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.

Met Tab Summer School 2017

I've not been to the Metropolitan Tabernacle in a little while but this year looked an attractive programme so I decided to go and was there for most though not all of it.
I was a little disappointed with Ibrahim ag Mohammed's first session on the vast and vital subject of Priesthood of all believers (OT) but the second from the New Testament (4 beauties and 8 duties) was fine. I only caught one of Roland Burrows' set of anecdotes from the Reformation period but that was a lovely session to be in on.
Dr Masters began with Reformations in the Bible but by the time I heard him he had given up on that theme and so we had messages on sincerity (Ephesians 6) and on John 17. Dr Masters has a way of presenting his material that slates half of evangelicalism and usually most of the Reformed constituency too. It has its strengths and you certainly can't listen in a complacent way.
I was surprised to know Vishal Mangalwadi was going to be speaking. It is unusual to see someone in the Met Tab pulpit without a tie but he carried it off in his attractive and apparently meandering conversational style. I must read his Schaeffer style book which has sat on my shelves too long.
Several found him the highlight but I would have to opt for the three messages from Dr Nick Needham on the Reformation, first on the two kingdoms then on Reformation seeds (giving more credit to Erasmus than is usually the case) and finally on the seeds that got lost, pointing out how Baptistic Zwingli, Luther and others were, early on.
Interesting things seen - Chris Cooper approaching a man at the front who didn't get the memo and so raised his hands in worship during the first hymn. It's good to have a clear policy. Also, poor Nick Needham being harassed by some poor man who had quite a shock when Nick suggested that Anabaptists were not Protestants.
I felt slightly more at home here than in the Barbican. The bookshop seemed to be in a slight time warp. I couldn't find anything to buy - always disappointing experience. The depth and breadth and consistency of the work at the Met Tab is stunning. As at the EMA most of the hundreds of faces were unknown to me, although there were a few familiar faces, including that of my father-in-law who made a flying visit and kindly treated me to lunch at the nearby Imperial War Museum.


Paul Burgess said...

I find prohibiting the raising of hands rather odd. I would read 1 Tim 2:8 in its cultural context like head coverings etc but surely this is a disputable matter on which we should not bind one another's consciences.

Gary Brady said...

I think the concern is over people being distracted from the Word, which may override anyone else's penchant for handraising. There are stories of Lloyd-Jones getting Ameners to shut up and I would guuess this comes into the same category.