On Friday I was one of over a hundred at the thanksgiving for the life of Richard Stonelake in Hayes Town Chapel, where the service was led by Richard's lifelong friend David Philpott and the recently retired minister Gwynne Evans. I was there really on behalf of the Evangelical Library where, for the last twenty years of his life, Richard had served in a voluntary capacity. Richard knew he was dying from cancer and so carefully arranged as much as he could of his funeral. It was a privilege to hear testimony of a man whose life was dedicated to God. What I had not realised was that it was only half way through his life (when he was 39) that he was actually converted. He had always gone to Gower Street Memorial Church but it was not until one Sunday in 1977, hearing the preaching of the late Peter Rowell that he was finally delivered from the wall of unbelief that he had built around himself. From then he sort to serve the Lord in various ways, first as a member at Gower Street Memorial (you can find his history of the place online) and then latterly at HTC. Like myself, the father of five boys, Richard leaves a grieving wife and sons and many friends but also a fragrant testimony of the grace of Christ. The Library will not be the only organisation that misses his input.
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.