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 5 Stephen Clark


Our first evening session today was Stephen Clark on Christ's view of Scripture. He had three main points in this the first of two sessions he will give.
1. His personal use of Scripture
An obvious example would be the way he used Scripture when he was tempted in the wilderness. The temptations were to the person of Christ but concerned his human nature and he responded as a man and as a public man. The context in Luke which inserts a genealogy between the baptism and the temptation, one that goes back to Adam the Son of God. Satan's approach was to begin "If you are the Son of God". As well as being our federal head he is our example. He is full of the Spirit but (indeed because of that) he opposes Satan by means of using the ordinary means of Scripture.
Or think of the arrest of Christ. When he rebukes Peter with his sword, one of the things he says is How will the Scriptures be fulfilled? We do not always know what God is doing but we are always to fear God and do our duty.
Even when he dies he is quoting Scripture. There was a time when liberals claimed Old Testament verses were quoted in the New out of  context. That is not the case, the context is always in mind. Certainly at the cross the whole of Psalm 22 is in mind.
Scripture was part of his mindset, his thinking. It fed him throughout, as it must feed us.
2. His pastoral use of Scripture
Here Stephen simply went to one Scripture, Luke 24. Their eyes were kept from recognising him because he first wanted them to see him in Scripture. How their hearts burned within them when they saw Christ in his Word. There is a difference between teaching and preaching. Teaching does not leave the heart burning.
(This is a familiar note at the Banner and it was good to hear the note being sounded once more. There is a desperate need for preaching from the heart to the heart)
3. His use of Scripture in his public ministry and in controversy with false teachers
Think of how when discussing divorce, how he goes back to Scripture  - to Genesis 1 and 2,which he clearly treats as history.
In John 8:44 he talks of the devil as  liar and murderer from the beginning. He has the same  attitude then to Genesis 3. It is real and true. It really happened. We must assert the factuality of the creation and fall. We see the same thing in the way that Paul argues. Abel, the flood, Sodom, the Queen of Sheba, etc. He treats it all as history.
He asserted not only the veracity of Scripture but its authority. See Mark 7. The issue with tradition is not how old it is but whether it is biblical. Jaroslav Pelikan said “Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living."
Matthew 22 and the argument with the Sadduccees can only be understood if we accept that it is unnatural for man to be dead. It is an example of Jesus reasoning from Scripture.
Again, in John 10 there is that striking statement that the Scripture cannot be broken. (Stephen called the argument an ad hominem argument).
We also had a reference to Mark 2 and how we understand Jesus's argument from David. The key is to do with an order in ethical understanding - anointed king over temple over Sabbath. We must keep the least of the commandments but we must not forget the greater ones. Proportionality is important. John Stott once spoke about the need for a preacher to be both dogmatic and tentative. If we fail to differentiate we can give too great a weight to a truth. We must be weightier on the more weighty matters. Major on the majors and minor on the minors.
There was a little at the end on the NEw Testament too.
"Our greatest comfort in life is in Greek words" according to C S Lewis. We can add Hebrew and some Aramaic ones too.

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