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.

Erroll Hulse and Peter Jeffery

The funerals have taken place already this week of two men of God, Erroll Hulse and Peter Jeffery. Erroll was born in South Africa in 1931 and Peter in South Wales in 1937. Both were pastors, both served in various churches over the years and both had extensive ministries when those pastorates came to an end. Both were authors too. Erroll's books and booklets are in double figures, Peter's number more than fifty. Both had international ministries and were great encouragers to many men. Erroll I knew best through the Cary Conference and more recently since being involved in organising the Westminster Conference. Apparently, underneath the memorial to John Wesley in Westminster Abbey it says "God buries his workmen but carries on his work." Quite right. As we read in Hebrews 13:7, 8 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 
You can find responses to these deaths here (Erroll Hulse) and here (Peter Jeffery).

A Little Bit ...

I just love pop music. It's so infectious.

Daniel Rowland's Nose

Being in Llangeitho recently and seeing the statue of Daniel Rowland reminded me of an incident from the year 1981. That summer I worked in the Christian Bookshop in Aberystwyth, then located near the station. That summer the Banner of Truth had reproduced a memoir of Rowland by a vicar called John Owen. We put the magazine with a line drawing of Rowland on the cover in the window. One day two elderly farm women, in from the countryside, came in. They wanted a copy of the magazine they said. The talkative one revealed that the other one was a descendant of Rowland. "You can tell" she said "by the nose. She's got the same nose." When I looked, there it was - Daniel Rowland's nose right in the middle of this poor woman's face!

Luther and the 9.5 Theses

This review for another little book recently appeared in Evangelical Times
Luther and the 9.5 Theses
by Kenneth Brownell
July 2017
Publisher: 10 Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-91127-236-6 
Pages: 104
Price: 4.99

Unless you have been hiding in a monastery, you will know that this year is the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. A plethora of publications have appeared, drawing attention to this fact at various levels and from different points of view. This title comes from Dr Brownell, who has been pastor of East London Tabernacle for over 30 years.
This little book is one of the shorter contributions. It should not be sneered at, however, as in brief and accurate compass it not only gives you the essential story of Martin Luther and his 95 theses but places before us 10 theses for today. These follow careful reflection on the original historical debate, but also speak powerfully to today’s world.
To take one example, the third modern thesis is that ‘Unbiblical doctrines and practices in churches contradict or undermine the gospel and need to be challenged, repudiated and discarded if Reformational Christianity is to flourish’.
Brownell chases down some obvious culprits, such as liberalism, Romanism and the prosperity gospel. He also highlights two areas closer to home, namely pastoral care that is little more than pop psychology, and public worship that does not exalt the Triune God or build up God’s people before a watching world.
On page 62, the author refers to Luther as one who could write learned treatises as well as simple books. Dr Brownell is blessed with the same gift and this present volume is evidence of it. Like Luther’s own work, it is theologically informed writing that not only engages the mind but the will and the emotions also.
Like Luther’s Sermon on indulgences and grace, which was reprinted 24 times between 1518 and 1520, this book is designed for mass distribution. Let’s hope it gets it.

Crazy Lazy

We live in the age of the little book. Back in 2014 this one was published. I'd not seen it but enjoyed reading it recently. I guess itis from a sermon and in some ways a balance to Kevin DeYoung's Crazy Busy. Both books are worth a read. One mistake in the transcription is the appearance of the phrase "its dreadful, ravishing impact" on page 29, which should surely read "its dreadful, ravaging impact".

Lord's Day August 20 2017

We were in Alfred Place, Aber, again yesterday, as planned. Originally, one of the elders was to have preached in the morning and Rhodri in the evening but the elder was not well so Rhodri preached, am, and I stood in, pm. Rhodri preached very well on Romans 6:11. It was a delight to be there. In the evening I decided to go for Hebrews 13:8. I had preached that text at the beginning of the year in Childs Hill and was able to adapt it for yeseterday evening. I recalled a story from A W Pink's The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross worth repeating, which I did.

“It is finished.” Do you really believe it? Or, are you endeavouring to add something of your own to it and thus merit the favour of God?
Some years ago a Christian farmer was deeply concerned over an unsaved carpenter. The farmer sought to set before his neighbour the gospel of God’s grace, and to explain how that the finished work of Christ was sufficient for his soul to rest upon. But the carpenter persisted in the belief that he must do something himself. One day the farmer asked the carpenter to make for him a gate, and when the gate was ready he carried it away to his wagon. He arranged for the carpenter to call on him the next morning and see the gate as it hung in the field. At the appointed hour the carpenter arrived and was surprised to find the farmer standing by with a sharp axe in his hand. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “I am going to add a few cuts and strokes to your work,” was the response. “But there is no need for it,” replied the carpenter, “the gate is all right as it is. I did all that was necessary to it.” The farmer took no notice, but lifting his axe he slashed and hacked at the gate until it was completely spoiled. “Look what you have done!” cried the carpenter. “You have ruined my work! ” “Yes,” said the farmer, “and that is exactly what you are trying to do. You are seeking to nullify the finished work of Christ by your own miserable additions to it!” God used this forceful object lesson to show the carpenter his mistake, and he was led to cast himself by faith upon what Christ had done for sinners. Reader, will you do the same?

Nice to meet friends old and new, including family members.

Ein Ffrind Newydd Alffi

Here are one of my sons and grandsons with our new 11 week old dog Alffi. He's a Cavachon.

10 Dyslexic Welsh Words

Because Welsh has a different orthography to English, at first blush a Welsh word may seem to be misspelled, though it is not. Here are 10 examples.

1 Beibl (ie Bible)
2 Teigr (ie Tiger)
3 Pensil
4 Papur
5 Caffi
6 Sinema
7 Theatr
8 Pasport
9 Blows (ie Blouse)
10 Sgert (ie Skirt)

J Mack J Akkerman

FYE (for your enjoyment)

Aber 2017 Fourth Evening Fourth Morning & Final Evening

Aber 2017 Seminar on Williams Pantycelyn

The only non plenary session I have attended in this last week in Aber is an excellent paper on Wales's greatest hymn writer William Williams, given by local man Gwyn Davies. Gwyn is an indidividual and this was a highly interactive lecture that was designed chiefly to draw attention to Pantycelyn and his wonderful hymns and other writings, that have been translated into English (ie The experience meeting and parts of Theomemphus). The lecture included a little moan about the modest three piece combo employed in the main meetings here. I don't think any Pantycelyn hymns have been sung in the main sessions this week.
The seminar is accessible onYouTube here.
Here is a less familiar translation of one of his Welsh hymns (best known in Bobi Jones' version In Eden sad indeed that day). I've had a go myself too.

Can I forget bright Eden’s grace,

My beauteous crown and princely place,
All lost, all lost to me?
Long as I live I’ll praise and sing
My wondrous all-restoring King,
Victor of Calvary.

Lo! Faith, behold the place, the tree
Wheron the Prince of Heaven, for me,
All innocent, was nailed;
One here has crushed the dragon’s might;
Two fell, but One has won the fight;
Christ Jesus has prevailed.

In Eden, this I'll long review - 
The blessings lost, more than the dew,
How my good crown fell too.
But victory on Calvary
Back again to him has won me - 
I'll sing while life I see.

On Calvary, as heat strength drains,
Our great High Priest he feels death's pains,
And blood flows from his veins;
Righteousness mine, there is no fee;
The books of heaven are cleared we see,
With no demand on me.

(Yn Eden, cofiaf hynny byth,
Bendithion gollais rîf y gwlith,
Syrthiodd fy nghoron wiw;
Ond buddugoliaeth Calfari
Enillodd hon yn ôl imi,
Mi ganaf tra fwyf byw.

Ar Galfarî, yng gwres y dydd,
Y caed y gwystl mawr yn rhydd,
Trwy golli gwaed yn lli';
Does dim heb dalu, rhoddwyd iawn
Nes clirio llyfrau'r nef yn llawn
Heb ofyn dim i mi.)

Aber 2017 Third Morning

Good stuff from Art again. (I'm glad someone told him how to pronounce Bore da - it was getting embarrassing).

New Banner Book

I have placed a similar blogpost to this on my John Elias and John Hurrion blogs (see here and here) saying that Banner of Truth have just republished John Hurrion's book on Particular Redemption. It includes a preface written by John Elias for the Welsh language edition that John Aaron has translated into English. You can see the original here.


Yesterday (Wednesday) a friend here in Aber (Mike Iliff) kindly took a myself and another minister friend (Peter McKenzie) down to Llangeitho. It's only about 20 miles away but for some reason I had never been.
The main thing to see is the statue of Daniel Rowland outside the present CM Chapel. Some few things inside the chapel go back to Rowland's time too (the flagstones on the way in and a communion cup). He began ministering in the Parish Church which we also saw. That is where he is buried and there is also a pulpit there he is believed to have preached from.
The other thing to see these days is a slate plaque outside the caffi, which notes that this is where Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones lived 1904-1914 (as reported on this blog some time ago).
It was a very nice afternoon out and a reminder of the greatness and providence of God. I can recommend the bacon bap at the caffi, very nice.
The 19th century was dne by Edward Griffith. Below it are these words

Daniel Rowland ganwyd 1713 bu farw 1790
O nefoedd! nefoedd! nefoedd! Buasai dy gonglau yn ddigon gwag on i buasai fod sion yn magu plant i ti ar y ddaear!


Daniel Rowland Born 1713 Died 1790
Oh Heaven! Heaven! Heaven! Thy corners would be sufficiently empty were it not that Zion is nursing for thee children upon the earth.

O nefoedd! nefoedd! nefoedd! was apparently a saying of Rowland.

Aber 2017 Second Morning and Third Evening (Wednesday)

Aber continues with our main speakers, Art Azurdia and Hector Morrison. They are easier to listen to as you get used to their very different styles. Hector Morrison was perhaps a little long but what a subject - the Father's discipline of his children. The full sevices are avaialbe on Youtube again.