Over 40 of us gathered last night at the Evangelical Library in Chiltern Street to hear Dr Jonathan Moore give an excellent lecture on "Predestination and Evangelism in the Life and Thought of William Perkins". After briefly acquainting us with what little is known of Perkins' life (he was born 450 years ago and died at only 44 in 1602) and at various points impressing upon us the stature of the man Dr Moore proceeded first to set out Perkins' very high supralapsarian Calvinism (as set out chiefly in his Golden Chain) and then to flesh out his undoubtedly evangelistic spirit exemplified in an opening section where he is seen pleading with a man about to be hanged and leading him to Christ. Emphasising how the two strands were held together not by seeing it as a paradox but with a high view both of God's sovereignty and of the visible church, Dr Moore demonstrated something that has often been seen in the history of the church - that a very high view of God's sovereignty and a biblical emphasis on election, far from destroying evangelistic fervour actually excites it. A decent question time followed with various questions arising from the central thesis and other matters. It was good to put the Evangelical Library in the shop window once again and to benefit from the work of a scholar. Dr Moore was able to pitch things at just the tight level for such a public gathering. His message was enlivened by the use of two or three visuals, including Perkins' famous Golden chain diagram, which I will include in another post. Meanwhile if you would like to chase up Perkins begin here and here. Also see here. Dr Moore is the author of the book on Puritan John Preston "English Hypothetical Universalism". See here.
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.