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.

Westminster Conference 2011

This is a reminder that the Westminster Conference is on next week in London. See the website here.

2011 - Freedom, Courage and the Truth

The Westminster Conference meets for two days annually and comprises six speakers presenting papers examining the history, doctrine and practice of people, events and churches associated with the Puritans including their forebears and successors. The perspective is that of reformed Biblical Christianity of the orthodox historic kind, in which such themes as the Gospel of Grace and God’s sovereign purpose are derived from Scripture and lived-out in human lives.The 2011 conference will be held on Tuesday 6th & Wednesday 7th December 2010, with the theme of: “Freedom, Courage and the Truth”. The following papers will be presented:

Christian Liberty and the Westminster Assembly (Robert Letham)

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) contains a ground-breaking declaration of Christian liberty. What forces thrust this to the forefront of its agenda? On what basis did the Assembly set it? How did it work out in practice? How does it relate to the gospel? Robert Letham’s address will seek answers to these questions, as well as considering what lessons can be learned for our own day.

The Covenanting Experience (Knox Hyndman)

Within a few years of taking the throne Charles II began subjecting the Scots to a 28 eight year period of persecution and terror. During this period it has been estimated that the authorities “killed, impoverished or banished” over eighteen thousand people. However, the response to this cruelty was not uniform and this address will consider the different reactions in the church and the subsequent effect on its life and witness.

Obadiah Holmes: Pioneer of Religious Freedom (Stephen Rees)

Obadiah Holmes left Lancashire in 1638, crossing the Atlantic in search of purity of worship and clear gospel preaching. In New England he found saving faith but also came to Baptist convictions and found himself at odds with church leaders and magistrates alike. He discovered that there were limits to the religious liberty permitted by the Puritan establishment. Holmes’ stand for freedom of conscience had greater consequences than anyone could have predicted.

The Broad Road from Orthodoxy to Heresy (Robert Strivens)

Anti-trinitarian views gained considerable ground in Old Dissent during the first half of the 18th century. By the second half of that century significant numbers of congregations had lapsed into heresy. Why did this happen? What attempts were made to turn back the tide and why were they largely unsuccessful? What lessons are there for us in this story, faced as we are today with increasingly strong attacks on central evangelical doctrines?

Puritanism: Where did it all go wrong? (Lewis Allen)

Why, after they had made such strides in the churches and in national life, was there such a disintegration of Puritan principles? And what accounts for the doctrinal descent into Unitarianism in the first quarter of the 17th Century? This paper will give an overview of the period after 1662, considering the “downgrade” of Puritan ideals during this time and giving salutary lessons for our day.

John Eliot: “Apostle to the Indians” (Hugh Collier)

This remarkable man was one of the first to take the gospel to the Indians of North America. He learned their Algonquian language, and, as it had no written text, devised one. He then translated the whole bible into their tongue. He preached to them, cared for them and was loved by them. This was all on top of a 58 year pastorate! There is much for us to learn from this servant of God.

New Location The new conference location for 2011 is Regent Hall (The Salvation Army) 275 Oxford Street, London W1C 2DJ.

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