We made a good start to the second day at the Westminster Conference with a very good paper by David Gregson on Blaise Pascal. Most of us were fairly ignorant of Pascal beforehand so it was good to fill in the gaps in our knowledge. Pascal lived 1623-1662 and so was only 39 when he died. David Gregson summed him up as a genius whose life God touched. He made significant strides forward in mathematics, science and other areas and in his twenties met Jansenists who while remaining within Romanism had an Augustinian view of grace. He was converted firstly intellectually (in 1646) and then to new birth (in 1654). It was good to have the view that his conversion stunted his scientific interests refuted. We also had a summary of the famous Pensees, including reference to something we have touched on in this blog before ie Cleopatra's nose. See here. The memorial describing his conversion that he sewed into his coat and that was discovered after his death can be found here. A useful discussion on conversion and what we need to know followed.
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.