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.

John Mortimer

This was in the Daily Mail yesterday and is from a new book by Graham Lord
When John [Mortimer] died in 2009, one starry-eyed obituary after another hailed him as a champion of free speech, whose defence in court of obscene and blasphemous books and magazines had allowed the British to throw off the repressive shackles of the past.
But, in reality, his campaign to sweep away our long-held standards, and his contempt for the law as it was then, infected British life with a disastrously selfish, anything-goes philosophy. Thanks to Mortimer, and others of the liberal intelligentsia, many of our old standards began to crumble.  Fathers increasingly abandoned their children and refused to discipline them or accept responsibility for them — as Mortimer did himself when the married actress Wendy Craig gave birth in 1961 to his secret love child, Ross Bentley, whom he proceeded to ignore for 42 years, lying disgracefully when the truth came out that he’d had no idea of Ross’s existence.
Of course he knew: it was common knowledge for decades in the theatre world. Three people told me about it in just one day, among them two of his ex-mistresses.
Mortimer’s part in this corruption of our values began in 1968, when he successfully defended in court a revoltingly sleazy American novel, Last Exit To Brooklyn. This book described in graphic detail the brutal, degraded lives of teenage prostitutes, homosexual rent boys, transvestites, rapists, drug addicts and the like in the slums of Fifties New York. ...
In his warped defence of the book, Mortimer argued brilliantly that it could not possibly be described as obscene, because no normal reader would be depraved by it but would, instead, be disgusted — thus strengthening their sense of moral repugnance. Weasel words, of course, logical only to a lawyer. ...
Sadly for those who were really close to him, Mortimer’s lifelong refusal to accept any standards of decency led him to behave astonishingly badly towards many of them. ...
Yes, Mortimer was a delightful man to know. But his immature refusal to understand that some behaviour is quite unacceptable led him to live a life of extreme selfishness that hurt many of those close to him.

1 comment:

DaveG said...

Thanks for the reminder.