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.


So I had a brilliant weekend up in Southport where I was very well looked after and was so pleased with the opportunities to minister. I arrived on Friday afternoon and did my first talk on Proverbs in the evening (men being faithful) to about thirty men, mostly from the church. On the Saturday morning we did another two sessions (men at work and the wife you need) with a similar number present, though including more from other churches nearby (Ormskirk, Preston, Stockport, etc).
In the afternoon I was free to do a bit of exploring and reading. Southport was a bit of a blank to me, never having visited there or Blackpool just up the coast. A town of 90,000, it has a very long pier and is nicely set out with Victorian boulevards. It looks pretty monocultural although they have experienced the Eastern Europe phenomenon as much as the rest of us. It is a pretty flat part of the world with several golf courses, including Royal Birkdale and (further away) Lytham St Anne's. Trevor Condy who with his wife looked after me for most of the weekend (I was with another very kind family later) pointed out the homes of Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hanson for me.
In the evening there was a fish and chip supper for about 30 men, followed by amazing puddings kindly provided by one of them, a quiz with some challenges (I discovered I can stay sat like a sumo without a chair quite a while when challenged!). I also gave a short talk from Jeremiah 6:16.
On the Sunday I preached from Romans 10 and 2 Kings 5. I noticed that some in the prayer meetings prayed for a hush on the congregation not a phrase I know but one I understand. I think we had something of that. I also spoke to the kids in the morning and Adam Laughton (soon to leave for church planting work in Ebbsfleet, Kent) led in the morning and Stuart Harding in the evening. My only slight uneasiness was the modern tunes that we didn't seem to do very well with, or perhaps it was just me.
What a privilege to be in such a large, faithful, evangelistic and missionary minded and active church, with wonderful facilities. There is a good range in the congregations (male/female, young/old, rich/poor, converted/unconverted) though there are some gaps. It was good to meet former pastor Peter Day (rarely seen in the south these days) - so warm, wise and kind man. Also GBMers in whom we havea special interest Maciek and Mary Stolarski. I'd never met GPT editor Don Crisp, whose name I knew so that was nice and there were lots and lots of others.
My messages can be found here.

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