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.

Retro album of the week 17 - Tabernakel

Perhaps my favourite album of all time this album first appeared in 1974. Recorded over a two week period in New York between Focus tours, it is a work of genius. Throughout Akkerman collaborates with the composer and musicologist George Flynn. For the aficionado of progressive rock it rarely gets as good as this. We begin with a beautiful arrangement of a John Dowland piece with lute, orchestra and rhythm section. This is followed by the first two of some six well delivered solo lute pieces that punctuate the album. Then it is back to the orchestra and rhythm section for a very fast version of the Focus hit House of the King. More lute follows broken up only by Javeh, a very carefully constructed dark mood piece featuring acoustic guitar and orchestra. The final lengthy piece, Lammy, is again carefully constructed. It is breathtakingly beautiful in places. It features orchestra, choir, bass and drum breaks, Akkerman on electric sitar and guitar and lute again (playing another Holborne piece). The whole ends with an incredibly satisfying Amen, way way over the top and yet full of integrity. The Tabernakel title refers, of course, to the House of God, hence some of the titles. The cover was the idea of the photographer and Akkerman regretted rather on reflection given the messianic way he is represented. One of my many blogs is devoted to this album. See here.

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