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.

LTS End of year

What a joy last Saturday to be at the London Theological Seminary thanksgiving. In a packed Kensit Evangelical Church in Finchley we were chaired by Bill James from Leamington Spa and with the prayer, reading and hymns came the three traditional components of this annual event - report, interviews and sermon.
The report was given by the principal Robert Strivens and though very positive reflected the need for more UK students (the need is greater than the supply) and flagged up the continuing difficulties that bringing in visa students now involves. 
The interviews were conducted by Vice-principal David Green and were with the leaving students. There were only six this year as some have opted for the new third year course. Benjamin Mallari is from the Philippines and Uma Kanta Sharma from Nepal. Both are heading back home to carry on their ministries there. Brian Pe Kee may spend another year in Britian studying but will eventually return to Myanmar to carry on his work. Pascal Rivoire has a mixed background (Swiss, German, Argentine). he is planning to be involved in ministry in Germany. Both UK students (Darren Graham and George Platt) are unsure of the future but we pray that they will know God's leading. One interesting sidelight here was the role that Google played for students in locating the LTS in the first place.
Thirdly, there was the sermon and what a blessing it was to hear that. Taking the shortest verse in the Bible (John 11:35) Barry King of Grace Baptist Partnership warmly and winningly urged us to consider Christ's humanity, his humility and his victory. he especially applied it to those entering the ministry but it was a powerful sermon for all present. it was the sort of sermon I'd been longing for all week after the "almost there" character of the EMA.
All this was followed by tea on the lawn. Always very nice. I was dragged off at some point to record a snippet for a promotional video they are making about LTS.


Jonathan Hunt said...

'Almost there' EMA? Gary, you certainly have a way of summing things up briefly!

I am going to pontificate here:

Regarding the need for UK students at LTS, the very best men who would benefit from the extra education are already out there, working, preaching and serving their communities.


If the independent churches of Britain are serious about the training of men, they need to start paying for it without self-interest, not relying on occasional bequests, wealthy self-supporting students or those whose particular circumstances have allowed them to attend.

It is suprising to me that there are men coming out of LTS 'unsure of the future'. The principal of another UK evangelical seminary told me a handful of years ago that every one of his students were engaged by one ministry or another before they entered their final year.

I say no more as it would not be appropriate publicly!!

(ooh, my word verification for this post was 'hyper' ... I shall try to calm down a bit)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jonathan re the independent churches.
The John Owen Centre helps out the self supporting lay preacher, but it is not a substitute for full time training.

Gary Brady said...

It's important to recognise that LTS is quite flexible where it can be. The full time course is 4 days a week over 2 years. A modular approach can be taken so that one does 2 days a week for four years. It is also possible to selct courses in consultation with the staff. Some bursaries are available, although LTS encourages churches to support students. The LTS leavers unsure of their future are in that position becasue of their own particular circumstances and it would be wrong to read too much into that.