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.

Lord's Day September 23 2018


Good day on the whole with decent congregations morning and evening, though people missing as ever. Preached on the older lost son from Luke 15 in the morning and on the withered fig tree in the evening from Matthew 21. I forgot to mention last week that I have started a church history series (a la Sinclair Ferguson's The year of the Lord). I tried it once before and tripped up over which century was which a short way in. Part of the deal is to sing a hymn from each century. We cheated last week (with Caroline Noel's At the name of Jesus) but this week I got hold of Clement of Alexandria's Shepherd of tender youth (see below). Sinclair Ferguson gives you all the material you need. Only snag is it adds ten minutes and some are tired at night.

1 Shepherd of tender youth,
Guiding in love and truth
Through devious ways;
Christ, our triumphant king,
We come Your name to sing
And here our children bring
To join Your praise.

2 You are our holy Lord,
The all-subduing Word,
Healer of strife.
Yourself You did abase
That from sin's deep disgrace
You so might save our race
And give us life.

3 You are the great High Priest;
You have prepared the feast
Of holy love;
And in our mortal pain
None calls on You in vain;
Our pleas do not disdain;
Help from above.

4 Forever be our guide,
Our shepherd and our pride,
Our staff and song.
Jesus, O Christ of God,
By your enduring Word,
Lead us where You have trod;
Make our faith strong.

5 So now, and till we die,
Sound we Your praises high
And joyful sing:
Infants, and all the throng,
Who to the Church belong,
Unite to swell the song
To Christ, our king!


Not sure who did the translation, Devious can simply mean indirect.

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