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.

10 Interesting facts from the World Cup Group Stages

1. This is the most competitive first round ever
61.5% of victories were by a one-goal margin in the group stages - the second highest proportion for any previous tournament behind only South Africa in 2010. On top of this, the number of goals scored in the second half stoppage time has also reached a record high for the group stages. As many as 16 goals have been scored after the 90 minute mark so far in the tournament which is equivalent to 13.1 % of all goals scored.
2. The fewest number of 0-0 draws since the 1950s
Aside from the joyless 0-0 draw played out between France and Denmark in their final group game, the group stage hasn't featured a single goalless match. This is the fewest number of scoreless draws in the first round of any World Cup since 1954
3. The curse of the holders is now a proper thing
One reason we shouldn't be surprised at Germany's exit is that the holders barely ever win the World Cup, a trend that has become more pronounced of late. Four of the past five winners have now been knocked out of the World Cup at the first hurdle. France 2002, Italy 2010, Spain 2014 and now Germany 2018.
4. Top-seeded teams have struggled
There are several notable examples of big footballing nations making slow-starts in World Cups before eventually clicking into gear and coming away with the trophy. In Russia, many of the favourites look as though they’re trying to employ this model with Portugal, Spain and Brazil all drawing to supposedly lesser adversaries, while Germany and Argentina have both endured losses. Indeed, of the pot one teams in the World Cup, the average Elo change in the group stage has been -16.4 points. The average pot two team has picked up 18.1 points over the same period, indicating that good teams that aren't quite top are closing in on the favourites. Pot three teams picked up an average 3.8 points per team, while the worst teams in pot four lost 3.1 each. 
5. Fouls are down
There is a noticeable reduction in fouls per game in this World Cup. With a total of 883 fouls over the first 36 matches, there is an average of 24.5 fouls per game. There was an average of 30 fouls per game in the 2014 Brazil World Cup - the lowest level seen for at least 50 years.
6. VAR has led to a record number of penalties
There have already been 18 penalties scored in the 2018 Russia World Cup, meaning 14.8 % of all goals scored have been from the spot. This has already eclipsed the record number of spot-kick goals which was set in 1998. VAR has made its mark on the competition with this, with referees consulting the video assistant referees and hence punishing fouls that may have once gone missed.
7. Own goals are winning the Golden Boot for the first time
There have already been nine own goals in the 2018 World Cup - eclipsing the total number seen at the Brazil 2014 World Cup and tying for the record, set in 1998. These have been committed by Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz, Australia's Aziz Behich, Nigeria's Oghenekaro Etebo, Poland's Thiago Cionek, Egypt's Ahmed Fathy, Russia’s Denis Cheryshev, Mexico's Edson Álvarez, Switzerland's Yann Sommer and Tunisia's Yassine Meriah. Othrwise Harry Kane is top with five. This would be the first time that own goals have won the golden boot outright.
8. Spain are now unbeaten in 23 games
Going into the tournament, the longest unbeaten runs were for Spain (20), Morocco (18) and Belgium (18). After a win and two draws, Spain's unbeaten run has extended to 23 games - the longest of any country in the World Cup. Belgium's unbeaten run has also extended to 21 matches while Morocco's loss to Iran ended their run. Spain's forward Lucas Vazquez and defender Sergio Ramos celebrate their second goal against Morocco Spain's forward Lucas Vazquez and defender Sergio Ramos celebrate their second goal against Morocco CREDIT: OZAN KOSE/AFP
9. John Stones has scored more World Cup goals than Wayne Rooney
By scoring two headed goals against Panama, John Stones has already scored more World Cup goals than Wayne Rooney. Rooney's only goal at a World Cup came in Brazil in 2014, in England's 2-1 loss to Uruguay in the group stage. With five World Cup goals to his name, England captain Harry Kane is well on his way to rivalling Gary Lineker (10 World Cup goals). He's currently England's joint-second-best World Cup goalscorer, alongside Geoff Hurst on five goals.
10. Croatia, Sweden and Belgium had the best group stage
Impressive wins over Argentina and Germany have grabbed the headlines in the last few weeks, and such performances have meant that teams such as Croatia have had the largest boosts to their Elo ratings of any team. Croatia's Elo rating has been boosted by 103 points over their first three games, to move from 14th to 7th place. Over the course of the first three games, Sweden also picked up 77 points in the Elo ratings (moving from 17th to 15th), and Belgium picked up 62 with their three wins (moving from 8th to 4th).

10 More Penalties at the World Cup


1. Mile Jedinak for Australia vs Denmark after VAR review (scored)

2. Gylfi Sigurdsson for Iceland vs Nigeria after VAR review (missed)

3. Eden Hazard for Belgium vs Tunisia after VAR review (scored)
4. Carlos Vela for Mexico vs South Korea (scored)
5. Harry Kane for England vs Panama (scored)*
6. Harry Kane for England vs Panama (scored)*

7. Fahad Al Muwallad for Saudi Arabia vs Egypt (missed)
8. Fahad Al Muwallad for Saudi Arabia vs Egypt after VAR review (scored)

9. Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal vs Iran after VAR review (missed)

10. Karim Ansarifard for Iran vs Portugal after VAR review (scored)

* Surprising statitic - England have never missed a penalty in the world cup - in normal play that is.

Buddy Holly doing Peggy Sue on Ed Sullivan Show 1957

Midweek Meeting June 27 2018


We went back to our Bible study and prayer format this week. We took up where we had left off in Genesis 18 and just looked at the opening verses and God as the God of beginnings (the birth of Isaac is announced) and endings (the end of Sodom is intimated). It was  good brief session followed by items for prayer and prayer itself, all of us again praying (about nine we were I think). Some were missing.

Aber keeping up with The Times

The front page of the London Times today featured a picture from Aberystwyth. Our kids and their cousins and seccnd cousins love jumping off the jetty in summer.


Westminster Conference 2017

The papers are now available. Available from the secretary.



God with us and for us

Day 1
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE HUMAN HEART (STEPHEN CLARK)
To understand the work of the Spirit in the heart of man is to start to become a true physician of the soul. But the work of the Holy Spirit is intertwined with the ministry of the Word of God. How, then, does the Holy Spirit work in and through the Word? Is he bound to the Scriptures in some way? If so, how? Such questions, and their answers, provide us with both challenges and comforts as we seek to be ministers of the Word and Spirit.

A CHILD OF LIGHT WALKING IN DARKNESS: THE FELT PRESENCE OF GOD
(GUY DAVIES)
What does it mean to know the presence of God with us? Should we expect it? Can we lose it? How can we regain it? Concentrating on key works of Thomas Goodwin and John Owen, this paper will look particularly at the loss and recovery of such a sense of divine sweetness, comparing and contrasting the convictions, explanations and applications of these two theologians of the Holy Spirit.

CALVIN – WORSHIP AND PREACHING (ANDREW YOUNG)
The way or ways in which we worship the Lord so as to honour and glorify him remains a topic of vigorous and often heated debate. This is no new thing. Andrew Young will consider Calvin’s approach to this topic, including his doctrine of worship, his approach to liturgy, and his preaching and teaching ministry. Such assessments should assist us to ask the right questions in the right spirit as we move toward answers grounded in something more than preference.

JACOB ARMINIUS (1560-1609) (PHIL ARTHUR)
Theological labels are quick to apply, and provide us with easy targets. Particular theologians are relatively easy to demonise. Jacob Arminius has given his name to a theological system that is defended by supporters and assaulted by opponents with equal ardour. It is profitable for us to understand who Arminius was, what he believed, and how his name became connected to this system. Phil Arthur will introduce us to this man, and guide us through his life and thought.

THE SYNOD OF DORT (1618-1619) (BENEDICT BIRD)
In November 1618 the Dutch Reformed Church convened a synod at Dordrecht in the Netherlands. With representatives of Reformed churches from around Europe, the synod debated the tenets of the Remonstrants, who disputed the Calvinistic understanding of the plan of redemption. Politics and theology intertwined as they wrestled to address the controversy over Arminianism. This paper will help us understand this critical event and its relevance today.

WILLIAM WILLIAMS, PANTYCELYN (1717-1791) (MARK THOMAS)
William Williams is best known among evangelicals as ‘the sweet singer of Wales’ on account of his hymnody, combining a rigorous commitment to truth and a profound experimental sense. However, he is also recognised as a towering figure in the literary and spiritual spheres of his native Wales. Mark Thomas will help us to understand the character and context of this man, and how the Lord used him during and after his lifetime.

Another day off


This week's day off began with a shower and some porridge before eight. I should have had devotions before going out but I left it until later.* I like to write something each day and truth is I had gotten behind so I knew it would take a while. Thankfully, we're all up to date now which is not an achievement in itself but it makes me feel better.
The main things the rest of the day were first taking Alffi for a long walk to Highgate. We'd soon clocked 10,000 steps. A coffee and crossword there were enjoyable. Much of the rest of the time went on working on a local church history I am trying to finish. By the end of the day I was pretty much there. I now have the bones of a 6 chapter 85 page book covering the story from the 1860s to today.
I also watched the football (Nigeria Argentina) ordered some Cds and books and got some emails out of the way. I also dipped into the current Private Eye. Very little reading or blogging and no DIY this time. There is a plumbing job needs doing and we need new blinds for our bedroom. Later.

* M'Cheyne says somewhere
"I ought to pray before seeing any one. Often when I sleep long, or meet with others early, it is eleven or twelve o'clock before I begin secret prayer. This is a wretched system. It is unscriptural. Christ arose before day and went into a solitary place. David says: 'Early will I seek thee'; 'Thou shalt early hear my voice.' Family prayer loses much of its power and sweetness, and I can do no good to those who come to seek from me. The conscience feels guilty, the soul unfed, the lamp not trimmed. Then when in secret prayer the soul is often out of tune, I feel it is far better to begin with God - to see his face first, to get my soul near him before it is near another."

10 Invention myths


1. George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter, though he reputedly discovered 300 uses for peanuts and hundreds more for soy beans, pecans and sweet potatoes.
2. Thomas Crapper did not invent the flush toilet; flushing toilets were first used in the Indus Valley Civilisation, around the 26th century BC. The forerunner of the modern toilet was invented by the Elizabethan courtier Sir John Harington, who was banished from court when his book on the subject poked fun at important people. Crapper, however, did much to increase its popularity and introduced several innovations, including as the 'valveless waste-water preventer', which allowed the toilet to flush effectively without leaving the flush water running for a long time.
3. Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb. He did, however, develop the first practical light bulb in 1880 (employing a carbonised bamboo filament), shortly prior to Joseph Swan, who invented an even more efficient bulb in 1881 (which used a cellulose filament).
4. Henry Ford did not invent either the motor car or the assembly line. He did improve the assembly line process substantially, sometimes through his own engineering but more often through sponsoring the work of his employees. Karl Benz (co-founder of Mercedes-Benz) is credited with the invention of the first modern car and the assembly line has existed throughout history.
5. James Watt did not invent the steam engine nor were his ideas on steam engine power inspired by a kettle lid pressured open by steam. Watt improved upon the already commercially successful Newcomen atmospheric engine in the 1760s and 1770s, making certain improvements critical to its future usage, particularly the external condenser, increasing its efficiency, and later the mechanism for transforming reciprocating motion into rotary motion; his new steam engine later gained huge fame as a result.
6. The Wright Brothers did not invent the first powered heavier-than-air aeroplane. Nine months prior to their famous takeoff on the 17th of December, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, New Zealander Richard Pearse performed the same feat in Timaru, New Zealand (31 March 1903). Although it lacked an aerofoil section wing, Pearse’s flying machine resembled modern aircraft design much more than did the Wright brothers’ machine: monoplane rather than biplane; tractor rather than pusher propeller; stabiliser and elevators at the back rather than the front; and ailerons rather than wing-warping for controlling banking. It bore a remarkable resemblance to modern microlight aircraft.
7. Alexander Graham Bell did not invent the first telephone. In 1860 an early version of the telephone was claimed to have been invented by a man named Antonio Meucci. He originally called it a teletrofono. In 1860 an Italian language newspaper in New York published a description of Meucci’s invention. Meucci coupled an electro-magnetic transmitter with a receiver. The motion of a diaphragm would modulate a signal in the coil by causing movement to an electromagnet. Although this was a dependable and lasting signal, it was a very weak signal. Mr. Meucci’s patent for his invention expired in 1874 and he was not able to pay the continuation fee and Western Union labs claimed to have lost the working models that were Mr. Meucci’s invention. To further muddy the waters for Mr. Alexander Graham Bell there is the fact that he conducted experiments in the same lab where Mr. Meucci’s materials had been stored. Giving ample access to any notes or records left behind. In March of 1876 Mr. Bell was granted a patent and has forever been credited with inventing the telephone.
8. Marconi did not invent the radio. The real inventor of radio is now considered to be Nikola Tesla. He invented so much stuff that it is hard to catalogue all of it (much less understand it). Tesla got the idea for radio back in 1892 and demonstrated a remotely controlled boat in 1898. He did get basic US patents in 1897; these were for single-frequency radio, not spark gap. Yet somehow, he never got recognition for this work, while Marconi took the basic idea and ran with it. Marconi was very successful in assembling a system for wireless telegraphy. Although he was born in Italy, Marconi spent a great deal of his life in the UK. It was here that he got the patent and formed the British wireless service. He later formed the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company.
9. Galileo did not invent the telescope. There is evidence that Leonard Digges invented both the reflecting and refracting telescopes. In 1608, Dutch eyeglass maker, Hans Lippershey offered a new device to the government for military use. This new device made use of two glass lenses in a tube to magnify distant objects. He may not have invented the telescope but Hans Lippershey has been credited with its invention. He, at least, applied for the patent for it first. As soon as Galileo Galilei heard about the device coming out of the Netherlands, he was fascinated. He began constructing telescopes, himself, before ever seeing one. By 1609, he was ready for the next step. He began using telescopes to observe the heavens, becoming the first astronomer to do so. While Galileo did not invent the telescope, he made great improvements in the technology. His first construction was a three power instrument, which he quickly improved to eight, twenty, then thirty power. With this new tool, he found mountains and craters on the moon, discovered that the Milky Way was composed of stars and discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter.
10. Samuel Morse did not invent the telegraph. As the tale goes, Samuel Morse was having dinner with friends and debating electromagnetism (as you do) when he realised that if an electrical signal could travel instantly across a wire, why couldn't information do the same? Like most fun eureka stories, it's a fib. The telegraph was invented by not only Morse, but also Charles Wheatstone, Sir William Fothergill Cooke, Edward Davy and Carl August von Steinhiel so near to each other that the British Supreme Court refused to issue one patent. It was Joseph Henry, not Morse, who discovered that coiling wire would strengthen electromagnetic induction. Of Morse's key contribution - the application of Henry's electromagnets to boost signal strength - Lemley writes that "it is not even clear that he fully understood how that contribution worked."

The Minister and his relaxation

See here for an article on this subject.

Lord's Day June 24 2018


Three things happened yesterday that tend to happen once a year around this time but don't always coincide.
1. It was what we might call hay fever sufferer. By now it is quite mild but there are usually two or three random days that are really bad and sometimes this happens on the Lord's Day. Yesterday was quite bad. Actually preaching is okay as mind triumphs over matter and I almost never sneeze during a sermon.
2. In Childs Hill we are always saying goodbye to people especially to the seminary students we are allotted. Yesterday was Thapelo's last Sunday with us. The Roks family have a few more Sundays but I took opportunity to pass on some gifts (including a copy each of the collection of papers on limited atonement From Heaven He Came and Sought Her) and to publicly pray for both students.
As it turned out we also had the widow of a former seminary student, the first to be with us from Madagascar, with their two children. They are currently living in Gloucester. It was nice to have them back.
3. Usually about once a year we take a photo of the congregation (see above). This is always a little bit frustrating as who is there is rather random. I can think of at least ten people missing from the above shot, which shows about 40 of us (39 I think it is). I think we are about 14 nationalities (English, Welsh, Dutch, South African, Tswana, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Malagas (visitors), Jamaican, Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Filipino; we could add Anglo-Japanese, Anglo-Italian, Anglo-Dutch if we were being pedantic).
There were a decent number in the evening too. In the morning I preached on repentance. While I was at the IPC Conference I bought Sinclair Ferguson's little book on repentance of about twenty years which I plundered to put together a sermon from Proverbs 28:13 and Psalm 51. In the evening we were again in Matthew 19 looking at the impossibility and possibility of being saved.

London Seminary End of Year 2018

Alexander Roks

Thapelo Mpai

It was great once again to be in sunny Finchley for the Seminary end of year service. Seven students were leaving. We were particularly interested in the two shown above (with Vice-principal David Green, who perhaps could have given them a little more time) as they have been part of the congregation here since they arrived in London and it has been great to get to know them and benefit from their fellowship. Alexander from The Netherlands has been here with his family and Thepelo from South Africa on his own and so that with their very different backgrounds (they have tested how close Dutch and Afikaans and found it's not enough when English is ready available).
It is a great thing for a pastor to have ministerial students in the congregation as even when the numbers seem low and the progress non-existent one is at the very least modelling ministry . One can lean too heavily on that, of course, but it is a great encouragement, year after year, to have these men with us.
David Earl chaired and the preacher was Mark Dever from Washington DC. He preached a well tailored sermon, brief and to the point, which managed (from Mark 4) to address the students and everyone else (including any unbelievers present). It was nice to speak to him briefly after the service and to his assistant Jason Rivette bfore heading out on to the lawn for the traditional tea in glorious sunshine. It is always good to see old friends. There were about 14 of us present from Childs Hill which is also encouraging in its own way.

Holy Ghost Revival

This has just appeared on my Published Articles blog


In Acts 19 we read of a group of Ephesians who had not even heard that there was a Holy Spirit. When reading that verse in public one Church of England minister was heard to say that it was apparently also true, for the most part in most of the Anglican churches of his day. A W Tozer of the Christian and Missionary Alliance similarly remarked that if the Holy Spirit was withdrawn today most of what goes on in the name of Christianity would probably continue unaltered tomorrow. We live in the age of the Spirit but for many professing Christians it makes little difference to their every day lives. 
From time to time sincere Christians have woken up to this great neglect of the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost and have reacted by seeking to draw attention to him in various ways. Now the Spirit's role is in fact not to draw attention to himself but to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus says in John 15:26 When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me

I believe in the Holy Spirit
Given this fact, it is important that, in the right sense, we can honestly say 'I believe in the Holy Spirit'. This is what C H Spurgeon used to say to himself as he ascended the stairs of the pulpit of the Metropolitan Tabernacle pulpit to preach. By that he did not mean 'I have neither prepared a message nor prepared myself for this moment but I believe God can do something anyway' . Rather, he meant that having prepared himself to preach and having prepared his message to be preached he wanted to rely for conversions and for making an impact on Christians on neither of those things or both but only on the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven.
In the 18th century John Newton used to recommend young ministers to prepare their messages as if there was no Holy Spirit and then to preach them as if all depended on nothing but the Holy Spirit. In this way he sought to stress the paradox revealed in Scripture that, on the one hand, exalts the teaching that God is sovereign and yet at the same time insists on human responsibility. There is no way that we can logically reconcile these two clear biblical doctrines. Abraham Kuyper used to say that if we find a way to reconcile the two then we have misunderstood. Humanly speaking they truly do seem antithetical. They find their resolution ultimately only in the mind of God. 

Practically
B B Warfield called Calvin 'The theologian of the Holy Spirit' because of the careful and thorough way Calvin set out the doctrine of the Spirit for the first time. Good Calvinists should have a clear theology of the Spirit in their heads. In practical terms, however, how are we to truly believe in the Spirit and honour him as we should yet give proper weight to the important doctrine of human responsibility? Perhaps something along the lines of John Newton's advice will serve us best. If we truly honour the Holy Spirit we will certainly notice references to him as we read the Scriptures, his inspired Word. We will be conscious of the need of his help when we come to pray. We will want to do nothing to make him grieved with us or to quench his fire in others. We will long to know him at work in conversion and sanctification; in illuminating his Word and guiding his people into truth; in restoring and renewing his people. On the other hand, we will also see the need to work hard at winning people to Christ; at seeking to grow in grace; at maintaining Christian unity; to know God's will and live to his glory. Belief in the Holy Ghost should not lead to some sort of spiritual inertia but to a tremendous confidence in God that he is with us, strengthening and helping and nourishing and using us to his praise as we live for him. The genuine fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc (Galatians 5:22). 

Anointed
There are many example of men in Scripture who were filled with the Spirit but the greatest example of such a man is the Lord Jesus himself for he was filled with the Spirit without measure. His very title Christ or Messiah means 'Anointed one'. He was anointed not merely with oil but with the Spirit himself. The Spirit of God was upon him enabling him to do what he did.
If we are Christians we too have an anointing. As C S Lewis once put it, we are little Christs. We will then look for the leading of the Spirit, for his guidance and help and power and blessing, as we endeavour to live lives that reflect the patterns laid down for us by the Saviour. That is what keeping in step with the Spirit is all about. 
Never forget the Holy Spirit - not by talking about him or promoting the mere name but by actively seeking to keep in step with him in all he does. 

This article first appeared in Grace Magazine

Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart

Midweek Meeting June 20 2018


About 11 of us gathered last night. Again it was (just) a prayer meeting in this month of special mission. We sang a hymn, I read from 1 Kings 3 and said a little about Solomon and Christ. My main point was that God is more ready to give than we are to receive. We then gathered information together and started praying about 40 minutes in. All of us then prayed in turn for the next half an hour or so.

A day off


In theory, I am supposed to have a day off each week. It doesn't always work out so well but I managed one this week. It is perhaps worth describing to help me and may be others. What wnet well and not so well is fairly obvious I think.
A snag with my current day off perhaps is that my wife is out at work all day on that day. Anyway, it starts with a shower, breakfast (porrifge) and devotions and not far in involves taking the dog for a walk, followed by a coffee with the newspaper. I like to do the crossword and one or two other puzzles.
I wandered into the local bookshop and one or two other shops before heading back home where there was quite a bit of football to watch and a little bit of time for reading. (I am reading a book about the Kings and Queens of England at the moment). I also did a bit of blogging here and elsewhere, worked on a book I am trying to write and dealt with one or two more urgent emails.
In theory, a day off should allow time for some DIY. This week I actually did a job that has been waiting about a year or more - to put a latch on the front garden gate.
We had home made burgers for tea, which was a treat. I did spend some time with Eleri but I think this World Cup is going to be a challenge for her. We would normally have sat down and watched something on TV together but she is not a football fan (nor am I really but more than she). I did a bit more walking in the early evening to get my fitbit tally to a more respectable level.

Jay Adams on forgiveness


Helpful article found here. Adams has a whole book on the subject.

What a wonderful word! Yet, what does it mean? How do you grant forgiveness; and, for what?

As much as Christians talk about forgiveness, you’d think they could tell you all about it. Yet, there is hardly one in a thousand who can give sound, Biblical answers to the questions above.

Forgiveness of others is to be modeled on one’s own forgiveness by Christ: “… forgiving one another just as God, in Christ has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).

Forgiveness must be extended to all who say they repent—even if the offense has been repeated (Cf. Luke 17:3). But it is only to be granted to those who confess wrong doing, claim to be repentant, and ask forgiveness (Prov. 28:13). In Mk. 11:25, Jesus tells you to forgive those who wronged you when you pray, thereby avoiding bitterness and resentment (Eph. 4:32). But, that is different from granting the wrongdoer forgiveness. You do that only when he repents. Forgiveness of others must reflect god’s forgiveness; He forgave you when you repented.

Some unthinking Christians advise forgiving another whether or not he confesses sin. But they misunderstood forgiveness. They urge this to benefit the one who forgives. Yet, it was for your benefit that God forgave you. Their self-centered concept of forgiveness is unbiblical. God did not forgive you until you repented, admitted you were a sinner, and believed. Indeed, even now, when God dispenses parental forgiveness, He says, “…if you don’t forgive men, then your Father won’t forgive your transgressions” (Matt. 6:15).

Some think when Christ prayed from the cross, “Father, forgive them,” He forgave apart from repentance. But Jesus granted no one forgiveness by those words. He was asking God to forgive. Did God answer? Yes. On the day of Pentecost, thousands of those same people were converted, and their sins were forgiven. But, that did not happen apart from the means. Peter called on them to repent and believe in order to receive forgiveness (Cf. Acts 2:38).

Because in forgiving one promises not to bring up the offender’s sin, to him, to others, or to himself, it is not right to forgive before repentance. Jesus requires you to confront an offender (Matt. 18:15ff) in order to bring about reconciliation. If he refuses to listen to you, instead of forgiving him, you must tell one or two others. If he won’t hear them, then you must tell the church. Indeed, apart from repentance, the matter, must be brought up to an increasingly larger number of persons. Why? Through their aid to win the offender. In love, true forgiveness seeks not to relieve the forgiver, but to deliver the offender from his burden of guilt. Out of concern for the other person, the offended party pursues the offender until the matter is settled before God and men. Any bitterness on his part, Jesus said, must be dealt with in prayer. Because forgiveness is a promise not to refer negatively to the offender’s sin any more, it would be utterly inconsistent to forgive an unrepentant person before Church discipline has been successfully used.

People who try to be kinder than God, end up becoming cruel to others. The kind thing is not to focus on relief for one’s self, by forgiving others whether they repent or not, but by every Biblical means to win offenders. It may seem unkind to bring matters up again and again when an offender refuses to be reconciled, but you must do so, not to irritate, but to help relieve him of the burden of his sin. To ignore him and focus on one’s self, saying, “feel better since I forgave Bob, even though he didn’t seek forgiveness,” is the epitome of the modern, self-centered psychological heresy.

Seeking forgiveness is not apologizing. There is nothing in the Bible about apologizing—the World’s substitute for forgiveness that doesn’t get the job done. You apologize, and say “I’m Sorry,” but have not admitted your sin. The offended party feels awkward, not knowing how to respond. You are still holding the ball. You asked him to do nothing. But, confess your sin to him saying, “I have asked God to forgive me, and now I’m asking you,” and you pass the ball to the other person. You ask him to bury the matter for good. Jesus commands him to say “yes,” thereby making the promise that God does: “Your sins and you iniquities will I remember against you no more.” That brings the matter to a conclusion. Apologizing does not.

Is there someone to whom you should go ask forgiveness? Has someone sought it from you to whom you said “Once, yes; twice, maybe; three times, no!”? Perhaps there is someone whom you have never confronted about a matter that has brought about an unreconciled condition between you. Are any of these problems outstanding? Then you have business to attend to. Why not settle the matter today?

You don’t have to feel like it to forgive. Forgiveness is a promise that you can make and keep, whether you feel like it or not. And, it is easier to forgive another—even when he sins against you seven times a day—when you remember Christ’s great sacrifice for you sins by which He forgave you. And, then too, remember how many times a day He forgives you ever since you have become a believer. One other fact may help. If you have truly forgiven, it isn’t the fifth, of the third; it’s not even the second time. If you have truly buried the matter, truly forgiven—it’s always the first.

10 Penalties in the world cup so far


1 Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal vs Spain (scored)
2 Antoine Griezmann for France vs Australia after VAR review (scored)
3 Miles Jedinak for Australia vs France (scored)

4 Lionel Messi for Argentina vs Iceland (saved by film director Hannes Halldorsson)
5 Christian Cueva for Peru vs Denmark after VAR review (missed)

6 Luka Modric for Croatia vs Nigeria (scored)
7 Andras Granqvist for Sweden vs South Korea after VAR review (scored)
8 Ferjani Sassi for Tunisia vs England (scored)
9 Shinji Kagawa for Japan (scored)
10 Mohamed Salah for Egypt (scored)

Father's Day 2018



It seems a long time ago now but I am wearing my main Father's Day gift today. (I don't normally get a present but I dropped a large hint and it worked). Thank you my kind sons and daughters-in-law (and my wife).

Lord's Day June 17 2018


It was a good day in church last Sunday. I took the text found in Romans 1:16, 17 in the morning and carried on in Matthew 19 in the evening with the rich young ruler. So we were quite evangelistic which is always good. Some who we have missed in recent weeks were present but there were still others missing. Numbers were good morning and evening. We also had communion before the evening meeting, looking at the seventh and final word from the cross. In light of last week's conference I began the meetings with a call to worship,which I have not done for a while, and that was a good idea.(See here). It was nice to have some of our Seminary students here for lunch with others. What a privilege to be with the Lord's people on the Lord's Day..

10 words that have become rather meaningless


1. Literally. It is hard to imagine this word being used correctly as it is often placed next to words that are being used figuratively. You did not literally die. You figuratively died. The reason that you used literally is that you were grasping for a qualifier or intensifier but wentfor the wrong one.
2. Basically. This is so often redundant in a sentence. Let's save these three (or four syllables for the next generation.
3. Very. Too often this word is alos doing nothing much beyond padding out the sentence.
4. Totally. This intensifier is okay bt is getting over used. Totally.
5. Interesting. Too often, we are lazy and use the word in vague and guarded comments.
6. Obviously. Only use this word if it is obvious.
7. Actually. Spectacularly overused,
8. Really. Again rather a weak modifier.
9. Kind of. Another wishy washy term. Meghan Markle's dad has said in interview that  "Having the press at my door and following me at my door, yeah that kind of becomes an invasion a bit".
10. Awesome. This is the case of a good word gone to waste dueto over use. I was ina  bankl once and someone was openinga  new account. Told they would be sent a debit card ina few days they replied "Awesome"!

Wales now third in the world


Wales have leapfrogged England and Australia to move to third in the World Rugby rankings after beating Argentina in Arbentina. Tries from Hallam Amos and Josh Adams secured a 30-12 victory to complete a 2-0 series win over the Pumas on the back of beating South Africa in Washington earlier this month.
This latest win, coupled with another disaster for England in South Africa, has seen a significant change. It is the highest Wales have been in the rankings for a while, only previously topped by the second place they managed after beating England during the 2015 World Cup.
Before Saturday's Tests, the top 10 in the world rankings were: New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, England, Wales, Scotland, South Africa, France, Fiji, Argentina but a busy day has seen plenty of changes.
New Zealand claimed a series win over France after a 26-13 win. Ireland won 26-21 againt Australia, to remain second, while England suffered a second consecutive defeat to South Africa after losing 23-12 in Bloemfontein. England are now sixth in the rankings, with South Africa moving up to fifth from seventh.

New Akkerman Box Set


We hear that a  26 CD Jan Akkerman set is being released next month. UK pricing is around £99/ Wouter Jacobs, who compiled, annotated and mastered the set in collaboration with Jan, kindly put some background info online elsewhere. He says
The booklet will be substantial, yes, to say the least. 66 pages. A biography by yours truly, with several pages of photos from all eras of Jan’s career – including several previously unpublished shots, followed by an album-to-album breakdown, featuring full credits (including never before published facts about who played what on particular albums) and Jan’s own memories about the 23 studio and live albums, taken from recent extended interviews I’ve done with Jan. In addition there’s a cd featuring his personal selection of Focus tracks, with some pre-Focus stuff added (Johnny and His Cellar Rockers, The Hunters and Brainbox) and a cd full of previously unreleased stuff such as basic tracks from “Angel Watch” and “Stingray” (both without string and woodwind overdubs!) and the original demo for “Crackers” recorded in the Summer of 1975 with Pierre van der Linden on drums. That particular demo was recorded during rehearsals for the 1975 Japan/Australia tour of Focus for which Pierre temporarily rejoined the band.
Regarding the mastering: I have been working for almost a year to transfer the analog 2-track tapes – or digital safety copies in some cases – for most of the albums up to 1993. Expect some flat transfers (as some were very good and did not need to be enhanced – less is more), expect some carefully dynamically remastering on some albums (eg. the 1977 guitar in bed album – which sounds pretty hollow and too bright – I have carefully corrected that), a few needle drops (as some mastertapes have disappeared and/or were untraceable) and for the rarities cd: a variety of sources, from 2-track DAT, cassettes to 2-track analog / 2-track digital. ‘Subsequently all cd-masters were checked and prepared for production by Peter Brussee of QPoint mastering in Hilversum (The Netherlands) – no additional EQ’ing a.o. was done during that final process. I can honestly say that Jan’s back catalogue is now fully futureproof!’

The thieving magpie

We had a visitor today

German night Childs Hill


We had our friend from Germany, Stefan, here this week, and so it was a good time to invite my father-in-law over with his new German bride. (It's not that  funny Gwion).
[l to r Geoff, Barbara, Stefan, Gwion, Alffi, Me]

10 Goalkeeper father and sons


Football seems to be on my mind for some reason.

1. Peter (Manchester United, Denmark) and Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City, Denmark)
2. Goran (TPS Turku, Finland) and Peter Enckelman (Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City)
3. Miguel Reina (Atletico Madrid) and José ‘Pepe’ Reina (Liverpool)
4. John Lukic (Leeds United) and John Lukic Junior (Grimsby Town)
5. Roy (Crystal Palace, Ipswich Town) and Gary Bailey (Manchester United, England)
6. Fabio (A C Milan) and Carlo Cudicini (Chelsea)
7. Bryan (Norwich City) and Angus Gunn (Manchester City)
8. Mike (Colchester Town) and Ian Walker (Spurs)
9. Edwin (Ajax, Fulham, Manchester United, Netherlands) and Joe van der Sar (ADO Den Haag)
10. Andy (Manchester City, Wrexham, Wales) and Christian Dibble (Wrexham)
[In this case, there is really a triple run as Andy's father Alan was also a goalkeeper. My dad used to take me to watch him play for Girlings in days of yore].

10 Football teams that play in black and white stripes

1. Notts County
2. Newcastle United
3. Grimsby Town
4. St Mirren
5. Dunfermline
6. Juventus
7. Santos
8. Botafogo
9. Borussia Munchengladbach
10. Beşiktaş

IPC Catalyst Conference Day 3

Jonty Rhodes

David Gibson

Mark Earngey

Once again, on this third day, we followed the same pattern with Jonty Rhodes followed by Dick Gaffin with Sinclair Ferguson after lunch and, this time, both David Gibson and Mark Earngey. Dr Gaffin spoke on the Spirit and prayer from Romans 8 and Dr Ferguson on the Spirit and holiness. Again these were excellent. The opening and closing sessions were very practical and perhaps less attractive in some ways. It is difficult to apply theology without sounding rather pedestrian. This is an observation rather than a criticism. The liturgical emphasis was appreciated but needs more nuancing I would think.

Midweek Meeting June 13 2018 Plus


We had only a prayer meeting (as they say) last night as we had already met the night before with Philip Amos, newly begun with CWI, who spoke to us about reaching our Jewish neighbours. Both meetings were a blessing. As has often been observed giving the meeting over almost entirely to prayer gave it a freshness that we sometimes lack. The talk about reaching Jews followed on from last week's meeting about reaching Muslims. Barnet is both about 15% Jewish and 15% Muslim. It is one of the factors that makes our work here so challenging.

More on the IPC Catalyst Conference, etc



Greatly enjoying the IPC Catalyst Conference here in Ealing. Yesterday I skipped the session introducing the International Presbyterian Church. My father-in-law Geoff Thomas took myself and two others for a pizza. An interesting moment was when I asked Dick Gaffin if he had known the Westminster teacher E J Young. This is the equivalent of someone asking me if I know Geoff Thomas. He was very kind about it. Apparently the conference next year will be June 18-20. That means it won't clash with the EMA which will be June 25-27. I shoud mention that another joy this week has been stocking up bookwise courtesy of the Evangelical Bookshop, Belfast.

IPC Catalyst Conference Ealing Day 2

Sinclair Ferguson
I was back yesterday (Wednesday) in Ealing for more of the same. Ealing is only 8 or 9 miles away but at that time of the morning is quite a trek (my wife gave me a lift on Tuesday). Anyway I arrived a little late so was not able to fully appreciate the opening paper from Jonty Rhodes.
Dick Gaffin presented part of the cessation position very helpfully and after lunch Sinclair Ferguson spoke on the Spirit of adoption, again the best and most moving.
In the final session we had Mark Earngey an Australian looking Australian, an Anglican and a man who looks as if he has had a shock. He did something I have never heard covered before  - a survey of the various liturgies produced in the 16th century around Europe. Thie meant he was able to speak with some authority about the nuances of Reformed theology and practice. Fascinating. I liked the fact that in Zurich they did not sing but they did celbrate Christmas - so what is the Reformed positon there? He alos noted that from ealy on other things apart from Scripture were sung in many places. Like Dr Gaffin he ended with opportunity for questions.
So another good day. I am not sure if recordings or transcripts might be available.

IPC Catalyst Conference Ealing

Dick Gaffin
Spoiled for choice with regard to conferences this week I decided last minute to get down to Ealing Town Hall and try the IPC Catalyst Conference. Given the speakers on the programme it would be hard to see, humanly speaking, how it could fail to be good. And it was. We had four sessions of solid theology (we must have covered more theology in one day than we tend to do in one year at Child Hill - perhaps I exaggerate).
We started off in Leviticus with Jonty Rhodes who gave us lots of good biblical theology including a number of thoughts that were fresh to me (eg the Temple and Sinai). The final session of the day was from Jonathan Gibson (like Jonty's name no more than a name to me until that point). Here we were again chiefly in the Old Testament, looking at worship. This was a bit of a tour de force and comes from a large book which, despite my late booking, I managed to procure a free copy of (thanks Graham Weeks) like many others - ie Reformed Worship. Again lots of fresh thoughts (although I do wish he hadn''t left his remarks about women ruining everything rather dangling).
Between these younger biblical theologians we had two septuagenarians (One is actually an octogenarian) both systematicians. They both spoke on the Holy Spirit - Dr Richard Gaffin mainly from Acts but including other references and Sinclair Ferguson from John 14. These were again fresh and stretching and full of good and deep theology.
To be Gaffinised adn Sinclaired on the same day is quite something.
In between times there was opportunity to stock up on books and to hear Chris Roberts lunch time session Ecclesiastes 12 and to talk to people new to me and old.
We have someone staying with us for the EMA and he had a good day too. I don't know how they got on in Bala.

M'Cheyne's Letter to W C Burns 1839

TO THE REV. W. C. BURNS
On his agreeing to undertake the charge of St Peter's, during Mr M‘C.‘s absence in Palestine,

EDINBURGH, Hill Street, March 22, 1839

MY DEAR FRIEND - 
- for I trust I may now reckon you among the number in the truest sense - I haste to send you a line in answer to your last. I am glad you have made up your mind to begin your spiritual charge over my flock on the first week of April. The committee have resolved that I leave this on Wednesday next, so that you will not hear from me again till I am away. Take heed to thyself: Your own soul is your first and greatest care. You know a sound body alone can work with power; much more a healthy soul. Keep a clear conscience, through the blood of the Lamb. Keep up close communion with God. Study likeness to him in all things. Read the Bible for your own growth first, then for your people. Expound much; it is through the truth that souls are to be sanctified, not through essays upon the truth. Be easy of access, apt to teach, and the Lord teach you and bless you in all you do and say. You will. not find many companions‘. Be the more with God. My dear people are anxiously waiting for you. The prayerful are praying for you. Be of good courage, there remaineth much of the land to he possessed. Be not dismayed, for Christ shall be with thee to deliver thee. Study Isaiah vi., and Jeremiah i., and the sending of Moses, and Psalm Ii. 12, 13, and John xv. 26, 27, and the connection in Luke i. 15, 16.
I shall hope to hear from you when I am away. Your accounts of my people will be a good word to make my heart glad. I am often sore cast down; but the eternal God is my refuge. Now farewell; the Lord make you a faithful steward.
Ever yours, etc.

Evangelical Library Annual Lecture 2018


It was a great joy to hear Donald John McLean from Cambridge speaking last night at the Evangelical Library in Bounds Green North London. His subject was the great William Chalmers Burns who died 150 years ago this year. Burns was set in the context of that remarkable coterie of evangelical ministers M'Cheyne, the Bonar brothers and John Milne of Perth. We were given his background and the story of the revival he knew in M'Cheyne's church in Dundee and then that uncertain period when he ministered in Dublin and Canada with limited success, The longest period, his time in China, was perhaps given short shrift but by that point we had begun to understand something of the character of Burns and that was the main thing that was helpfully presented to us.
Three final practical points were made - the importance of prayer and of holiness as exemplified by Burns and the Sovereignty of God seen in the way Burns was sometimes greatly blessed and at other times not so.
Prayer
Regarding Burns and prayer Bonar wrote once

Today I preached at Dundee with the object of seeking a pouring down of the Holy Spirit.
The lesson I have been learning of late is that William Burns (mutual friend of Bonar and Robert Murray M’Cheyne) is used as an instrument of God, where others have been labouring in vain, because he is much in prayer beyond all of us. It is not special words that God blesses, but prayer. 

Burns brother Islay wrote

"Above all," says an able writer in the Sunday at Home, "Mr. Burns was a man of prayer. No one could be long in his company without discovering that. All the week long 'he filled the fountains of his spirit with prayer,' and on Sabbath the full fountain gave forth its abundant treasures. There was a freshness, a simplicity, a scriptural force and directness in his prayers, that formed the best of all preparations for the discourse that was to follow. Out of doors, we have often felt, as we heard him preach, that the opening prayer of the service was like the ploughing up of the field, it so opened the heart, and quickened and informed the conscience; the sermon that followed was the sowing of the seed in the prepared soil; and the concluding prayer was like the after harrowing of the ground, fixing down the seed that had been sown."

Holiness
His consecration to the Master was so rare and so complete, during the years of his great work as an evangelist at home, that the sight of his handwriting reminded one to the last, that there are some who do illustrate the word, Man's chief end is to glorify God. The handwriting was unchanged by so many years constant use of his adopted and much-loved hieroglyphic, and the signature of his last letters was exactly that which he used to affix in his youth, to the tracts he gave to anxious inquirers, accompanied with the assurance of his interest and prayers.

John Milne wrote
I had abundant opportunity of becoming intimately acquainted with Mr Burns, as he lived and laboured with me constantly for between three and four months. I never knew any one who so fully and unfalteringly obeyed the apostolic precept —‘Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly to them.’ I was struck with his close walk with God, his much and earnest prayer, his habitual seriousness, the solemnising effect which his presence seemed to have wherever he went, and his almost unwearied success in leading those with whom he conversed to anxious, practical, heart-searching concern about their state in God's sight.

Catch up


It is not possible to keep a record of everything that goes on here and I don't try but I thought I'd try a quick round up as I do sometimes, covering things I have missed. Last Saturday we had the second of our men's meetings and the six of us who met for breakfast enjoyed it and found it worthwhile I think. We have a chapter to read and then we discuss. The subject was a purity, not one that arises spontaneously among us so it was good to talk it through.
I do mention the Westminster Fellowship from time to time and I enjoyed the last one I attended (Robert Strivens on preaching) but I don't think I mentioned that (nor the last pastoral friendship walk which was very enjoyable).
There were also some interviews at the London Seminary, which I tend not to mention for obvious reasons. All good candidates though.
The other thing was the Grace Assembly which I attended just for one day at the end of May and enjoyed very much. The recordings can be found at the website here. I also picked up some nice books courtesy of the Dunstable Bookshop.

Lord's Day June 10 2018


Delightful day yesterday. We had good congregations again with an Afghani visitor with her young son and an old friend who grew up in the church joining us in the morning. We also had lunch together which went well. One of the deacons also invited us over for tea. Our leaving Seminary students briefly spokeaboiut the future. In the monring I preached that winderful tet in Ephesians 2:8-10 and in the evening we were again in Matthew.looking at Chapter 19:13-15.

10 Ways to eat Potatoes


1. Baked potatoes
2. Boiled potatoes
3. Mashed potatoes
4. Roast potatoes
5. Chipped potatoes
7. Potatoes Lyonnaise
8. Potatoes Dauphinoise
9. Potato salad
10. Potato soup

10 things to do to an egg



1. Scramble it
2. Boil it (hard)
3. Boil it (soft)
4. Coddle it
5. Poach it
6. Fry it (sunny side up)
7. Fry it (over easy)
8. Bake or shirr it
9. Make it into an omelette
10. Make it into a frittata

10 differences between Thai and Vietnamese cooking


Vietnam and Thailand are adjacent countries so there is some overlapping but apparently the cuisine of each is quite different. Also, Vietnamese style vermicelli noodles (Pho) are widely used in Thai cooking and the Thai street dish Khanom Jin (Chinese desserts) may have come from Vietnam. I know nothing about this subject but a local Vietnamese Restaurant has become a Thai one and I wondered how different it might be. (My son and daughter-in-law once watched Vietnam play Thailand at football in Vietnam. They have an opinion.)

1. Vietnamese cooking is generally simpler than the elaborate approach of the Thais
2. Thai dishes tend to emphasise more contrasting flavours (and temperatures)
3. Thai dishes tend to be hotter than Thai ones
4. The Vietnamese prefer long-grain rice to the glutinous short grain varieties preferred by the northern Thai
5. Thai dishes are heavier on coconut milk, shrimp paste and fish sauces
6. Vietnamese soups are much lighter than Thai ones
7. Traditional Vietnamese cuisine embodies the five elements (earth, water, air, wind, fire) and ingredients are selected based on these elements to balance each other out
8. Modern Vietnamese cuisines are heavily influenced by French (as well as Chinese) cuisine, such as the use of baguette style bread rolls (Bánh mì) made with rice flour instead of wheat flour. The pork roll (Bánh mì Thit) also uses liver pâté as a spread.
9. Thai dishes such as Green Curries and Tom Yum use more herbs eg lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and turmeric (although aniseed and coriander seeds are common in both cuisines)
10. You don't see stone pot and other entree soups, vermicelli bowls or grilled meats in Thai cuisine




10 C S Lewis Misquotes


This list was partly prompted by seeing a quotation attributed to Calvin in the excellent Banner book The Puritans day by day that turned out to be from Stephen Charnock. (If there were no God, conscience were useless)
These are O’Flaherty’s ten most common Lewis misquotes:

1. “I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun. Not because I can see it, but by it, I can see everything else.”
The most misquoted line from Lewis. These are certainly great words, but they aren’t quite what Lewis actually wrote. They are close though. Not including punctuation, there are eight differences. The correct version comes from an essay entitled “Is Theology Poetry?” found in The Weight of Glory. The actual statement “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.”

2. “You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”
Lewis never wrote those words, but he did admire the person who originally wrote them - or at least something very similar. George MacDonald penned a close variation of this saying in Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood (1867). In Chapter 28 we find a comment about “the great mistake of teaching children that they have souls.” It goes on to say that “they ought to be taught that they have bodies, and that their bodies die; while they themselves live on.” Years later, in 1892, an article appeared in The British Friend where MacDonald is quoted as saying, “Never tell a child … you have a soul. Teach him, you are a soul; you have a body.”

3.“Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.”
People usually attribute this expression to Mere Christianity. Lewis did address the topic of humility within that title, but he did not write anything quite so pithy. These exact words are found in Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life, in the material from Day 19 on “Cultivating Community” (2002 edition). In that chapter, Warren does not mention Lewis, even though he does in other places. So, while this does summarise Lewis, Warren never even suggests they are adapted from it.


4.“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”
Associating Lewis with this quote might be from the mistaken belief that Lewis only became famous later in life, after The Chronicles of Narnia were published. However, you will not locate these words in any of his writings. Lewis was already famous because of the bestselling The Screwtape Letters from about 10 years prior to the first children’s story. In fact, he landed on the cover of Time five years after Screwtape was published. This expression is from Les Brown, a motivational speaker whose website claims he is the author of the saying.

5. “Be sure that the patient remains completely fixated on politics. Arguments, political gossip, and obsessing on the faults of people they have never met serves …”
The Screwtape Letters is a perennial favourite that has spawned many imitators. This quotation (and there is more to it) begins with the words, “My Dear Wormwood.” However, you will not find this material in The Screwtape Letters. It seems some well-meaning person was a fan of the book and tried to write something in honour of Lewis and did not want to take credit.

6.“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”
Early in Lewis’s life, before he wrote Narnia, he admitted that he did not like children (in a letter to his friend Arthur Greeves). While there don’t seem to be any later comments that say he changed his mind, he did reply back to kids who wrote to him about his Narnia stories. Whatever his thoughts on children, Lewis is not the author of the above statement. You can occasionally find the real author, John Trainer, credited in a few places. In late December 2012, he confirmed via Facebook that he first came up with this expression.

7.“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
Some might disagree that this quotation should be on the list since it is actually very, very close to what Lewis did write. Removing the words, “far, far,” from the above quotation matches what he originally wrote in a letter to Mary Willis Shelburne on June 17, 1963. However, what Lewis meant when he wrote these words is not apparent when taken out of context. Those not familiar with the letter might think he is telling us to not worry about present difficulties and look to the future. However, if you read the entire letter you find Lewis is challenging Miss Shelburne about her fear of dying, “Can you not see death as the friend and deliverer?” At the close of the same paragraph, he states, “Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret?” followed immediately by the quoted (or misquoted) expression.

8.“Experience that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God, do you learn.”
Maybe you can close your eyes and picture Lewis saying these words? Unfortunately, it is not Lewis, but Anthony Hopkins, reading his line from the script of the 1993 movie Shadowlands. But even that is not quite right. The version usually found online (as given in this list) actually does not quote the movie correctly. The “real” fake quotation is “Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn. My God, you learn.” The misquotations don’t end there. In early 2017 this line was misquoted yet again. The fictional character Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) in Last Man Standing says, “C S Lewis said, ‘Experience is a brutal teacher. But you'll learn, by God, you'll learn.’” Not Lewis and not even the right wording.

9. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
Part of “doing the right thing” should be checking quotation sources. For this particular expression, there are several similar sayings, but nothing in Lewis. “Do the right thing when no one is looking.” is part of the title of a blog post from 2015 from Vickie Milazzo, president of an organisation that does legal nurse consulting. Another possible origin for it is a 2003 book from Charles Marshall entitled Shattering the Glass Slipper, where you find two statements: “Integrity is doing the right thing when you don’t have to - when no one else is looking or will ever know - when there will be no congratulations or recognition for having done so.” Then a little later Marshall succinctly writes, “Integrity is doing the right thing no matter what it costs you.” Marshall does not state that he is referring to another author for either statement, indicating the words are his not Lewis’s. A third possible origin for the misquote is a speech given by J C Watts at the 1996 Republican National Convention. A transcript reports he said, “I’ve got a pretty simple definition of character. It’s simply doing what’s right when nobody’s looking. For too long, for too long, for too long we’ve gotten by in a society that says the only thing right is to get by, and the only thing wrong is to get caught.”

10. "Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars - let go to move forward.”
This is one of those motivational quotations that encourages a person to keep going despite circumstances. Presently it is not known who created it. A variation is referenced in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Possible. That version reads, “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” In the book, it is credited to “Author Unknown.” Having Lewis’s name associated with this expression likely makes it more noticeable. After all, if someone as great as Lewis said it, you might be more likely to read it and/or believe it. Trouble is, you cannot find Lewis ever using the words “monkey bars” in any published writing.