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.

Norah Jones - Humble Me (w/ lyrics)

Just love this

Nicholas Saunderson

I came across this name in recent reading
Nicholas Saunderson LLD FRS (1682 – 1739) was a blind English scientist and mathematician. He may have been the earliest discoverer of Bayes theorem. He worked as Lucasian Professor, a post also held by Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage and Stephen Hawking.
Saunderson was born at Thurlstone, Yorkshire, in January 1682. When about a year old he lost his sight through smallpox; but this did not prevent him from acquiring a knowledge of Latin and Greek, and studying mathematics. As a child, he is also thought to have learnt to read by tracing the engravings on tombstones around St John the Baptist Church in Penistone with his fingers. His early education was at Penistone Grammar School, and he was introduced to Cambridge via meetings with the local gentry at Underbank Hall, near Penistone. In 1707, he arrived in Cambridge, staying with his friend Joshua Dunn, a fellow-commoner at Christ's College. During this time, he resided in Christ's but was not admitted to the University. With the permission of the Lucasian professor, William Whiston, Saunderson was allowed to teach, lecturing on mathematics, astronomy and optics. Whiston was expelled from his chair on 30 October 1710; at the appeal of the heads of colleges, Queen Anne awarded him an MA on 19 November 1711 so that he would be eligible to succeed Whiston as Lucasian professor. He was chosen as the fourth Lucasian professor the next day, defeating the Trinity College candidate Christopher Hussey, backed by Richard Bentley, when the electors split 6 to 4 in his favour. On 6 November 1718 Saunderson was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. He was resident at Christ's until 1723 when he married and took a house in Cambridge. He was created doctor of laws in 1728 by command of George II. He died of scurvy, on 19 April 1739 and was buried in the chancel of the parish church at Boxworth near Cambridge. He possessed the friendship of leading mathematicians of the time: Newton, Halley, etc. His senses of hearing and touch were acute, and he could carry out mentally long and intricate mathematical calculations. He devised a calculating machine or abacus, by which he could perform arithmetical and algebraic operations by the sense of touch; it was known as his "palpable arithmetic", and was described in his Elements of Algebra. Of his other writings, prepared for the use of his pupils, the only one which has been published is The Method of Fluxions. At the end of this treatise there is given, in Latin, an explanation of the principal propositions of Sir Isaac Newton's philosophy. 

Midweek Meeting January 16 2018


Ten of us gathered on Wednesday (six men, four women) as we regularly do. It was a bit different in that someone else led tough I was present. This was because I had mistakenly booked two people to lead last week when I was away at Carey and it seemed a shame to waste that preparation. He used the study on Psalm 27 in Soul Songs by Tim Chester (see here) to lead an interactive Bible study in which all but one took part (their hearing is not too good). It was a useful and encouraging study but as is perhaps typical of such Bible studies it was a bit me centred and didn't really bring out Christ as is not difficult to do with that psalm once you ask how Christ may have used it. I led the prayer time. We prayed especially for former member now in ministry and other matters.

10 more Portmanteau words

  1. Internet (international/network) A global system of interconnected computer networks. 
  2. Malware (malicious/software): Computer programs that are designed to damage or disable computer systems
  3. Meld (melt/weld): Blend/combine
  4. Modem (modulation/demodulation): An electronic device that makes possible the transmission of data to or from a computer via telephone or other communication lines
  5. Motel (motor/hotel): Overnight accommodation designed for motorists
  6. Motorcade (motor/cavalcade): A procession of motor vehicles
  7. Oxbridge (Oxford/Cambridge): An inclusive term that is used to describe both Oxford and Cambridge universities
  8. Smog (smoke + fog): A form of air pollution that has the qualities of both smoke and fog
  9. Spork (spoon/fork): A hybrid form of cutlery
  10. Workaholic (work/alcoholic): An individual who works excessive hours. Cf chocoholic (chocolate + alcoholic): Someone who eats excessive amounts of chocolate

10 Portmanteau words



A portmanteau is literally a bag for carrying (porter) a coat (manteau). The term was first used by Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass:
“Well, ‘slithy’ means “lithe and slimy” and ‘mimsy’ is “flimsy and miserable”. You see it’s like a portmanteau - there are two meanings packed up into one word.” Sometimes we get so used to these words we no longer see them as blends (eg breathalyser - breath and analyser)

  1. Bionic (biology/electronic): Artificial body parts that have been enhanced by technology
  2. Bodacious (bold/audacious): Insolent or unrestrained, extraordinary or impressively large
  3. Chortle (chuckle/snort): Laugh in a breathy, gleeful way.
  4. Cyborg (cybernetic/organism): A human or fictional entity whose physiological functioning is enhanced by mechanical elements.
  5. Dumbfound (dumb/confound): Greatly astonish or amaze.
  6. Edutainment (education/entertainment): Games or other forms of entertainment that have an educational aspect
  7. Electrocution (electricity/execution): Death by electricity
  8. Flare (flame/glare): A sudden brief burst of bright flame or light
  9. Ginormous (giant/enormous): Large, huge. glamping (glamour/camping): Luxury camping
  10. Glitz (glamour/Ritz): Extravagant yet superficial

Word of mouth episode


A recent episode of Radio 4's Word of mouth with Michael Rosen featured Elis James talking about the Welsh language. See here.

Cassettes for the Charity Shop

I took these three cassettes to the Charity Shop recently. The first is a souped up version of Frank Ifield's She taught me to yodel, an old favourite; then there's After the break by Planxty which I now have on itunes; the third is a bouzouki album I bought in Cyprus years ago. I think this is it here. Cassette technology - really missed said no-one.

Throwback Thursday


I read - Throwback Thursday is a popular internet trend used among social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Users will often post nostalgic pictures of their past accompanied by the hashtag #TBT or ThrowbackThursday. This shot is from c 2002. I think this is my second son's first broken arm (two of other managed it too but only Dylan broke both arms - at different times).

Two new online resources for Reformed Baptists and others


The archive for the now defunct Grace Magazine (which I edited c December 1995-March 2001) is now available online in digital form (January 1981-December 2014) on the sbhs website. The search facility does not seem to be available for finding issues but once into an edition it can be searched throughly. The website is here.
Meanwhile, over at the Reformation Today website all the editions from 1970-1987 are available in digital format (issues 1-100). There appears to be no search facility. The websire is here.

A nice postcard


A friend in Germany sent me the above postcard at the end of last year. He had been in Switzerland and had found my commentayr on Proverbs among some other purchases. The book has a new cover these days and is in its second edition. I believe EP are committed to keeping the Welwyn seriees in print. it's good to be found in the company of Ryle, Spring, etc. Thanks Stefan.

10 Legal doublets


Many standardised phrases are used in English legalise. They consist of two (sometimes more) words that are near synonyms. The origin of the doubling - and sometimes even tripling - often lies in the transition from use of one language for legal purposes to use of another for the same purposes, (eg Germanic([Anglo-]Saxon or Old English) to Romance Latin or Law French or, within the Romance subfamily, from Latin to French). To ensure understanding, words of Germanic origin were often paired with words having equivalent or near-equivalent meanings in Latin (reflecting the interactions between Germanic and Roman law following the decline of the Roman Empire or later, Law French (reflecting the influence of the Norman Conquest), and words of Latin origin were often paired with their Law French cognates or outright descendants.

1. Aid and abet
2. All and sundry
3. Care and attention
4. Cease and desist
5. Fit and proper
6. Goods and chattels
7. Have and hold
8. Let or hindrance
9. Null and void
10. Will and testament

SIX THOUSAND

That last post was my six thousandth on this blog (this is 6001)
I began blogging here in November 2006.

Thanksgiving service for the life of Megan Franklin


Eleri and I have just returned from the packed thanksgiving service in East London Tabernacle for Megan Franklin who has recently and suddenly died. We did not know Megan personally but I know Brad and he has spoken for us here. One could not meet a more friendly man. We pray for Brad and their seven children and for St Giles Christian Mission in the months to come. The service was live streamed and can be seen at present here on Youtube. (The eulogy begins around an hour and five and the sermon on John 11 from Mike Gilbart-Smith at one hour and 19) It was good to spend time speaking with some of the hundreds present. The tone was rightly serious but hopeful.

Lord's Day January 13 2019

I preached from texts again this week as it is generally easier to prepare from a text than a passage. With these two (John 20:30, 31; Hebrews 2:14,15) I have now preached 83 of the one hundred texts recommended to workers by T C Hammond. (See here). As last week, I found the morning sermon went better than the evening one. This time I think I put in equal effort. It genuinekly was  aharder text to tackle I guess. We had lunch today as well, which was very nice. One of our members was celebrating her eightieth so we sang happy birthday to her. One or two friends and family joined her so it was nice to ahve them around and there were one or two other visitors. Once again there were people missing - some expected some I don't know. We sang some great hymns, including an 11th century one I found by Fulbert of Chartres

1 You choirs of new Jerusalem,
your sweetest notes employ
the Paschal victory to hymn
in songs of holy joy!

2 For Judah's Lion burst his chains,
and crushed the serpent's head;
he cries aloud through death's domains
to wake the imprisoned dead.

3 Devouring depths of hell their prey
at his command restore;
his ransomed hosts pursue their way
where Jesus goes before.

4 Triumphant in his glory now -
to him all power is given;
to him in one communion bow
all saints in earth and heaven.

5 All glory to the Father be,
the Spirit and the Son:
all glory to the One-in-Three
while endless ages run.

Carey Conference 2019 Day 3


There were just two sessions on the final day of the conference. Firstly, Dr Letham gave his third and final paper on the Trinity. This time on The Trinity, redemption, and worship. Neither of these second papers quite lived up to the first, I fear. This may simply be because we had half an hour extra for that first session and so plenty of time for discussion. It was all very good, however, and worth hunting down in recorded form. The same ay be said of his book on the Trinity which is being revised and reprinted soon, and perhaps of the forthcoming 800 page Systematic Theology that Crossway are producing this year.
The final paper was from Jonathan Bayes on the subject of Zeal for God's glory. This took us through the many passages that deal with God's glory with the hope that it would stir us up to zeal. Perhaps this was not the best way to do that and if we had stuck with one epitomising text it may have been easier. The final day of a conference is never easy as people are tired and already in danger of overload.
Highlights remain then the first on the Trinity, the message on holiness and the paper on Dort. We plan to meet again January 7-9, 2020. Once again the format and those present have been refreshing. A big thank you to organisers and speakers.