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.

John Owen Centre Conference 2017 Day 1



The two day conference at the London Seminary/John Owen Centre in Finchley began yesterday and continues today. We were around 50 again. There seems to be a core of twenty or thirty of us with another changing bunch of newcomers and occasional attenders. The atmosphere is a good one - theological but with a practical edge. We are all men this time I think, mostly pastors. The theme is two brothers (in Genesis) inspired I'm sure by the nearby fish restaurant. David Green kicked us off with a fascinating walk through the various birth narratives found in Scripture focusing on the birth of brothers but culminating with the birth of Christ. He was keen to debunk Matthew Henry and the way moral lessons are drawn from a story like that of Lot and his daughters. People seemed persuaded but I think we should be slow to jettison past exegetical insights too quickly. The points made on this and Tamar were very helpful nevertheless.
Garry Williams ended up taking both the other two sessions, due to the illness of Flavien Pardigon. Garry looked at Abel and his death and at Galatians 4 a classic exegetical minefield. As we have come to expect these were thorough and thought provoking presentations. Some of the new covenant types were not so happy with his understanding of Sinai but there was general appreciation. I though the paper on Abel was particularly good.
So good papers, good conversation in between times with friends new and old and good discussion following each paper this was an excellent day and a great blessing to all who were present.


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