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.


I came across this quotation from Barry Reay's 1985 Popular Culture in Seventeenth Century England in a book I am reading at present. It acts as a warning against idolising the past but is also a reminder of how we are probably in similar times once again. How much gained, how much lost.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century the rector of a parish in Kent found that of four hundred communicants "scarcely 40" had any knowledge about Christ, sin, death and the after life. It was said of men in south Yorkshire and Northumberland that they were totally ignorant of the Bible and did not know the Lord's Prayer. A Yorkshire boy when quizzed by a minister could not say "how many gods there be, nor persons in the godhead, nor who made the world nor anything about Jesus Christ, nor heaven or hell, or eternity after this life, nor for what end he came into the world, nor what condition he was born in". Otherwise he was "a witty boy and could talk of any worldly things skilfully enough". A Lancashire woman when asked about the Jesus Christ mentioned in the Creed, replied "she could not tell, but by our dear Lady it is sure some good thing, or it should never have been put in the Creed, but what it is I cannot tell you". An old man from Cartmel, also in Lancashire, a regular church attender, did not know how many gods there were. When Christ was mentioned by his questioner he said: "I think I heard of that man you spoke of, once in a play at Kendall, called Corpus Christi play, where there was a man on a tree, and blood ran down."

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