Over fifty men gathered yesterday at the John Owen Centre in Finchley to consider the Old Testament figure Melchizedek. This first day was very much an in house affair with new boy Flavien Pardigon giving two sessions, first on the passages in Genesis, Psalm 110 and Hebrews that refer to the priest king, and then on the matter of hermeneutics more generally, in light of the way the subsequent writers make use of the Genesis material. Monsieur Pardigon is an engaging speaker with a straightforward style but (as he himself admitted) little grasp of time (I notice he spends a lot of time in Africa). What he had to say was helpful, although I did not think he needed to be disparaging about the grammatico-historical method. It seemed to me that was the approach he was using - but I may have misunderstood. The final session of the day was led by Garry Williams, Director of the Centre. He took us back to the matter of original sin, which arises from the writer to the Hebrews' comments on Levi being in Abraham's loins, as it were. Garry looked at Shedd and Hodge, examples of two extremes on this matter - Shedd at the Traducian end and Hodge at the federal. With John Murray he argued for a more tempered view. I must admit I got bit lost at some point. Anyway a good day. Perhaps we could have had more discussion but it was good to meet friends old and new adn set one's mind on Scripture afresh. Looking forward to today.
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.