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.

George Smeaton

I have just finished reading John Keddie’s biography of the Scots theologian George Smeaton (1814-1889). People are aware of Smeaton chiefly through his helpful work on the Holy Spirit published by the Banner of Truth some years ago. Banner also publish his two volume work on the atonement, his other major work. This present volume draws together what little is known of Smeaton and presents it in a popular form in 16 fairly short chapters.
Beginning with his roots, his early years and his early preaching, it goes on to describe his parish ministry, the founding of the Free Church and then his commencement as lecturer first in Aberdeen then in New College, Edinburgh, in 1857, where he served alongside Principal Cunningham and Buchanan, Bannerman and Duncan.
We learn next about his stand on various issues including the establishment principle (very interesting reading for an ignorant Baptist like me), higher criticism and hymn singing (on which he parted with Horatius Bonar, leaving behind the church he had founded). Chapters 12-14 look at Smeaton’s writings, many still in print as indicated above, and two final chapters describe his death and heirs and giving a final summary assessment. A bibliography lists Smeaton’s various works including prefaces and magazine articles. Four relevant PhD theses are also listed.
We are indebted to Mr Keddie for his work in bringing this information to light. The story of the rise and fall of the Scots Free Church is one full of interest and instruction for all Christians as is that of Smeaton himself.

1 comment:

Doug McMasters said...

Readers of this post will appreciate knowng that Logos Bible Software has Smeaton's works on offer in prepublication: