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.

All my Christmases at once



So not to be too tedious about this. I had this curious idea that I'd like to be scientist. This lead to the gifts of a microscope (1967) which was good fun. Even a human hair looks interesting under the lens of a microscope. I don't think I ever really learned anything much from it. The chemistry set (1968) was as boring as one might expect. Nothing blew up. I did learn to make copper sulphate crystals, however, and was later placed in a competition at school for the best ones. In 1971 it was a telescope, which again wasn't quite the fun you hoped for. I tried looking at the night sky with it and learned very little. I do remember the joy of being able to read the words Lin Pac clearly on the factory across the valley from our house. When I began at the grammar school I joined an astronomy club that met on Friday nights and gave a talk on telescopes once. Beyond knowing a few obvious constellations my knowledge of the night sky is very poor. The electronics kit (1972) was as disappointing as all the rest. I managed to put something together once but it never worked. It was beginning to dawn on me that science was not my metier and I eventually dropped all science subjects at school not pursuing any of them to exam level. I like to read popular science books from time to time but have no aptitude for that area whatsoever.
The bicycle and the cassette recorder break up the sequence. I think the bicycle must have been around 1969. I was quite late learning to ride a bicycle being rather big, having little sense of balance and no bicycle for many years. I must have been able to ride by then as I recall going out on it on Christmas day (nor raining but the road was wet). The receiving of the gift stands out as we would always have our gifts in our bedrooms - a stocking with an apple and orange at the bottom, a comic down the side and various little items (I remember a mini stapler once and putting a staple directly into my thumb. Ouch!) and then a sack of toys. The bicycle was never brought upstairs, of course, and so I thought I had had all my presents until I went downstairs and found it in the front room. It was grey, a sort of shopper's bike. I had a lot of fun with it. Once you crossed the main road from us you were in the countryside and I loved cycling out there with friends. The bicycle was a Pegasus.
The cassette recorder seemed quite a revolution at the time and the cassette tape certainly did have its impact. This thing was made by Standard and weighed quite a bit. At that time Japanese companies were still trying to look English not the other way round. Anyway it did the job okay. I remember they had a steel band at the school summer fair, which I taped. I also have a memory of Telegram Sam by T Rex being performed on Top of the Pops for the first time and trying to tape it with a microphone. Great fun.
I have no strong memories after that. I suppose I'd reached that stage where they would buy me clothes. It happens to the best of us.

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