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 Conference Evening Addresses

Gwynn Williams
The pattern at Aber is to have four morning addresses given by one main speaker and various other speakers who speak in the five evening meetings. People book their accommodation from Saturday to Saturday and so  with so many people about, arrangements are made so that everyone can go to church. First, the EMW themselves organise services in one of the chapels. This year the preachers were Ollie Gross and Paul Kosciecha. Meanwhile, the regular Alfred Place congregation move over the street to Bethel, where my father-in-law Geoff Thomas preaches. For many years now he has done series which also includes a third stripped down service on Monday morning, that I usually lead. Geoff tackled Deuteronomy 29:29 looking at the secret  things (such as when Christ will return) and the revealed things (such as how to be contented). As ever, the series was very much appreciated, people ordering loads of CDs.
Geoff was also the main speaker on the first evening of the conference proper where in the warmest and most pleading terms, arms open wide, called upon all to strive to enter the narrow gate.
Paul Levy (Swansea boy now a neighbour of mine in Ealing) spoke on the second evening on the blind man of Luke 18. This was done very competently with occasional humorous asides and lots of exegesis. Perhaps it lacked a little urgency.
David Meredith of Smithton-Culloden Free Church (yes, yet another Presbyterian) was given two nights as men sometimes are. Again very competent, he took us, successively, to Acts 1 and Acts 2. The two messages were full of good things, chiefly for believers. In his attempts at self-criticism he perhaps gave the impression of being rather negative about some Christians but his intentions were good. The suggestion that Christians are arguing over the colour of the hymn book was rather bizarre and inaccurate. I'd not heard that quip before that when we freeze water, we make ice cubes. When God freezes water, he makes snowflakes – each one different (apparently Vaughan Roberts at the Lausanne Conference last year)
Gwynn Williams (Caerdydd) closed the conference well tonight with an encouraging message from the close of Romans 16 as we leave the glass house of the conference and head back to reality.
So good solid preaching, not much of it very expository or evangelistic but heartening nevertheless. To sit with 1200 others and listen was a joy indeed.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve - Thanks for providing us with a very interesting blog which I enjoy.

Your readers will of course note a degree of irony in my comments about the covers of a hymn book. The reference is about a very real debate and indeed division among a particular group of Christians over a revised hymn book.

The major point was to highlight the division epidemic which has hit conservative, reformed evangelicals and seems to characterise that grouping.

I hope that point, at least, will be conceded.

Warmest regards

David M

Gary Brady said...

George (!) - Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments. We do irony here as you can see but I thought it belittled the debate a little. Perhaps I've done the same thing by highlighting what was after all one throw away comment in the midst of two excellent messages. Conservatives do sadly seem as bad as everyone else on the unity front.
Warm regards
Gary B