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.

Affinity Study Conference 2017

It was good to be able to be at the theological study conference once again. Some 74 of us gathered at the King's Park Conference Centre in Northampton from lunch last Wednesday to lunch on Friday. 
I was glad to be able to bring along two seminary students currently on placement, who joined two or three other students also along. It was good to have my old friend Alan Davey with us on the road up. We also met several other Welshmen or Wales based souls including Mark Thomas, Guy Davies, Stuart Dainty and Gareth Williams Bala. Also nice to chat with Ian McNaughton and others. Some of us including Chris Thomas, Lucy Beale and Mark Pickett enjoyed a walk around nearby Pitsford Water just when the rain stopped on day 2. Other leisure activities included playing pool - not something I often do. I even managed to win two games!
The format is that six papers are distributed to attendees beforehand and then presented at the conference followed by group and then plenary discussion. This year's subject was The Christian Church: Its Mission in a Post-Christian Culture.
I was put in a group ably led by Hexham based American Joshua Rieger that included Andrew Murray, Mike Plant, Ian Parry and others and David MacKay who presented the last of the six papers given.
The papers took us through the Old and New Testaments, church history (Augustine then the rest of history) and the present day. The best of these papers were David Green on the OT and Paul Helm on Augustine. Sadly, Lee Gatiss's slightly sketchy paper did not arrive until the conference had started for various reasons.
We ended with a plenary session chaired by Stephen Clark, who had played a big part organising the conference. Logistics were in the hand of the ever proficient Assistant Director Matthew Evans. Various men chaired including Affinity Director Graham Nicholls, who also organised a prayer session where we had various reports on Wales, N Ireland, Christian Concern, etc, etc.
I thought the conference lacked a little perhaps in theology (for a theological study conference) and was surprised that we didn't appear to differ on Presbyterian/Independent lines as may ahve been expected. In fact, I would have valued more Presbyterian input (I think). Anyway the next one the year after next will be on worship and I doubt if I will be making the same observations then.

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