Greek cross in the centre of the flag
  3. Tonga Tonga - a red cross appearing as a canton of a red ensign
  4. Greece Greece - a Greek Cross in the upper hoist corner
  5. Malta Malta - a George Cross in the upper hoist corner (in the canton of the white stripe)
  6. Denmark Denmark - a Scandinavian cross
  7. Finland Finland - a Scandinavian cross
  8. Iceland Iceland - a Scandinavian cross
  9. Norway Norway - a Scandinavian cross
  10. Sweden Sweden - a Scandinavian cross

Lord's Day September 17 2017

We were around 40 again Sunday morning (half members, half not; some members and others missing as ever) and about half of that in the evening when we began with communion. It was nice to have our other Seminary student back from his months in South Africa. In the morning I carried on with Acts 8, meditating on what was the worst of times and yet at the same time the best too. In the evening we returned to our studies in Matthew 13, looking at the very interesting verses 51, 52. One of the newer members of our congregation brought a relative, a ten year old, so I was keen to make it accessible to them and more or less managed it I hope. It was my son's last Sunday before heading off to university. I've just taken in that there are now three or four Nigerians in their early twenties around, who often attend. It would be good to try and do something to help them.


Also in Regents park today I came across a word I did not know - banksman. Wikipedia explains it thus - In British civil engineering, a banksman is the person who directs the operation of a crane or larger vehicle from the point near where loads are attached and detached.

World's Shortest Football Pitch

I saw this in Regents Park today

Fortieth Anniversary of the death of Marc Bolan

Marc Bolan was an early musical hero of mine. I never saw him life (protective parents). On September 16, 1977, the T. Rex singer was killed instantly when the car, a mini, driven by his girlfriend, Gloria Jones, left the road and hit a tree in Barnes, West London. The couple were on the way to Bolan's home in Richmond after a night out at a Mayfair restaurant. A local man who witnessed the crash said, “When I arrived a girl was lying on the bonnet and a man with long dark curly hair was stretched out in the road; there was a hell of a mess”.
A very good documentary called Cosmic Dancer aired last night on BBC 4 and is worth watching. It appeared to give to me a fair and balanced account of the life. I thought it about right when someone said Bolan was not as good as he sometimes claimed but then not as bad either as others made out. Like most geniuses he was a flawed genius. To die so young was a great tragedy.See here for the next month.

10 Krautrock Bands

The term is disputed but here are 10 German bands from the seventies
1. Amon Düül II
2. Ash Ra Tempel
3. Can
4. Faust
5. Kraftwerk
6. Neu!
7. Tangerine Dream
8. Popol Vuh
9. Sunbirds
10. Cluster
(Most of these bands I am not really aware of but the list was prompted by the death of Can's bassist Holgar Czuky). Out of Focus is another example and should not be confused, of course, with Fcous who are Dutch.

Thankful Owen 1620-1681

I recently posted the following on my 1662 blog. It is from Alfred W Light's book on Bunhill Fields.

(Same Tomb as Goodwin.)
Translation of Latin Inscription.
Thankful Owen, STB. Here mingles his sacred dust with that of Goodwin; to whom in life he was most dear. He scarce survived an hour the finishing of a Preface which he had been writing to that great work of Goodwin's on the Epistle to the Ephesians, the publication of which had fallen to his care. Dying with the same calmness with which he had lived, without a groan, save of the heart to Christ, on the 1st April, 1681, in the 63rd year of his age.
Thankful Owen was born, according to one account, at Taplow in Buckinghamshire, but another authority states that he was born in London. While quite a youth he had a remarkable preservation from drowning, for as he was swimming near Oxford he sank twice under the water. He received his education chiefly at Exeter College, Oxford, where his tutor was a Puritan. He became a man of much learning, and was greatly admired for the easy fluency of his language and compositions, and for the quite exceptional purity of his Latin style. He joined the Independent Church, afterwards becoming one of their preachers, and he was also chosen Proctor of the University in 1650, whilst in the same year he became President of St. John's College.
At the Restoration he was ejected by the Commissioners and, like Goodwin, removed to London. Here he lived very quietly, preaching as often as he could and steadfastly maintaining his nonconformity. On the death of Goodwin he was chosen to succeed him, but was only pastor for a fortnight, as he died quite suddenly at his house in Hatton Garden. His last labour was, as stated in the Inscription, to write a Preface for Goodwin's work on the Ephesians, and he had almost finished a work of his own, entitled "Imago Imagins" which was designed to show that Rome Papal was simply an imitation of Rome Pagan. Dr. John Owen said of Thankful Owen that he had not left his fellow behind him for learning, religion, and good humour.

Contrasting Viewpoints

Midweek Meeting Wednesday September 13 2017

We were up to 11 this week as my son Rhodri was with us too. Pursuing our theme of things unseen I decided we would hae a little look again at angels (by which I mean heavenly creatures of various sorts). We focused on Revelation 4, incorporating references to Ezekiel 1 (and 10) and Isaiah 6. It is always an uplifting and fascinating subject. We had a good time of prayer to follow - plenty to pray for as ever.

Constablesque Clouds

John Constable loved to paint clouds. He lived in this part of London at one time and wold have seen clouds like this I saw the other day, I guess.