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.

Aber 09 1

So here we are in Aber for the conference. The tradition is that we go to hear Geoff on the Sunday. The services normally at AP are held in Bethel diagonally opposite. There are also services in Baker Street nearby. The preachers there this year were Jeremy Bailey (Aberavon) and Paul Gamston (Newport). Everyone spills out of the two buildings around the same time and stewards have to keep the road clear for passing cars. It's always great to see familiar faces and lots of others.

This year Geoff looked on Sunday morning at The Deity of Christ and why you must believe it. He showed it very thoroughly from Christ's words, actions, life and those who knew him best. The call was to confess him as such.

Then in the evening it was The death of Christ and why you need it. He spoke about the cross of Christ and - 1. Its origin in the love of God 2. The fact it should never have happened (not to such a one) 3. Its necessity because of our sin 4. The fact its necessity is highlighted everywhere in the Bible. Towards the close he quoted these helpful words

"A crossless Christ my Saviour could not be.
A Christless cross, no refuge were for me.
But, O, Christ crucified, I rest in Thee."

Years back, the tradition began of adding a third message on Monday mornings. It usually falls to me introduce the sermon with the Bible reading and prayer, which I did again this year. The subject was The discipleship of Christ and why you must receive it. Geoff was keen to differentiate conversion from discipleship again. After a while he got on to his main point which was self-denial, properly understood. It was very helpful and full of lovely anecdotes.

Then tonight in the first meeting in the Great Hall Jonathan Thomas (Ammanford) spoke on the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Excellent exegesis and good application. I'd not heard Jonathan before and so was pleased to see he was relaxed, evangelistic and more.


Mike. said...

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the updates and pictures. I have a new blog here:

See you next year for that coffee. Maybe we'll stay for the whole week!

Mike Iliff

Gary Brady said...

Thanks Mike. Sorry to miss you again.