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.

Eschatology in Christmas Carols

I have noticed this Christmas how several carols close with a reference to the world to come. It is a pattern in other hymns, of course.
 
Thee, dear Lord, with heed I’ll cherish;
Live to Thee and with Thee, dying, shall not perish;
But shall dwell with Thee for ever,
Far on high, in the joy that can alter never.
(Paul Gerhardt, All my heart this night rejoices)

In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!
(William Dix, As with gladness)

Then may we hope, the angelic thrones among
To sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song
He that was born upon this joyful day
Around us all His glory shall display
Saved by His love, incessant we shall sing
Of angels and of angel-men the King.
(John Byrom, Christians awake!)

Made perfect first in love,
And sanctified by grace,
We shall from earth remove,
And see His glorious face:
His love shall then be fully showed,
man shall all be lost in God.
(Let earth and heaven combine, Charles Wesley)
 
And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle,
Is our Lord in heaven above:
And He leads His children on,
To the place where He is gone.

(Once in Royal David's City, C F Alexander)
 
Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care
And take us to heaven
To live with Thee there
(Away in a manger, Anonymous)
 
Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice
Now ye need not fear the grave:
Peace! Peace!
Jesus Christ was born to save
Calls you one and calls you all
To gain His everlasting hall
Christ was born to save
Christ was born to save
(Good Christian men rejoice)

1 comment:

Robert Strivens said...

It is said that Philip Doddridg's hymns tend to end in heaven.