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.

Banner UK 2017 Session 4 David Johnston


David Johnston, from Hamilton Road in Bangor, Northern Ireland, began with an anecdote about a great preacher he knew who heard him preach and wrote to him to keep working at his preaching, the most important thing you do. David reads the letter every now and again to remind himself of the need to keep working at it. Matthew 13:52 is a challenge.
The debate over preaching continues unabated. What we were given this morning was an exploration of Hebrews in terms of it being a written sermon. (See William Lane).

He highlighted a number of ingredients that ought to feature in our preaching.
1. Grounded in Scripture
“All Christian preaching should be the exposition and application of biblical texts. Our authority as preachers sent by God rises and falls with our manifest allegiance to the text of Scripture.” ― John Piper
2. Centred on Christ
We must beware of mere anecdotal preaching.
Christ must be explicit in all our God-talk. It will not do, in this day of pluralism, to talk about the glory of God in vague ways. God without Christ is no God. And a no-God cannot save or satisfy the soul. Following a no-God - whatever his name or whatever his religion - will be a wasted life. God-in-Christ is the only true God and the only path to joy. ― John Piper
3. Applied to life
Notice the constant use of therefore. All sorts of applications made, especially at the end.
John Piper again (not all the quotes were Piper) says

Years ago during the January prayer week at our church, I decided to preach on the holiness of God from Isaiah 6. I resolved on the first Sunday of the year to unfold the vision of God’s holiness found in the first four verses of that chapter:
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
So I preached on the holiness of God and did my best to display the majesty and glory of such a great and holy God. I gave not one word of application to the lives of our people. Application is essential in the normal course of preaching, but I felt led that day to make a test: Would the passionate portrayal of the greatness of God in and of itself meet the needs of people? I didn’t realise that not long before this Sunday one of the young families of our church discovered that their child was being sexually abused by a close relative. It was incredibly traumatic. They were there that Sunday morning and sat under that message. I wonder how many advisers to us pastors today would have said, “Pastor Piper, can’t you see your people are hurting? Can’t you come down out of the heavens and get practical? Don’t you realise what kind of people sit in front of you on Sunday?”
Some weeks later I learned the story. The husband took me aside one Sunday after a service. “John, these have been the hardest months of our lives. Do you know what has gotten me through? The vision of the greatness of God’s holiness that you gave me the first week of January. It has been the rock we could stand on.”
4. Empowered by the Spirit
See for example 3:7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, ....
Preaching ultimately depends on the Spirit not the preacher. Or take the immaturity of the Hebrews.
One factor is that they no longer try to understand. John Stott says

How diļ¬€erent it is when both preacher and people are expecting to hear the voice of God and they’ve come to church in order to hear God’s voice addressing them. Why then the whole situation is transformed and the atmosphere becomes electric. The people bring their Bible to church, and when they open it for the lesson or for the sermon, they sit on the edge of their seats or pew hungrily waiting for the Word of God. And the preacher also prepares in such a way that he is expecting God to speak. He prays beforehand in his study that God will come and address His people.
5. Prayer
The Lord give me a dozen importunate pleaders and lovers of souls, and by his grace we will shake all London from end to end yet. - Spurgeon

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