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.

Rosaria Butterfield

I've been reading Rosaria Butterfield's book The secret thoughts of an unlikely convert. I don't often read books by pastor's wives, certainly not from the Reformed Presbyterian fold but this one has been well touted in certain circles and so I downloaded it from Amazon and had a read. Most of the book is pretty tame as she gives the thumbs up to unaccompanied psalm singing, home schooling, adopting and fostering and other things and thubs down to Rick Warren, etc. I think it brave of the RPs to out out a book that is fairly warts and all.
The most interesting chapter is undoubtedly the first, however - what she calls her train wreck conversion. This is because she starts out being as far from an RP pastor's wife as one can imagine. She was a tenured professor of Critical Theory (specifically in Queer Theory ie Gay and Lesbian studies) at Syracuse University. She was a feminist, a practising lesbian and a gay rights activist. Although I am quite sure God can convert anyone it was nice to see how this happened in order to strengthen faith and increase wisdom on how to approach someone you fundamentlly disagree with.
The fact that is it now some years since all this happened is a great bonus. Mrs Butterfield's personality has clearly not changed but God has undoubtedly done  apowerful work in her heart and her story is worth listening to.

2 comments:

Paul Burgess said...

Haven't read the book and have just paused the video. He is probably mentioned in the book and that is Ken Smith the former pastor of Syracuse RPC. Ken has been a huge influence on me personally not because he is an RP but as a man who is utterly committed to Christ and his cause. Ken lives for Christ and prays that he is given one person to share the gospel with each day. A prayer that is always hears.

Gary Brady said...

I was thinking of you as I read the book. I don't know many RPs. Ken is the man and what I read here is impressive too, although I think she manages to distance herself from him on something by the end of the book if I remember rightly. I wondered how well known she already was in RP circles. I think they are in an OPC church at the moment. The best people in the book seem to be able to balance an admirable broadness with an attractive rigidity, something you mange yourself very well I'm sure.