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.

Christ or Hitler?


I was attracted to this book by its title. It contains a collection of anecdotes and biographical material by Wilhelm Busch (1897-1966) complied and translated by Christian Puritz. We usually only hear about Bonhoeffer and may be Niemoller so it is good to get another voice. Busch, a pietist in the state church, is quit frank about the failure of the German churches but also displays the quiet courage that he and several others did show in a period of intense opposition. Busch lived a long life and so only a relatively small portion (at the end) deals directly with the stand against the Nazis. The whole book is full of interest, however, and serves as an encouragements and a challenge to Christians today in various circumstances, especially pastors. I particularly liked the anecdote of Martin Niemoller's father. He was not allowed to preach but he was allowed to read Scripture. He was able to read Psalm 73 in such a way that every Nazi in the place knowing exactly where they stood. See page 203.
"Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them. And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. ... "

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