The similar phrase 'Worldly Christianity' is one used by Bonhoeffer. 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 Examples of claims of unfitness for office

I think I've spotted a new trend. You no longer say a person is not any good at their job, you say, rather, that they are not fit to be doing it. It's a stronger statement but I wonder if it really helps. Here are ten real (though not very well doccumented examples).

1. We have long known Donald Trump is unfit for office. (Daily Mirror)
2. SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said Theresa May is “not fit for office” due to her conduct throughout the Brexit process. (Press and Journal)
3. The leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn says Boris Johnson is not fit for the office of prime minister and thinks he is above the law. (BBC) "If he can't stand the scrutiny of his peers then he is not fit for office." .
4. Tom Watson. Sir Richard Henriques "By misusing his public office to recklessly repeat false allegations, and to characterise himself as a victim, he has shown that he is unfit to hold the office of MP." (The Times)
5. Trevor Kavanagh "The fact is Corbyn was never fit to be PM, even before he entered Parliament half a century ago as a Che Guevara lookalike. Indeed, he is unfit for office of any kind, not because of failing memory, a saggy eye muscle or a rumoured mini-stroke. He is unsuited because he regards all Britain’s enemies as his friends and prizes the IRA, Hamas and even Putin’s Kremlin above the interests of the country he aspires to lead."
6. "Remove John Bercow speaker of The House of Commons. He's not impartial & unfit for office" Online petition.
7. The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has proved himself to be ‘unprincipled and unfit to hold one of the great offices of state’ after turning the UK’s back on opposing the death penalty, according to the lawyer. Ben Emmerson QC.
8. Priti Patel is not only not fit to be Tory Leader, she is not fit to be trusted with any kind of ministerial office. She is unfit to serve and should be removed from Parliament. Found on a blog by a man from Crewe.
9/10. A vicar who says his disclosures about being sexually abused as a teenager were ignored by senior clerics has told an inquiry the archbishops of Canterbury and York are not "fit for office".

10 Republics of various sorts

1. Plato's Republic - Socratic dialogue by Plato (c 380 BC) about justice, the order and character of the just city-state and the just man.
2. Dominican Republic - Country in the Caribbean
3. Banana Republic - Fashion chain owned by Gap.
Also used to refer to describes a politically unstable country with an economy dependent on the exportation of a limited-resource product, such as bananas or minerals. In 1901, American author O. Henry coined the term to describe Honduras and its neighbours under economic exploitation by US corporations, such as the United Fruit Company
4. Coffee Republic - Coffee chain
5. OneRepublic - American pop rock band formed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2002
6. Constitutional Republic - a form of indirect democracy where the represenatives are elected and the rules set down in a written constitution. It is often simply called a "republic". The head of state and other representatives are elected. They do not have uncontrolled power.
7. People's Republic - a title used by some sovereign states with republican constitutions. The term was initially associated with populist movements in the 19th century (ege German Völkisch movement and Narodniks in Russia). A number of the short-lived states created during WWI and its aftermath called themselves people's republics. Many of these were in the territory of the former Russian Empire which collapsed following the Russian Revolution. 1917. Additional people's republics were created following the Allied victory in WWII. The term has become associated with countries adhering to Marxism–Leninism, although its use is not unique to such states.
8. Pizza Republic - Pizza chain
9. Weimar Republic - Germany's government 1919-1933, the period after WWI until the rise of Nazi Germany. It was named after the town where Germany's new government was formed by a national assembly after Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated.
10. Urban Republic - Clothing chain

Lord's Day October 13 2019

A good day last Lord's Day as we carried on with Acts and Matthew 27. In the morning it was Paul before Felix and a good opportunity to cover some Christian basics. In the evning it was again basic, looking at the words of the mockers at the cross. We had tea together before th evening meeting. That was well attended and a lovely time. One or two visitors and various ones away as ever.

Another induction

Another Saturday, another induction. This one was nearer home - in Hemel Hempstead, at the Congregational Church in Alexander Rad where John Marshall ministered at one time. The new minister is Chris Bennett who was at Wilton Community Church. The chairman was Gwynne Evans of Hayes and the sermons was given by Jeremy Marshall. There was a good turn out (over a hundred) in their beautifully redesigned church building which now has the preaching point on the longer wall and chairs have replaced pews. The entrance way has also been remodelled and other improvements made. Great to meet with various ones and chat over tea. It has been some time since the church had a pastor and it is good that they now have one. Chris sounds like a good fit.

10 ipper words

1. Dipper as in on the Big Dipper
2. Whipper as in whipper snapper
3. Ripper as in Jack the Ripper
4. Nipper as in our nipper likes to tease
5. Flipper as in Flipper the dolphin
6. Tipper as in she's a good tipper or that tipper truck is full
7. Kipper as in that kipper taste nice at breakfast and all too day
8. Quipper as in he's a fast and funny quipper
9. Slipper as in he hit me with his slipper
10. Zipper as in zip that zipper up

Midweek Meeting October 9 2019

Bit behind here. Eleven of us were there Wednesday as we looked at the final section in Haggai 1. Good interaction for once (I learned a lot). The fear of God and his "withness" are great themes. This is where things get going in Haggai. Oh for such a  revival today. Good prayer time too with most praying. 

Pixar Onward Official Trailer

Interesting to see this, especially from around 1'09" where a favourite piece of music kicks in

Day Off Week 40

Managed my 10,000 steps today but not much else done last Tuesday. Caffe Nero really is much better than its rivals. Dabbled in different books, did some blogging and watched the last David Gorman and the current University Challenge. Tried going to Keats House in Hampstead but it is not open Mondays and Tuesdays. Had a little look in the Library and bought two books (William Styron on depression Darkness Visible and a book of Jane Austen quotes). Went to Brent Cross and bought a new wallet. In the evening we watched the final episode of The capture. Not a patch on the five preceding episodes.

10 Moon words

1. Moonshine - originally a slang term for high-proof distilled spirits usually produced illicitly, without government authorisation.
2. Moonstruck - unable to think or act normally, especially as a result of being in love.
3. Mooncalf - a foolish person
4. Moonbeam - a ray of moonlight
5. Moon blindness - a recurrent inflammation of the eye of the horse, also called periodic ophthalmia
6. Moonmilk - a white, creamy substance found inside limestone caves. It is a precipitate from limestone comprising aggregates of fine crystals of varying composition usually made of carbonates such as calcite, aragonite, hydromagnesite and/or monohydrocalcite.
7. Moon knife - a crescent-shaped knife with a handle across the center used in leather finishing
8. Moon letter - an Arabic consonant to which the l of a preceding definite article al is not assimilated in pronunciation
9. Moon buggy - Lunar roving behicle as used in the Apollo mission
10. Mooncake - A rich thick filling usually made from red bean or lotus seed paste surrounded by a thin, (2 or 3 mm) crust. It can contain yolks from salted duck eggs. They are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by tea.

(Inspired by my 10 last August on Sun words. See here.)

Downton Abbey

Monday was a full day with Westminster Fellowship followed by an Evangelical Library. After that though my good wife picked me up and we went to see the film version 
Downton Abbey.
We have left a bit late so we were in a smaller room in our local Vue than I would have wished but the film's own merits soon overcame any distractions.
We could have done without the homosexual story strand (why did Julian not go for something about racism we would have preferred that - maybe). The film does try to take it self seriously with observations on the decline of England's stately homes but its great strength is its gentle humour. It is very well written and exploits the potentialities of the old English class system to the full. This time Molesely (Kevin Doyle) even outshone Lady Grantham (Maggie Smith) for humour. They feasibly managed to get Mr Carson (Jim Carson) back (and found a part for his real life wife) but couldn't find anything for Bates to do in such a crowded cast.
Do seek it out,

Westminster Fellowship Pastoralia

We had a very good couple of sessions on Monday with Bill James, Principal of the London Seminary, on pastoral care and counselling. Bill spoke about our goal as pastors and the means to it in very helpful terms. About twenty of us were there and we had a good time discussing. The Westminster Fellowship meets in Westminster Baptist Church on the first Monday of most months October-July. The above picture is of what was happening a hundred or so yards from the venue. This was the means of blocking access to Vauxhall Bridge from one side. I have highlighted the fact that several of these protesters were from Aberystwyth where this is very much a  live issue.

10 puns for remembering Welsh words

1. Crud - From his cradle, he was taught the creed
2. Crys - My shirt has a crease
3. Byd - The world is round like a bead
4. Caws - Cheese is made from the milk of cows
5. Duw - In all things give God his due
6. Ffordd - He came along the road driving a Ford(d)
7. Dim - He knows nothing; he's rather dim
8. Wedyn - The barn dance was afterwards - later the barn dance but first the weddin'
9. Ateb - Question: When do I look for shells on the beach? Answer: When the tide is at ebb 
10. Bedd - Teach me to live, that I may dread the grave as little as my bed

Lord's Day October 6 2019

Last Lord's Day began with one of those unlooked for moments when technology let me down, I write my sermons on my laptop and then transfer them to my kindle. That failed for some reason and so I was forced to lug tthe laptop to church. It is not a large machine but if I put it on the pulpit lectern it can be seen. Typically, when I was ready to start it had turned itself off and when I wanted to input my password, caps lock was on and wouldn't budge necessitating a slight delay. Anyway. we got through it not too distracted. I had chosen last Sunday as harvest  - that is when we sing the harvest hymns and I preach a suitable message - this time on Revelation 14. Before the service it was communion (I again used some useful notes from J C Ryle) and in the evening I preached on the cross from Matthew 27:32-38. It was good to see some missing people back in the morning but some are still astray. It is beginning to become clear who might come to us from the seminary.

Induction at Emmanuel Cardiff

We were so glad to be with the folk in Emmanuel, Gabalfa in Cardiff last Saturday. This is the church where my sister-in-law and her family and two of my sons are members. Fflur's husband Glyn Ellis is an elder there and Dylan is one of the ministers in training. They have been without a pastor for some time but have recently called Paul Whitely, previously at Penyrheol in Gorseinon, Saturday was his induction. Paul and his wife Lynsey are from Swansea. They have three kids. The meeting was chaired by Peter Milsom. The preacher was Steffan Jones from Pontardawe who preached to Paul and the congregation, helpfully, on Philip the evangelist. A lovely tea followed. Nice to meet Geoff Gobbett, Meirion Thomas, Dave Lewis, family members et al. There must have been 15 or more ministers present. The trip home was very straightforward, which we appreciated. We wish the church well.

10 Parodies of the Abbey Road LP cover

There's been some fuss recently about the Beatles album Abbey Road, now 50 years old. The cover has become iconic and day after day people flock to the zebra crossing to re-enact that moment. You can see it for yourself here on this webcam site. For further parodies see here

1. Snoopy characters
2. Disney characters
3. Simpson characers
4./Dr Who, asistant and daleks
5. Fantastic 4
6. Volkswagen Beetles
7. Sesame Street charcaters
8. Teletubbies characters
9. Ministry of silly walks
10. Star Trek characters

There is another zebra crossing further up Abbet Road. I used to have achuurch member who lived near it and would take a perverse delight in seeing fans taking photographs at the wrong one.

Midweek meeting October 2 2019

Nine of us gathered last Wednesday for the midweek meeting. We carried on with the next bit in Haggai (1:5-11). That was nice and brief and so we had plenty of time for gathering prayer material (always plenty of that around) and then praying for a good little while. Six of us took turns to lead in prayer. I wish we'd all prayed.

Day off Week 39 2019

This week's day off was quite similar to last week's. I wanted to make it different as it is easy to get stale but there we are. I read a chunk of Kevin DeYoung's book on the Synod of Dort Grace defined and defended and one or two stories from a collection called Capital Crimes. The former is beautifully produced - hard back with a lovely dust wrapper. Both books were good contnewise but in different ways. I also watched the latest Dave Gorman and then when Eleri came home we caught up on our TV (Sanditon, The Capture, A Confession). 

10 Dairy Alternative Milks

1. Soya
2. Almond
3. Oat
4. Hemp
5. Flax
6. Cashew
7. Peanut
8. Coconut
9. Pea
10. Rice

Lord's Day September 30 2019

It was pretty much the usual mix of regulars, visitors and missing people on Sunday. There was a visitor who I do not think had been in a church like ours in a long time so I hope he got on okay. I preached the next part of Acts in the morning and from Matthew 27 in the evening on the soldiers mocking Jesus. Wonderful hymns again. The morning passage had not mention of Christ so I began with this quote from Spurgeon, which I hope helped.

“I believe that those sermons which are fullest of Christ are the most likely to be blessed to the conversion of the hearers. Let your sermons be full of Christ, from beginning to end crammed full of the gospel. As for myself, brethren, I cannot preach anything else but Christ and His cross, for I know nothing else, and long ago, like the apostle Paul, I determined not to know anything else save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. People have often asked me, “What is the secret of your success?” I always answer that I have no other secret but this, that I have preached the gospel,—not about the gospel, but the gospel,—the full, free, glorious gospel of the living Christ who is the incarnation of the good news. Preach Jesus Christ, brethren, always and everywhere; and every time you preach be sure to have much of Jesus Christ in the sermon. You remember the story of the old minister who heard a sermon by a young man, and when he was asked by the preacher what he thought of it he was rather slow to answer, but at last he said, “If I must tell you, I did not like it at all; there was no Christ in your sermon.” “No,” answered the young man, “because I did not see that Christ was in the text.” “Oh!” said the old minister, “but do you not know that from every little town and village and tiny hamlet in England there is a road leading to London? Whenever I get hold of a text, I say to myself, ‘There is a road from here to Jesus Christ, and I mean to keep on His track till I get to Him.'” “Well,” said the young man, “but suppose you are preaching from a text that says nothing about Christ?” “Then I will go over hedge and ditch but what I will get at Him.” So must we do, brethren; we must have Christ in all our discourses, whatever else is in or not in them. There ought to be enough of the gospel in every sermon to save a soul. Take care that it is so when you are called to preach before Her Majesty the Queen, and if you have to preach to charwomen or chairmen, still always take care that there is the real gospel in every sermon.”

C H Spurgeon, The Soul Winner