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.
We were around 20 in the chapel on the Lord's Day morning and that included three visitors so that felt more like old times. One was a lady from the subcontinent who has been to us in the past with her Bulgarian fiance. The other was an asylum seeker from East Africa. I preached on Christ's three fold office in the morning - part of the series on things to meditate on. It was a longer sermon but people listened well. Not sure of the numbers on Zoom. In the evening it was only on Zoom - looking at the call of Levi Matthew from Luke 5. Quite evangelistic We also had Andrew Murray speaking in the evening about the work of Hope West End.
We had a zoom midweek meeting as usual last Wednesday with a decent number and a good prayer meeting. We enjoyed looking at 1 Chronicles 20, which is fascinating both for what is included and what is excluded (ie David's adultery and murder).
There was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing to Wales on weeks 5 and 7 and so my latest formal day off has been this last week, on Tuesday 23rd. There was time to get a coffee and have a short walk and there was some TV in the evening. The main thing, however, was reading two short items. First a small book on the doctrine of humanity by David McKay and then the latest edition of John Newton's Diary, that of 1765, which also led to some blogging on my Beddome blog. I'll try and properly review David McKay's A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Humanity Created and Re–created again but I am very positive. In fact the whole series looks good. The edition of the diary was great too. (I have mentioned the 1764 edition somewhere before now I would think). By the way the Newton is A4 and around 20 pages, the McKay is a lot smaller and about 108 pages.
This is just a reminder that the book is still available. I had a lovely note from someone who has been using it, recently.
"Just wanted to drop you a note to say thank you for your little book ‘pastoral for pastors.’ ... it has been a real life saver. It has helped me refocus and regain perspective on the call to the ministry and its priorities.
It’s a really lovely and unique little book. ..."
I wish we could get it out to more pastors.
We had another excellent lecture in our lunch time series today on Zoom, It was most gratifying to see some 45 screens or so tuned in. The lecture was from Dr Robert Strivens on Stephen Charnock and his massive work on the Doctrine of the Nature and Attributes of God. It was a very helpful and stimulating survey and we are very thankful to Robert for his good services. This is the second lecture of the current series, the previous one being from Norman Hopkins on the missionary Alfred Saker. Audio copies can be obtained from the Library. We hope to reproduce a text version of today in the next In Writing. The third and final one of the series will be from myself on the fascinating Robert "Troublechurch" Browne on March 22. Do contact the Library nearer the date for the details of how to log on. Apologies to anyone not able to log on for today's one. PS The Library is currently closed.
PS The lecture is also available on DVD at £5 (There are slides, you don't have to look at Robert all the while!)
Sunday morning was a bit different. I have been doing this series on things to meditate on and one of the things is God's Works. I said something about water as an example and then I took four or five passages of Scripture where animals are mentioned and drew out lessons from this places - ie Job 38-40, Daniel and Jonah in their respective books, Proverbs 30 and Matthew 10:16. We were again around 12 in the chapel but many more listening in on Zoom. In the evening it was Zoom only when I preached on the next story in Luke 5 (verses 17-34). We also had a visit from Robin Asgher a former member, working in West London church planting and ministering in Detention Centres in the area. Amazing stuff going on. What needs. Great day.
- Dragon Throne of the Emperors of China
- Chrysanthemum Throne of the Emperors of Japan
- Phoenix Throne of the Kings of Korea
- Peacock Throne of the Mughal Empire
- Sun Throne of the Persian Empire
- Lion Throne of the Dalai Lama of Tibet
- Lion Throne of the Kings of Burma
- Tiger Throne of Tipu Sultan of the Sultanate-i-Khudadad
- Golden Throne of Bhutan
- Silver Throne of the Monarchs of Sweden
Midweek meeting was a little bit different this week in that we took a break from 1 Chronicles to look at Psalm 142 and allowed a little longer for chatting before we prayed. Numbers were a little down perhaps but we had a good time of prayer. The next evening I met with the other two church officers (again on Zoom) in preparation for a members meeting next Thursday.
Way behind here but last Lord's Day we had a surprisingly good number (for these times) in the chapel, just creeping into double figures, despite some regulars being absent. I decided to do a one off from Matthew 6 - Eight reasons not to worry. I had been thinking it through for someone I know and thought we could all benefit at this time. I managed to come up with eight Ps that should remind you of the salient points with some facility. In the evening, it was zoom only, carrying on in Luke with Luke 5:12-16. We also had a virtual visit from our friend Andrzej Kempcinski in Legionowo, Poland, which was good.