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.

Westminster Conference 2013 Day 2

Apologies for the delay with this. It was not borne of false modesty, given my own part in the proceedings, rather it was being busy with other things (the Christmas icons were programmed in a while ago). Day 2 began with a  paper on evangelistic preaching by Gary Benfold. This was chiefly on Dr Lloyd-Jones but included several helpful references to C H Spurgeon, which made for some useful comparison and contrast. Gary was faithful to his historical task but his concern shone through to see more evangelistic preaching to the end that people may be saved. A good discussion followed.
Next we looked at Edward Irving with Nick Tucker from Oak Hill. Like many others I first became aware of Edward Irving thanks to Arnold Dallimore's paperback of many years ago. At the time the Charismatic wars were in full swing and it was difficult to ignore the polemic embedded in the book. By this stage one feels more able to take a cool look and see Irving with his many undoubted faults and consider him more dispassionately. Nick Tucker certainly did this well and we had another good discussion. Unusually we ended up discussing briefly whether the subject of the paper was a Christian (we had done this with C S Lewis). This is not the usual pattern at the Westminster Conference.
We began the final session, therefore that Isaac Ambrose was a Christian and a Puritan to boot (uniquely at this conference). I felt I managed to make such a good start that it was difficult to sustain as we filled in some of the detail of the life of this interesting man whose main claim to fame was his commitment to meditating on the Lord. Tradition dictates that the last paper is not discussed and I did not want to complain about that. The papers will be published in due time.
The chairmen were Stephen Clark, Jeremy Walker and Robert Oliver.
Next year it is very much an 18th century and 17th century affair with papers the first day on Calvinistic Methodism, dualism and its remedy and Thomas Charles and the second, Knox, Baxter and Antinomianism (with Mark Jones). It will be at the same place on December 2 and 3, God willing.

2 comments:

David Gallie said...

Did people really doubt that CS Lewis was a Christian? What conclusion did they come to? I've just finished vol 3 of his published letters and if he was not a Christian then there's no hope for a great many of us, myself included.
(P.S. I continue to enjoy your blog... Thanks )

Gary Brady said...

To be fair the question was raised by some. I think it was mostly a case of wanting to be sure rather than any cast iron case against.
Thanks for the compliments.