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.

Lord's Day June 28 2015

Yesterday turned out to be a minor disaster in many respects. It's quite humbling. We have had to have underpinning work done on the chapel and we have just reached the replastering and decorating stage. The place was a bit higgly piggly therefore and there was a problem with the PA (later mainly resolved when we put the battery in the right way up!). Preaching without a mic is not actually a problem in the summer months when there is no noise from the heating.
While the engineers were working on that I put the folded July ETs on the table from where I preach and they sprang up and upset my glass of water. (I also forgot to bring my copy of the catechism for the children's address).
All these distractions meant that I didn't get a look at my kindle from which I preach until it was time to preach. When I did look at it the screen was blank. This has happened once before and if I had remained calm I could have solved it. Instead I panicked and sent one of my sons for my laptop. So I got through my message on Psalm 91 and it was appreciated although I missed things out and it didn't flow so well. It was a good congregation with a few visitors.
One would have thought I would make sure I got things right in the evening. I was amazed when I looked at my kindle and saw that I had downloaded a previous skeleton version of the sermon document I wanted and so had no real helps for preaching. I struggled through it (the golden rule of Matthew 7:12) and lasted about 20 minutes, never really settling to it.
People were very nice about it. I'm sure the right thing is on one hand not to make too much of this. It was a mistake. Try not to let it happen again. On the other hand it is sobering and a reminder to put more into preparation, to be more prayerful, to avoid all forms of pride and to remember Satan is at work. I am quite humbled.
Psalm 91 is a good psalm to have on my mind as I reflect.


David Gallie said...

I don't think I've heard before of preachers using a kindle. I'm intrigued to know how you do this? And do you type out your whole sermon and use this in preaching or do you just use a skeleton of notes? Our pastor recently retired and I was asked to 'fill in' one Sunday. I typed out my entire message and then used a single piece of A4 (both sides) for my notes. In the event and being quite tall I found that the lecturn seemed a long way down and uncomfortable to look at. I also found I didn't want to lose eye contact with the folks, so hardly used my notes - which meant I missed out some things (the best bits). A salutary experience. I think I do value, respect and pray for pastors, but even so, this gave me a new appreciation for their work!

Gary Brady said...

For years I have written a fairly full ms on my computer which I would then print out on A4. After a while, provided you are familiar with the ms, it is easy enough to take in the ms content and have good eye contact with the congregation. In more recent years I have taken advantage of a service Amazon supply that allows you to download material to your kindle. This not only saves paper but as my eyesight gets worse I can increase font size. Preaching from notes has many advantages but I have become most at home with a full ms.

Jonathan Hunt said...

This has put me off electronic devices in the pulpit for life.