Last week I was in Wales collecting two of the boys from University. I made the trip via Aberystwyth where my eldest son was performing solo in the small Arts Centre studio in a Run Amok Theatre production of the harrowing drama 4:48 Psychosis. The drama by the late Sarah Kane (she committed suicide in 1999 before the production of this her final work). I watched the 35 minute presentation with mixed emotions. Rhodri is a fine actor and the enthusiasm some show for his skills is understandable (the mother of the director who I had not met immediately recognised me for who I was just before the show - poor Rhodri, it's that obvious!). For me it is difficult to watch objectively and my familiarity with his persona combined with my impossibly high standards makes it very difficult for me to judge how good it was as a performance (there is a sequence where he has to exercise for some minutes to the point of running up a sweat - not imagining some other of my boys doing it instead was impossible for me). The swearing is not much of an issue as one might expect as it is abundantly clear that he is acting a part not expressing himself as he might in his own name. I suppose what I struggle with is the whole way such a drama is presented - as an entertainment. The play raises massive issues of theology, sociology, mental health and human relationships. I am not really comfortable with it being dealt with in that environment I guess, where the presentation is everything. It was something I struggled with studying English at university. The question was always "what is being said?" rather than "is it right?" and "what is the real answer?" which are my true interests as a preacher. I believe further presentations are due in the new year in Cardiff. See here.
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.