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.


I recently travelled from Aberystwyth to Chepstow and back and on my journey I came to the little village of Devauden (Dyfawden). It has a lovely green with a bilingual noticeboard and a bust of John Wesley explaining that this was the first place where Wesley preached in October 1739. The relevant entry in the published journal says
Monday, 15.—Upon a pressing invitation, some time since received, I set out for Wales. About four in the afternoon I preached on a little green at the foot of the Devauden (a high hill, two or three miles beyond Chepstow) to three or four hundred plain people on "Christ our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." After sermon, one who I trust is an old disciple of Christ, willingly received us into his house: whither many following, I showed them their need of a Saviour from these words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit."
16. In the morning I described more fully the way to salvation—"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved"; and then, taking leave of my friendly host, before two came to Abergavenny. ...
18. When we were at Devauden on Monday, a poor woman who lived six miles off, came thither in great heaviness. She was deeply convinced of sin, and weary of it; but found no way to escape from it . She walked from thence to Abergavenny on Tuesday, and on Wednesday from Abergavenny to Usk. Thence in the afternoon she came to Ponty-pool; where between twelve and one in the morning, after a sharp contest in her soul, our Lord got unto himself the victory: and the love of God was shed abroad in her heart, testifying that her sins were forgiven her. She went on her way rejoicing to Cardiff, whither I came in the afternoon.
The noticeboard reveals that this woman was Ann Lewis (nee Rosser) who with her husband set up a Methodist Society in their cottage. This led to the establishing of the small Earlswood Methodist Chapel in 1754, one of the earliest purpose-built chapels to survive in Monmouthshire. They say the chapel was built with stone from the nearby quarry some being carried by owmen in their aprons! It is claimed to be the oldest Methodist chapel in Wales. Ann travelled widely on foot to raise funds, including many visits to Bristol via the ferry from Black Rock at Portskewett.


Freeborng said...

Thank you for the post. For more on John Wesley, I would like to invite you to the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series. The trilogy based on the life of Francis Asbury, the young protégé of John Wesley and George Whitefield, opens with the book, Black Country. The opening novel in this three-book series details the amazing movement of Wesley and Whitefield in England and Ireland as well as its life-changing effect on a Great Britain sadly in need of transformation. Black Country also details the Wesleyan movement's effect on the future leader of Christianity in the American colonies, Francis Asbury. The website for the book series is Please enjoy the numerous articles on the website. Again, thank you, for the post.

Gary Brady said...

Thanks for this. I am Whitefield man more than a Wesleyan, personally. The novels look interesting.

Karl Gilliham said...

Hello Gary,

It is amazing that even though Charles Wesley was not a Calvinist, but an Arminian, many Calvinists will still use his hymns. Interesting! If Calvinists use the hymns of Charles Wesley, they obviously believe that the hymns are biblically sound, otherwise they surely would not use them to worship God! Just goes to show that Calvinists and Arminians can be blessed by God by each others service to Him and learn from each other, not just by hymn writing, but by their teaching and preaching of Holy Scripture on things where Arminians and Calvinists can both agree and say 'Amen', without compromising where they stand in regards to their differences. In regards to John Wesley, he was used by God greatly as one of His Evangelists! Incredible ministry!