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.

Taming of the shrew

In the hectic week that was the last week I somehow managed to get down to the Globe again to stand in glorious sunshine watching Taming of the Shrew, which tells of the subjugation of a high spirited and feisty young woman by a rather odd man called Petruchio. I remember seeing a TV version of this with John Cleese once and enjoying it. This production was very much played for laughs with lots of good jokes and hi jinks, though the decision that Petruchio should be virtually naked for a while was not appreciated or necessary. Typically of Shakespeare it is a play that is fun to watch but when you ask what it is about it is difficult to be sure exactly. What point is being made here? It's beyond me.
Footnotes include meeting one of my son's best friends and whom I know from church there on a school trip (they are studying it next year) and a short chat with a Dutch girl from Utrecht as I lunched outside the theatre before going in. A neuro-scientist hoping to do doctoral research next year she had to admit that she had never read the Bible. (She had also never heard of Jan Akkerman and Thijs Van Leer, which I could forgive, but Abraham Kuyper?!!). There must be many such young people in Europe. Ian Hamilton said on Monday that he has met many students in Cambridge who (outside their own narrow field) have never read a book. 


Mark said...

Hello Pastor Brady, I came upon your 'Heavenly Worldliness' through your abebooks comment on 30 books for six year olds, and would like to offer a thought about the theme of Shakespeare's 'Taming Of The Shrew.'

First, Shakespeare, having a humble nature and generally quiet spirit, so I am given to believe, surely, was in no way boorish towards women. And secondly, The basic storyline was--as well as the title, itself--already familiar to Elizabethan/Jacobean audiences. And much of his success as a playwright derives, I would say, from his masterful enhancement of popular stories of the day. Therefore, I perceive the theme of his 'Taming Of The Shrew' as unconditional love.

From his very arrival in Verona, Petrucchio behaves in ways that enable Kate to see her own, shall we say, anti-social behaviour, and talks to others—within her hearing—as if she is already the catch of the day, so to speak.

Paralling the biblical principle, Shakespeare, as I see it, presents, by means of drama, none other than how the power of demonstrated love can change a hardened heart.

Gary Brady said...

Thanks for that Mark
Glad you have found us and trust you may stop by again. I find your idea quite attractive.
Do check out this entry if you've not seen it