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.

Houdini and Newport

I happened to catch Eggsy of Goldie Looking Chain on Radio 4 this morning talking about Newport. He mentioned Houdini having visited the place. My grandfather saw him jump off Newport Bridge (not the Transporter).
This item gives the background (see here)
The famous escapologist Harry Houdini visited Newport on a number of occasions. The first time he met Newport police, in 1905, Harry Houdini ended up in jail. No crime had been committed - he was merely accepting their challenge to escape from a police cell. Of course this was all good publicity for Houdini who was appearing at the Lyceum Theatre. He duly arrived at the police station, was stripped of his clothing, and double-locked into cell number 9. Five and half minutes later he reappeared fully clothed having escaped his cell, opened the adjacent one to retrieve his togs, and unlocked the door to the corridor where he met an astonished Chief Constable.
During a week long stint at the Empire Houdini announced to the audience he would be leap from Newport Bridge with hands manacled and feet shackled. The Newport Council of the time promptly banned the jump. On 5th March 1913, Houdini's date for the leap, the Bridge was packed with onlookers and police. Knowing the police were planning to prevent the jump Houdini created a diversion while police apprehended a look a like he emerged from a taxi in a bathing suit and having descended the bridge to a buttress below leapt into the Usk. The crowd cheered as he dived in but were silenced as he disappeared under the water only to cheer again as he emerged from the water to be picked up by an assistant in a nearby boat.
Newport Police would not let the matter rest there. Houdini announced to the Empire audience on the Saturday night that he had been served summonses to appear in court charged with obstructing the highway and holding a public entertainment on the Bridge. A packed Magistrates Court heard the case on 12th March. The police said that Houdini had given his word that he would not jump, Houdini strenuously denied this. The magistrates dismissed the case.


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