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.

New Focus Album - Focus 11

My autographed copy
I have had opportunity now to listen to the new Focus album several times. It is difficult to review a Focus album early on as their stuff usually repays many, many plays and it is often not until the umpteenth play that the full subtleties of a recording are sometimes appreciated. So far one is very positive certainly.
There are appropriately 11 tracks on the album. As usual, most track are entirely instrumental but with one vocal track. This time it is How many miles? a sort of pop song with fairly juvenile English lyrics but s good track. Two tracks were previewed on the previous stop gap album Focus Family - Clair-Obscur and Winnie. I think they are exactly the same as on the previous album. The other retreads are the opening track Who's calling? a reworking with a nice opening riff of the final track on the 1985 album called Focus and featuring Akkerman and van Leer. The second track, Heaven, will be familiar to some as a reworking of the original version of My sweetheart. This track is on the final Focus Akkerman album Mother Focus but first saw the light of day coupled with Love Remembered in 1974 in a concert in Japan.
The other seven tracks appear to be brand new. The stand out at the moment is Focus 11, the closing track, which keeps up the strong tradition of excellence those tracks all have. All the tracks on the album are van Leer compositons except for Mare Nostrum by the new bass player Udo Pannekeet. Palindrome appears to be a musical experiment that might well have come off. Mazzel (=is a rare reference to things Jewish. In general, the tracks feature the usual mix of bass, drums, guitars, organ, flute, lots of piano and some occasional vocalisations from van Leer.

Lord's Day November 11 2018


We began, of course, with the two minutes silence. On this occasion I pointed out the two plaques in the church in connection with the Great War 1914-1919 (sic) - one in memory of those who served an one put up by a group of Belgians from Antwerp who found refuge in the church during the war. Sadly, our memorial for those who served in the Second World War never got put up properly.
I preached on the next part of Acts and the conversion of Lydia. We were a good number with various visitors. A good number stayed for a lovely lunch after the meeting. There seemed to eb a lot of children around. I spoke to them about what the church is.
We were about twelve in th evening when I preached on Matthew 22 and the question about paying taxes to Caesar. About twelve of us were there. We've now reached the eighth century in our little series on Church history.

Wales 9 Australia 6


This is ancient history now but I would have put it up had I not been so busy last Satruday. It is an excellent result. Hopefully we can beat Tonga and South Africa over the next two week and end the Autumn with four wins out of four. There's then a two month break before we play France at the start of the Six Nations.

Focus at The 100 Club November 2018

A memento of the recent concert

Conference on Singleness

George Chris
Keith Andrew

Saturday's conference at Highgate Road Chapel on singleness was a worthwhile effort. Some 90 people gathered (60 women and 30 men) - mostly singles I guess but not exclusively by any means. It was good for singles to meet and for all of us to look at the subject and simply to meet other Christians. Most present were fairly local but some had travelled a little distance (Southport, Wolverhampton,  Portsmouth, etc). We are grateful to the organisers for putting this on.
George Platt from Highgate Road started us off with a biblical theology of singleness.
There probably isn't a biblical theology of singleness but there may be one of marriage and so one is able to extrapolate. George, a good Baptist, appeared to want to emphasise discontinuity between the Testaments more than most of us. It is difficult to be positive about singleness (which we should be) without sounding slightly negative towards marriage.
Chris Bennett spoke on the gift of singleness taking the view that not all people who are single have this gift. Chris is very persuasive (from Matthew 19 if not from 1 Corinthians 7) but the view is fraught with difficulties. One wonders what married people who lack the gift of being married are to do, for example. We would prefer the view that sees singleness itself (like marriage) as a gift from God.
We men had a good session with Peter Law and Neil Richardson (while the women had a session with Vicki Gardner and Christine Sherwood). I liked Peter's frankness about his singleness. This session could have been longer. There was no real time for discussion. Keith Berry was also very helpful from Philippines as was Andrew King on singles in the church.
We finished with a question panel. Again, all very helpful.

Click for detail

Jam packed two days

This last Saturday and Sunday has been jam packed and would normally take up at least five posts in their own right so what I'll do is give you the highlights and then we'll see what else I get round to doing.
Saturday began nice and early with a trip to Tesco's for breakfast items. Five of us gathered in the chapel at 8.30 am for a men's breakfast and a discussion of Chapter 6 of Disciplines of a godly man by Kent Hughes. It was good to discuss reading and related issues.
My wife then gave me a lift over to Highgate Road Chapel for their day conference on singleness. Some 90 people were there for what was a useful day of teaching and sharing.
That finished around 4 and I was back for tea around 5. I then headed into town and meandered through the rain to a the home of a good ministerial friend in Soho. Providentially I arrived just as the Wales match was coming to a close and so I saw Australia draw level with a kick and then Wales take them in the end with a final penalty. So 9-6 and o far so good for Wales. The game I think was a tense but grim battle.
We then headed out the the 100 Club on Oxford Street. There we heard a Finnish vocalist and blues guitarist Erja Lyytinen who was worth hearing but nothing compared with the mighty Focus who once again blew us all away (including my friend who I was glad to see suitably impressed).
Seeing Focus is always a joy but as an added bonus they also chose to release their new album that day and so I now have a signed copy (the first really in six years).
It was midnight before I was home but I got off to sleep quickly enough. I don't like late Saturday nights as I am always afraid it will interfere with the Lord's Day but I had prepared well in the week and things went fine - although I did doze in the afternoon. It was Remembrance Day, of course, and we had lunch in the church - more on that anon.
I kept the new Fous album for today. It's sounding very good.

10 Words for stream

1. Beck
2. Bourn or burn
3. Brook
4. Creek
5. Gill
6. Rill
7. Rivulet
8. Run or runnel
9. Stream
10. Watercourse
(The Welsh is Nant)

A Week in the Lebanon


 




I had meant to write this up earlier but there has been some catching up to do. I spent last week (October 27-November 3) near Beirut in Lebanon. The main reason for my visit was to give a series of lectures on Old Testament introduction under the auspices of Carey Outreach Ministries. This is the first time I have worked with them. I lectured to between 13 and 25 people from Lebanon, Iraq, etc, over five nights, working our way through the 39 books of the Old Testament and ending with an exam and leaving them a project to complete on Christ in the Old Testament. I have no Arabic and so everything was through a translator (thank you Sara and others).
I left London on October 27 on a direct MEA fight to Beirut. There I was picked up, after ages coming through Passport Control, by Elie and his wife Micheline, who looked after me for the week. I was accommodated in a state of the art apartment owned by the church in a Maronite area called Zouk Mosbeh. I shared with a lovely retired Canadian pastor called Bruce, who is doing a two month stint as a substitute TEAFL teacher in the school the church runs, mostly made up of Syrian refugees. The lectures took place in a lecture room next door to me.
On the Sunday morning we were in the old church building (they hope to transfer operations to the new one this month). I preached on a difficult passage as reported in a previous post. See here. I think my efforts were appreciated.
Later that day I was taken to Byblos, which is a fascinating place to see, full of history. There is a fish fossil museum there. I had an interesting discussion with a young student not used to meeting creationists. There was opportunity to see one or two other tourist spots during the week and to dine at Lebanese restaurants but much of the time I was left to my own devices. There was plenty to do. The excellent wi-fi was a help.
On weeks like these you earn more than you can possibly teach and it was privilege to be there in a Middle Eastern setting, to hear people praise God in Arabic and to know that the gospel is slowly moving forward in Lebanon, despite opposition, as it is here.

Midweek Meeting


There were only six of us last night and we were rather slow turning up. However, it went well. I decided to start a series on James, just looking at the opening three verses. He mentions various trials we face and so several of my prepared prayer points wove their way into the exposition, which calls us to count it pure joy when these trials come. Having mentioned physical illness, floods and persecution, others added mental illness and other things in the prayer time. There was plenty to pray about and we had adequate time. There were encouraging things too, such as a successful women's meeting the day before and news of young people being baptised from a family we know, as well as  acoming induction.

Day Off Week 45


This week's day off didn't go too well I felt. I think the problem was that even for a day off you need plans and aims, which I lacked. I did finish the book by Simon Garfield Timekeepers which as an excellent book on watchmaking, recorded music, film, time management, etc. Only an unbeliever could write a whole book on time and fail to mention eternity. He mentions death but not eternity. I also started a big new book on the history of 17th century Dorchester which looks hopeful. I also took the dog out and had a coffee, of course. Should have walked a bit further. I also got one or two other things done, including starting something I want to get done in preparaton for Christmas. We have Amazon Prime at present so I watched two episodes of Homecoming with Julia Roberts. Looks to me like a dud. File it next to ITV's recent Strangers which was an effort to watch through to the end and yielded nothing satisfying in the end. Golden age of TV?

GT on Dr Lloyd-Jones


It was good to be at the Westminster Fellowship on Monday where we had a bumper turn out to hear my father-in-law speak on the fellowship's founder,the late Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Geoff spoke very openly and helpfully, his advantages being a personal acquaintance with the Doctor adn the length of time since his death. It is now more than 35 years since his death. Geoff spoke very admiringly of his godliness and his preaching power. he spoke clearly on his doctrinal oddities - his view of Romans 7, his belief in baptism being best administered as effusion for believers, his Congregationalism and lack of elders, etc. It was a treat to hear this description of such a significant servant of God. It was good too to have opportunity for discussiion. There was no official recording of the proceedings.

Come sinners to the gospel feast

In The Methodist hymn book, illustrated with biography, history, incident and anecdote George John Stevenson says of the Charles Wesley hymn Come, sinners to the gospel feast based on Luke 14:16-24.
This is one of Charles Wesley's finest compositions, offering to all a free and full salvation. It was first published in 1747, and forms No. 50 of "Hymns for those that seek and those that have Redemption in the blood of Jesus Christ;" a tract of 68 pages, containing 52 hymns. The original has 24 stanzas, only nine of which Mr Wesley has selected, and of these he has made various alterations in four of the verses, some of which are undoubted improvements. Mr James Nichols printed an edition of this hymn, with notes from the author's MS in 1842. The first edition of the Redemption Hymns appeared in 1747; the fourth edition in 1755; the seventh edition in 1765. The hymn which immediately follows this in the original tract is the well-known Pilgrim's Hymn, "How happy is the Pilgrim's lot!"
The tune here affixed (Invitation) is that used in the "Great Festival Hymns," by Mr Lampe.
Early in the year 1879, a chair of historic interest was presented to the Preachers' Meeting at Boston (in the United States of America), belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Three years previously, the great historic elm tree on Boston common was blown down during a heavy storm; the Boston preachers and their friends resolved to have a large arm-chair made of some of the wood of the tree, to be preserved as a memorial of the introduction of Methodism into Boston, in July, 1790, by Jesse Lee, who, finding all church buildings closed against him, borrowed a table of someone living near the common, and, carrying it himself to the friendly shade of this huge old elm, mounted it and began singing lustily that grand old invitation hymn of Methodism - "Come, sinners, to the Gospel feast, Let every soul be Jesus' guest," and thus struck the key-note to a new Gospel to Calvinistic New England.* On this occasion between two and three thousand persons assembled in his congregation, and at the close he announced himself to preach at the same place on the following Sabbath. On that occasion a much larger congregation assembled. The chair constructed from one of the large spreading branches of this famous tree is large enough to comfortably accommodate any bishop; it is constructed in the most substantial manner, and elegantly carved by hand. The back panel contains a representation of the tree, beautifully carved, and faithfully representing the appearance of the tree the day before its destruction. On the day of its presentation to the Preachers' Meeting, an able historical paper was read by Dr W F Mallalieu, and an historical poem by Rev W S Studley, DD
Sarah Baker, of Culmstock, Tiverton, lived more than forty years ignorant of God and unconcerned about her soul's salvation. In the year 1799, she was going one Sabbath afternoon to church. Mr. Rouse, a local preacher, was preaching in a house on her way; from curiosity, she stayed to listen at the window, and it pleased the Lord to apply the word spoken with power to her heart, and to give her to feel the need of a Saviour. As the preacher was giving out the words of the hymn - "This is the time, no more delay," etc she resolved to accept the offered mercy; she sought the Lord, and found Him, to the joy of her heart. She never lost her confidence in God ; and, though poor in this world's goods, she was rich in faith, giving glory to God. In great peace she fell asleep in Jesus, 29th June, 1838, aged 82.

* Shame he expresses himself in that way

10 Fictional Professors


1. Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters)
2. Henry Jones Sr (Indiana Jones)
3. Abraham van Helsing (Dracula)
4. George E Challenger (Conan Doye stories)
5. Charles Xavier (X men)
6. Digory Kirke (Narnia)
7. Henry Higgins (My Fair lady)
8. Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)
9. Cuthbert Calculus (Tin Tin)
10. James Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes)

Lord's Day November 4 2018


It was good to be back in Childs Hill last Lords' Day at the beginning of a new month. We began with communion and then I preached from Acts 16. In the evening were in Matthew 22:1-14 on the parable of the wedding banquet. Decent turn out at both services, although in the evening we were down to ten. Enjoyed the hymns as ever, including All the way my Saviour leads me, Great is Thy faithfulness, Jesus Thy blood, Stand up and bless the Lord and Charles Wesley's wonderful
Come, sinners, to the Gospel feast;Let every soul be Jesus’ guest.Ye need not one be left behind,For God hath bid all humankind.
Rather neglected by us and maybe others. I was a little tired having been away in Lebanon all week but I was okay.

10 Camera Makes

1. Nikon
2. Leica
3. Canon
4. Olympus
5. Pentax
6. Minolta
7. Kodak
8. Praktika
9. Polaroid
10. Fujifilm

Reformation Boise Conference - 2018



Thought you might like to see this as it not only advertises a conference in the church where my son currently attends but he had a big hand in putting the video together (look out for the young man in the green hoody). For more info see here 

Article in new RT

The picture shows part of the Library. Sadly, the Library has since suffered water damage but has now been restored.

If you get hold of the current RT, RT 286, you will find that alongside articles on Augustine I have an article on the Dr Lloyd-Jones article at London Seminary. Do have a read.

Wales beat Scotland


Wales beat Scotland 21-10, first time we've won an opening Autumn game in 16 years.
Australia next.

10 famous chocolate brands


1. Godiva
2. Lindt
3. Guylian
4. Côte d'Or
5. Suchard
6. Green & Black's
7. Montezuma
8. Ghirardelli
9. Thornton
10. Cadbury

10 well known pen makes


1. Parker
2. Lamy
3. Pilot
4. Staedtler
5. Waterman
6. Paper Mate
7. Faber-Castell
8. Montblanc
9. Uni-ball
10. Sheaffer

10 famous watch makes


1. Rolex
2. Omega
3. Tag heuer
4. Longines
5. Patek Philippe
6. Tissot
7. Breitling
8. Blancpain
9. Hublot
10. Seiko

Ayreon - Valley Of The Queens


This is good (Dutch band, of course)

10 Retronyms


Retronyms are new names given to things after something similar but newer has come into being.

1. Steam train (after diesel train)
2. Black and white television (after colour tv)
3. Corn on the cob (after canned corn became popular)
4. Hot chocolate (after chocolate in bars came in)
5. Live music (after recorded music became popular)
6. Hardback book (after paperback books came in)
7. Silent films (after talking films began to appear)
8. Asia Minor (after we began to call the continent Asia)
9. Acoustic guitar (after the electric guitar)
10. Handwritten (after typewritten became possible)

New edition of In Writing now available (132)


I should have mentioned before that the new edition of In Writing is now out. I haven't actually seen a  copy as I left London just before it arrived. It is around though I assure you and well worth reading. it cost £1.50 from the Library but is "free" for members.

Poor taste humour


I did mean to show you what they have done in the parish church St Peter's in Coggeshall. When I got to the church the other day I looked around for evidence of Owen and Sedgwick's time at the church there seemed to be none but then I went into the extension on the side of the church and there were several portraits including the two above on a staircase. I can't quite show you properly but what they had done (as a sort of joke I guess) was to place the two Puritans between a crucifix and a statue of Mary. I see the humour but it's in poor taste really, especially when you think of the way nonconformists suffered from 1662 on.


Napoleon and St Luke

de Tolly

In J G Lockhart's Life of Napoleon Buonaparte there is a reference to Marshal M A Barclay de Tolly and in a footnote Lockhart, a Scotsman, says "This officer had been born and educated in Germany. He was descended from an ancient Scottish family, exiled for adherence to the Stuarts, in 1715." I remember someone remarking that it was only Lockhart who mentions the Scots connection few other historians finding it worth remarking on. Lockhart was interested because of his own Scots; blood.
It is an interesting observation in light of Acts 6:5 where Luke tells us, with no comment on most of the others, that the last of the seven appointed, Nicolas, was a Gentile convert to Judaism from Antioch. Does that suggest that, as tradition maintains, Luke himself was from Antioch? The Expositors Greek Testament certainly says that "It was a notice of special interest to St. Luke if his own home was at Antioch".

Deja vu all over again

Cartoon found here https://xkcd.com/703/

I was thinking about the fact that sharia means law and then I added these other fairly well known tautological phrases. (Some of them may actually be redundancies but I'm not getting into that - Tautology all the way forever!).

1. Sharia Law
2. Pita bread
3. Advanced warning
4. Tiny speck
5. HIV virus
6. PIN number
7. Close proximity
8. Forward planning
9. Free gift
10. Added bonus

Uxorious and diegetic


(This is from another blog of mine that I recently posted. See here.)
I learned two new words recently. First, uxorious which means having or showing a great or excessive fondness for one's wife. "He had always impressed me as home-loving and uxorious". It is something that Obadiah Sedgwick's enemies accused him of. The word is from the Latin for wife. Can't see anything wrong with being excessively fond of your wife, myself.
Then there was diegesis which I learned through my son who is studying film and TV. The word means a narrative or plot, typically in a film and is lumped over straight from Greek. The word my son actually used was diegetic sound (in connection with Ingmar Bergman). Diegetic sound is any sound presented as originated from a source within the film's world. Diegetic sound can be either on screen or off screen depending on whatever its source is within the frame or outside the frame. Another term for diegetic sound is actual sound.

Lord's Day October 28 2018


This last Lord's Day was rather unusual in that I am currently in Lebanon. I am here to lecture on Old Testament but on this last Lord's Day morning I was preaching at an evangelical church in Zouk Mosbeh, near Beirut in Lebanon, a 'Christian' area of Lebanon. About fifty of all ages gathered, including Syrian refugees. The same building houses a school for refugees during the week. I am sharing a flat with a retired Canadian pastor who is here to teach in the school while someone is away on maternity leave. See here. The service in the local Arabic was typical of our day in that we were led in singing for about half an hour with keyboards, drums, guitar and lead singer. Done very well as far as I could see. I was then welcomed and preached. I decided to go for that message I preached the other week on Lot and his daughters. It is a strange choice but I wanted them to see that the Old testament has things to say to us today and to show them Christ from what is a most unpromising story on the face of it. A young man translated for me. He did it very well. We had Turkish coffee to follow and I was able to speak with some. It is encouraging to see that here too God's kingdom is advancing. I am very thankful to Roger Lindie and Keith Berry who filled in for me back at home.

Obadiah Sedgwick

 

Yesterday evening in London you have heard Shai Lynne in ELT or Tim Keller in All Souls. or you coudl have heard me and others at the Strangers Rest Mission, East London. I spoke on  Puritan and Westminster Divine Obadiah Sedgwick at The Essex Conference. I was preceded by Norman Hopkins giving a presentation on the Huegenots and our host David Min on John Owen (Sedgwick's successor).  In the afternoon several had gone ona  walking tour. I started later then intended so had to be brief but that was probably for the best. The conference is new and probably needs better publicity and some streamlining. The whole thing is a three day event! I'll try adn out my paper online.

Midweek Meeting October 24 2018


There were twelve of us on Wednesday eventually, which is great. I did the last of this failry long series on Sodom adn Gomorrah - on Sodom in the New Testament. As is usual, we talked about what to pray and then prayed for twenty minutes or so. Then people chatted for a while. Back home at ten.

Day Off Week 43







On my day off this week I got into the car and travelled about an hour and a half east to the little town of Coggeshall in Essex. I am going to give a paper on Friday at the Essex Conference on Obadiah Sedgwick, one of the former incumbents there. It was good to see the parish church and the place itself. I discovered that next door to the church is an inn (the Woolpack) that was once a nonconformist church. I was also unaware of the martyrdom of Thomas Hawkes that took place in 1555. It was worth the visit, especially as the little library there put me on to a book I had missed. I also discovered another good connection. It beats me how a little place like that can have a proper little library while here in Childs Hill we struggle on with a voluntary arrangement where the Library is not open very much. I managed to fit in a spot of Leez Priory, open these days chiefly for private functions, where Sedgwick was sometimes entertained. En route I played some Focus albums from the box set I purchased a short while ago. Got through the first three albums. Back here I bought a new light fitting for the downstairs loo and started putting it in and watched some TV. Only the smallest bit of reading.

Calvin's Company of Pastors


On Monday I was at the Pastors Academy once again. Rather busy there as the Lloyd-Jones Library is being refurbished following a flood and the ThM  students were there for a module so the reading group ended up in the chapel. Seven of us, led by Brad Franklin, discussed Scott Manetsch's Calvin and the company of pastors. The book is absolutely brilliant and well worth getting hold of. See here. It is well written and yet scholarly with a large chunk of endnotes. It teaches you more about Calvin, which we need to know but going from 1536-1609 it partly fills in that haziness that takes us from Calvin to the Puritans. It scotches the Calvin and the Calvinist idea and is also full of nice anecdotes, which always helps. (eg Claude Griffat suspended for calling his dog Calvin; Calvin seizing a man who had pocketed communion bread during the Lord's supper, Jean Saddo who gave his minister his cow;s eyeball for soem reason, etc). It is very useful for thinking through pastoral work too. Geneva was sadly wedded to the church state ideas of the past but if you can see beyond that there is a lot to learn. Next time we plan to look at Archibald Alexander's Thoughts on religious experience, January 21, 2019.

Lord's Day October 21 2018


About 30 present in the morning as we carried on with Acts 15 and coming into Acts 16. A nice six point sermon disguised as a three pointer. No children's talk as there was only one child present. We sang happy birthday over coffee as we did last week too. In the evening we had communion. Only six present. Perhaps I should have flagged it up more boldly. There were 13 of us at the main meeting. I preached on the final verses of Matthew 21 enlisting the help of Kevin Keegan, Vincent van Gogh and a man in Sweden some years ago who found he had a masterpiece on his front room wall.

Day Off Week 42



My day off this week fell on a Friday as I was busy all day Tuesday at a committee and began with me putting on my old blue jeans, which helps set the mood. My main thing was to read a large chunk of Scott Manesch's Calvin's company of pastors for the Pastors' Academy reading group. I could do this any day but I was happy to do it on my day off as it is such an enjoyable book, full of brilliant anecdotes and so very well written. I also had to fit in a pastoral visit and complete my editorial work on the next In Writing magazine - again not ideal but you have to work around things sometimes. here was also dog walking, some lounging in front of the TV with Eleri and a nice chicken tikka masala take away style from Sainsbury's.

Midweek Meeting October 17 2018


Around 9 of us gathered last Wednesday, including our two newcomers and another fresh attender. At least two or three others were missing for various reasons. We looked at Old Testament references to Sodom and Gomorrah and then spent time in prayer. Among the many prayed for were two local Albanian background boys who wnadered in on Sunday - I think to shelter from the rain. It was good to be there.

Joel Beeke on Reformed Experiential Preaching


It was a great privilege to spend this morning and afternoon at the London Seminary once again. Dr Joel Beeke gave lectures to the students on Reformed experiential preaching. You can get a flavour of this from two articles here and here (for a download) Also see this piece by Paul Helm hereHe also has a new Crossway book due out today. See here
.

Dr Lloyd-Jones Lecture 2019


It was good once again to be at the London Seminary on Tuesday night to hear Dr Joel Beeke give the annual Dr Lloyd-Jones Memorial Lecture. He spoke on Reformed Piety - Covenantal and Experiential very helpfully to a good crowd.
One of the most interesting things he said I thought was this -  

While I was on active duty in the US Army Reserves, a sergeant laid his hand on my shoulder one day and said, "Son, if you ever have to go to war, there are three things you must remember in battle: what tactics you need to use, how the fight is going (which is usually very different from how it ought to go), and what the goal of the battle is." That sergeant gave me an experiential approach to fighting. His three points also provide insight into how experiential religion and preaching ought to go. When we preach we ought to be idealistic, realistic and optimistic a la ROmans 8, Romans 7 and the passages that speak to us of heaven.

He also warned against antinomianism, legalism, hyper-covenantalism and hypercalvinism. Great stuff.

Busy days


These are rather busy days and it is proving difficult to keep up. On Monday evening The Bible Preaching Trust met. This is a small funding agency for Reformed ministers in financial need. I then spent most of Tuesday at London Seminary as I sit on the board there. Once again it was a full day with many matters on the agenda.
Links here and here.

Stan Evers on John Berridge the eccentric vicar


We had another lunchtime lecture at the Evangelical Library on Monday. Stan Evers from Welwyn gave us an excellent power point presentation on the life of the eccentric vicar of Everton in Bedfordshire. It was good to have Nigel Pibworth present too who has written a biography of Berridge (now oop) and published an edition of his letters. There were a good number present (all male and over 35 I guess, which is no ideal). The next lecture is on December 3 and is on another John, John Cennick and is by yours truly. I should say that a video is available as well as an audio recording of this lecture. Apply to the Evangelical Library.

Lord's Day October 14 2018


Another good day last Lord's Day with quite a few visitors in the morning, especially people from the Philippines or connected with Filipinos (although seven of our regular ones were not there in the morning, though a family of three joined us in the evening as they were unable to be there in the morning as usual). In the morning I led us in publicly giving thanks for a nine month old boy who was brought for the first time last week. The parents (Filipino and Indian) are unmarried but we are thankful for the little boy, nevertheless. The morning sermon took us back to Acts and to Acts 15, which had its difficulties but we got through okay I hope. In the evening it was the parable of the tenants in Matthew 21, which again went okay. Lots missing as ever.

Day off Week 41

Last week's day off fell on Saturday, as we wanted to join Eleri's father celebrating his 80th birthday down in Cardiff. We travelled on Friday night and were pleasantly surprised at how straight forward it was for a potentially stormy Friday night. We stayed with Eleri's younger sister. I spent half of Saturday morning catching up on my Bible reading journal - behind again. I then discovered that I had brought no change of shirt and so had to head into Whitchurch, which only has a Peacocks when it comes to men's shirts (I don't buy clothes from charity shops). I nearly bought a trartan shirt but went for the black denim in the end. Geoff's daughters and thers had worked really hard and so we had an excellent get together in the church where two of our sons now worship with their wives. (In fact one pair now live in a bungalow right next to the church so it was good to visit them for the first time in their new home beforehand) About sixty family and friends turned up and we sang happy birthday, etc. Lovely time. It was nice to be with some of the family after the party before we left, getting home around 10 pm. The only sad note was missing sons - one in America and the family who couldn't get down from Aber because of the flooding.