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.

Are you going to Banner?

It's the Banner ministers conference next month (April 13-16). A chance to play this video again perhaps. Certainly do check this link out here with details on what is to be happening. Here's my own blurb

‘Unto you therefore which believe he is precious’ (1 Peter 2:7).

This is the text we will turn to at the beginning of the conference. It is the first text that C. H. Spurgeon ever preached in a formal church setting. As so much in that remarkable life, the circumstances were unusual. He was asked to walk out to a village near Cambridge accompanying a young man he supposed would preach that evening. On the way he discovered that the man had no intention of preaching or any ability to do so, and so Spurgeon himself had to preach.

Writing of the text many years later he said,

"if a raw recruit could speak upon anything, surely this theme would suit him. If one were dying this would be the text; if one were distracted with a thousand cares this would be the text."

The reason he said that is

"because its teaching is experimental – its meaning wells up from the inner consciousness, and needs neither a clear brain nor an eloquent tongue. To the believer it is not a thing which somebody else has taught him; it is a matter of fact, which he knows within his own soul, that Christ is precious to him, and he can bear testimony concerning it although not always such bold testimony as he could wish."

John Newton was one who did boldly testify to it many years before, writing of Jesus as his Shepherd, Husband, Friend; his Prophet, Priest and King; his Lord, his Life, his Way, his End.

Such truths are too easily lost in the midst of busy ministries and we need to be reminded what the short-lived Andrew Gray discovered in the early seventeenth century, that ‘Christ’s preciousness to the believer is the foundation of our faith’.

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