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.

A day at the EMA


As many of you will know the annual Evangelical Ministry Assembly was on at the Barbican this last week. We had a friend from Germany staying with us again. He attended all three days and really enjoyed it. I was only able to attend one day, the Wednesday, (£55 it cost me, travel and food extra, coffee free). As usual, there were a vast number present, most of whom I did not recognise. One of the first people I saw who I knew was an old college friend now based in France. It was good to catch up with him. I also bumped into two or three others over the day.
The highlight on Wednesday for me was Kevin deYoung on sin. It was great to have someone address such a central issue and it was done in a very competent and helpful way.
I found the other three sessions less rewarding. Andy Gemmill spoke on Ephesians 2. It was a very thorough presentation and made some good points. However, when you consider that Christ is mentioned more than ten times in the chapter, I fear we were short changed on that front. Graham Beynon on 1 Peter 2 was equally competent on the importance of the church but the elephant in the room seemed to me to be the whole parachurch question. In the afternoon there were seminars and I went to the main one with Justin Mote on application in preaching. This was the distillation of a whole course yet beyond calling for a distinction between what he called primary and secondary (ie direct and indirect) applications there was not much to help us here. It was more about hermeneutics really.
Truth is I'm very hard to please and can be rather negative by inclination. My fear is that the Proc Trust's pleasing obsession with exegesis is not yielding the rewards it really ought to. Not sure why.
The best thing was just to be there with men who clearly love the word. It was also nice to see a fine selection of books there (thanks to Jonathan Carswell). I completed my set on the Five Solas edited by Matthew Barrett. I also picked up Kevin deYoung's very brief book on conscience, which I have also now received for review.
Another bonus was to sing a recent revival of an old hymn by the Victorian hymn writer Ada Habershon

When I fear my faith will fail,
Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail,
He can hold me fast.

He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast; For my Saviour loves me so, He will hold me fast

I could never keep my hold,
He will hold me fast;
For my love is often cold,
He must hold me fast.

I am precious in His sight,
He will hold me fast;
Those He saves are His delight.
He will hold me fast.

He’ll not let my soul be lost,
Christ will hold me fast;
Bought by Him at such a cost,
He will hold me fast.

1 comment:

John Gibbens said...

The attraction of Jesus for the crowds was the obvious presence of God, shown by the divine authority of God recognised even by the ordiany person. Lloyd Jones had the clear anointing of God.

When such is lacking, it is replaced by loud music in some groups, the prosperity gospel in others and by academia with the Reformed.