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.

"Funny old world"

These two bizarre stories highlighted in Private Eye this week struck me as rather sad and all too true to life.
'My Way' deaths lead karaoke bars in Philippines to ban song
Frank Sinatra's "My Way" has been banned from many bars across the Philippines after at least six people were killed in the last decade while performing karaoke renditions of the song.
The so-called "My Way killings" have led to many bars in the karaoke-obsessed country removing the song from their playlists amid fears of violence.
Bar owners believe the number of deaths could be fuelled by what some perceive as "arrogance" in the lyrics of the song.
It is one of the most popular karaoke tunes in the Philippines which also has a more than one million illegally carried guns.
Most of the killings are reported to have happened after the singer sang out of tune and crowds jeered.
In one fatal case Romy Baligula, 29, was shot dead in the city of San Mateoin in 2007. He was halfway through My Way when a security guard shouted that he was out of tune. He carried on regardless and the guard shot him in the chest with a revolver.
Karaoke killings have been recorded elsewhere in Asia. In Thailand two years ago a man shot dead eight of his neighbours after becoming enraged when they repeatedly sang John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads.
In 2008 Abdul Sani Doli hogged the microphone for so long in Sandakan, Borneo that listeners stabbed him to death.
Rodolfo Gregorio, 63, a karaoke singer in the Philippine city of General Santos, said: "The trouble with My Way is that everyone knows it and everyone has an opinion. You can get killed."

Kenya: Thousands pray for pastors to rise from dead
The faithful of a church sect in western Kenya are refusing to bury two pastors killed a week ago in a road accident, hoping they will rise from the dead like Jesus.
Patrick Wanjohi and Francis Kamau Ndekei, of the Kingdom Seekers Fellowship, died on February 15, but overseer and self-styled apostle John Kimani said they were “just sleeping, they are not dead”.
“We are not going to bury them, because they have not completed their mission here on Earth. We need them back because without them the church will collapse,” he said.
Kimani had promised the faithful that “the two pastors would resurrect” on Saturday. Thousands braved torrential rain but nothing happened.
Now hundreds continue to pray round the clock for the miracle to happen.
Apparently the decision was eventually taken to bury the pastors.
There is a youtube video on this latter story here.
What a need for sober and faithful Bible teaching there is.

10 Varying film titles

1. The fourth Die Hard movie is known as Live Free or Die Hard in the US, but as Die Hard 4.0 in the UK (as UK citizens will never have heard of the phrase “live free or die”).
2. The movie known as The 51st State in the UK is known as Formula 51 in the US, partially because the latter sounds more dynamic.
3. In the UK, the comedy Harold and Kumar go to White Castle was renamed Harold and Kumar Get the Munchies, as Brits would be unlikely to know of the association White Castle has to an American audience. (It's a chain of fast food restaurants that specialize in bite-size, cheaply made hamburgers).
4. Presumably because baseball terminology doesn't make sense to most non-American audiences, the '90s Angels in the Outfield remake was renamed simply Angels in the UK.
5. The Japanese name for Napoleon Dynamite is Bus Man, which doesn't make too much sense. It's probably a reference to another film
Train Man.
6. The Edith Piaf biopic La Môme was re-titled La Vie En Rose in English-speaking markets: Piaf was known as "La Môme" ("the kid"), but only in France, so outside France the film was named for her famous song.
7. The first film in the Rambo series First Blood is known simply as Rambo in Japan, or rather Ranbo - Japanese for "violence".
8. When producers in America got the rights to the sequel film Godzilla Raids Again they renamed it Gigantis The Fire Monster (and referred to Godzilla as "Gigantis" within the English dub of the film itself) because they thought that audiences wanted to see a different monster than Godzilla.
9. Danny the dog was released with that title in France and Hong Kong, but renamed to Unleashed for the US, UK and Australia, probably due to the likelihood that the local audiences in those countries would not only mistake the original title for that of a kids film but also wouldn't take it seriously as the title of an action film.
10. The French-British CGI film The Magic Roundabout was redubbed and retitled Doogal in the US


Often if I'm ill I think of that saying
Feed a cold, starve a fever
The trouble with it is that it is not clear what is being said. Is it two separate pieces of advice - eat if you have a cold, starve yourself if you have a fever, or is it that failure to eat when you have a cold will lead to you having a fever? Without a context it is impossible to tell.
Then, of course, the textual critics will tell you it's really
Feed a cold, stave (off) a fever
That would favour the second meaning. Anyway it is an illustration of how hermeneutics can be difficult. Thankfully in Scripture we also have some sort of context and that is a great help.

Inspiration again

These two quotations from the Nichols' book I thought would be worth highlighting. They are both by Warfield, the first along with Charles Hodge in their book on inspiration and the second from 1893 on the real problem of inspiration.
“it is not in the first instance a principle fundamental to the truth of the Christian religion."
"We found the whole Christian system on the doctrine of plenary inspiration as little as we found it upon the doctrine of angelic existences."
I find myself partly resisting the idea and I'm sure many a Christian would struggle with it I dare say but it is surely correct.

Ancient Word, Changing Worlds

This helpful little Crossway book Ancient word, changing worlds by Steve Nichols and one of his students, Eric Brandt, is a useful work for looking at the vital subjects of inspiration, inerrancy and hermeneutics.
For each subject the writers first summarise the scholarly debate over it bringing us pretty much up to date in each case. These chapters each contain a time line. The first one, for example, takes us from the publication of Charles Hodge's article on inspiration in 1857 by way of Thayer, Orr, Fosdick and Packer through to Berkouwer's book on Scripture in 1966. The book is nicely set out but these tables deserve a page of their own. Then in addition, each of those three chapters is immediately followed by a chapter containing source material with brief comments. Between seven and seventeen short extracts are given each time. So on hermeneutics, we have quotations from Hodge, Kaiser, Poythress, Longman, Ramm, Bultmann, Childs, Frei, Thiselton, Orr and Waltke. The book would make an ideal tool for readers at various levels.It would be especially good for use in a classroom or discussion group. Its usefulness is further enhanced by a glossary and three appendices - Doctrinal statements on Scripture, a list of Scripture references (the Bible is not quoted anywhere else) and a short guide for further reading.
The book is easy to read though being co-written does not help it. On rare occasions it trips up over its desire to be straightforward and descriptive. It does not appear to be a part of a series but other subjects could probably be treated in a similar way.


I'm not so well today so I've been over on Facebook having a longer look than usual. People are still in a quandary with it I think. I notice that John Piper has decided to disappear until January and Jan Akkerman is finding it difficult to manage over a thousand friends. I have 146 at present and try not to get too bothered about keeping up. Apparently you can subdivide your friends into groups but that looks rather invidious I guess. My grandchildren (I have none as yet) will know just what to do perhaps.

Easter Apology

I found this Easter apology to TV broadcaster Richard Madeley here

Dear Richard
About fifteen years ago you walked into Tesco, picked up a couple of bottle’s of champagne and left, forgetting to pay. You were subsequently accused of shoplifting but declared not guilty. In spite of this I took great delight in laughing about you with my friends. Being teenagers we found that the mention of your name brought gales of laughter and so you became subject of a cheap gag. Today I feel guilty about that. I’m a 32 year old man with three small and distracting children; a Tesco over the road which I visit almost every day and a rapidly decreasing attention span. These elements have created a perfect storm. Since Christmas I’ve unwittingly taken things out of the shop without paying on three different occasions. On each occasion I have gone back and paid without anyone realising, and on each occasion I’ve gone home thinking of you. There’s no difference between us. We both wandered out of a shop without paying. It was an accident when you did it just as it is an accident when I and a million people like me do it from time to time. So why was I so keen to mock you? One reason is that when I was 15 I lived to make people laugh and you were an easy target. But maybe there was more to it. I wonder if you provoked my sense of justice like a man hitting a wasp nest with a stick. After all you were a wealthy celebrity stealing champagne while I, a school boy, had to buy the things I wanted with money from a paper round. So on some subconscious level I refused to believe that you had just made a mistake. Even when the British justice system got taken in, I knew the truth and I determined that I would not forgive you. Of course that sense of justice is less pronounced now. One day when the inevitable happens and an overweight and red faced security guard collars me and asks me why I’m leaving Tesco with a block of cheese and no receipt, I’m hoping that the staff in Tesco will accept my explanation that I was distracted and forgot. I hope they will look at the children tugging at my coat, the baby sick on my shoulder and the three day stubble on my face and understand. I hope they will go easy on me. That’s the odd thing about Justice. We demand it for everyone else without prejudice and yet when we find ourselves in a similar position we cry out for understanding, leniency even mercy. It’s double standards of course and also impossible to allow in a civilised country. Sometimes, no matter how many tears are shed and apologies made, Justice must be done at the expense of mercy. If that frightens us in this life it should be terrifying when we think of our relationship with God. After all God is holy and cannot tolerate sin and yet none of us is perfect. In fact the Bible tells we have all fallen short of the glory of God. If God is going to be just he will have to punish us for declare us all guilty and separate Himself from us for ever. But God is a loving God and wants to share Eternity with us so he faces a dilemma. On the one hand He must be just but on the other hand He wants to show mercy. It’s in the Easter story that we see this dilemma resolved. In the darkness and violence of Calvary, we see Justice done; a man called Jesus is punished for sin. The amazing thing is though, that the man is innocent! The sin He is punished for is not His own. More amazing still, the man punished is God’s own son! He willingly entered in an agreement with his father that together they rescue sinful people. And so on the cross, God acts justly, punishing sin, so that he may forgive the sin of everyone who asks, in his mercy. I hope that this Easter you will know the forgiveness and Grace of God for yourself. Yours sincerely.
PS Please do not hold your breath for any accompanying apology from me concerning the number of times I have shouted/ cringed/ chewed my fist at the television when you have been on doing your Alan Partridge impression.

10 Varying titles

1. J K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone became Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in America (as did the movie). Done apparently as it was believed Americans would not have heard of the Philosopher's Stone.
2. Philip Pullman's Northern Lights was renamed The Golden Compass in America due to the alethiometer looking like a compass. Scholastic believed "Northern Lights" would be the name of the trilogy and used "Golden Compass in the story" as a working title. By the time Pullman got wind of it and things were straightened out, it was too late. Pullman really liked The Golden Compass as a title, although it was a mistake, and patterned the other titles after it.
3. Where's Wally is published as Where's Waldo in the USA and Canada.
4. Hardy Boys Casefiles #117 Blood Sport was renamed Duel With Death in the UK due to the controversy surrounding fox hunting.
5. Two Dalziel and Pascoe novels were retitled for their American release: The Death of Dalziel became Death Comes for the Fat Man and A Cure for All Diseases became The Price of Butcher's Meat.
6. Ian Rankin's Fleshmarket Close turned into Fleshmarket Alley for American audiences.
7. The American title of the English translation of Let the right one in was changed to Let Me In, which removes the vampire nuances of the original title. It was changed due to the original title being "too long". Thanks to the release and success of the film, the title has been changed back. (They even thought that the author John Ajvide Lindqvist's name was too long and asked him if they could change that too.)
8. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve and its sequels are collectively known as "The Hungry City Chronicles" in America, despite the series already having a perfectly good name - the Mortal Engines Quartet.
9. Joanne Harris's The Lollipop Shoes is The Girl with no shadow in the USA
10. Jim Packer's book on the Puritans was originally called Among God's giants, aspects of Puritan Christianity in the UK. In the USA it was known as A quest for godliness, The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life.
Any other examples?

Round goes the gossip

Another of my youtube videos. There are a hundred by now! Listen out for the Virgil quote.

Barry King at LTS

It is always refreshing to hear Barry King, pastor of Wood Green Baptist Church, North London, and church planter. It was good to be present with about 50 workers, students and others with an interest in church planting at LTS yesterday.
With a great mix of
Illustration from local church history (eg Belvedere, Bexleyheath, Thamesmead and Miles and Proud at Ilston)
Personal anecdote (eg planting his first church with three octogenarians and the great success of recent months in Thamesmead)
Scripture (Acts 17:1-4 and Romans 15:14ff)
Debunking (you don't necessarily need a building, 50 people, £50K and 5 full time workers?)
Alliteration (church planting requires a sower, the right soil, the seed and suffering. Romans 15 reveals Paul's Desire (Rome) Dream (Spain) and Duty (Jerusalem))
An emphasis on preaching (reasoning, explaining, proving, proclaiming, persuading) an emphasis on the sufficiency of Scripture.
Very positive but always realistic his definition of church planting was "Going to a place where they don't want you to be and staying until they don't want you to leave" which is basically the story of the church in Ephesus. Great to be there.
It was good to hear Robert Strivens plugging the seminary too. A website for Grace Baptist Partnership is forthcoming here.

Helm on Owen on the Trinity

It was good to be at the Evangelical Library this week for the first lunch time meeting in the new building. The single figure turn out was a little disappointing but it was good to be there.
Professor Paul Helm gave a fascinating introduction to a forgotten little work by John Owen called A brief declaration and vindication of the doctrine of the Trinity (it is in Volume 2 of the Works and can be found here). It actually goes on to deal with Christ's person and satisfaction but we just looked at the first part.
It was first published in 1668/9. At this time Owen was living in Stoke Newington and serving an affluent dissenting congregation. His death in 1683 was some 16 years away.
Owen's concern in this work written for a popular audience is to steer a course between the anti-rationalism of the Quakers and others and the rationalism of the Socinians and Cambridge Platonists (such as Chillingworth, whose statement about the Bible alone being the religion of Protestants is often misunderstood). Owen was, as Dr Helm put it, walking a tightrope. Puritanism was already being swept away by a Unitarian Anglicanism that would grow and grow and greatly infect nonconformity too. The Trinity today is often forgotten and marginalised and Owen's work is a good antidote.
Owen begins by establishing the doctrine from Scripture. It is not a model, as some are fond of putting it today, but what the Bible actually teaches. There is no ambiguity. It is clearly taught there. Owen insists on that. He is clear that God is one and that the Father is God. Further, more contentiously, Jesus Christ is God, the eternal Son of God. He establishes this from Old and New Testaments. Fourthly, he demonstrates the deity of the Spirit and, finally, that the three are one though distinct. He concludes

that there is nothing more fully expressed in the Scripture than this sacred truth, that there is one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; which are divine, distinct, intelligent, voluntary, omnipotent principles of operation and working: which whosoever thinks himself obliged to believe the Scripture must believe.

He then moves onto the question of what we do when the doctrine is assaulted. He reminds us that in the history of the church terms have been used to defend the doctrine – the doctrine not the mystery. Owen argues that we may and must make use of such terms as are available even though not found in Scripture. He says

to deny the liberty, yea, the necessity hereof, is to deny all interpretation of the Scripture, - all endeavours to express the sense of the words of it unto the understandings of one another; which is, in a word, to render the Scripture itself altogether useless. For if it be unlawful for me to speak or write what I conceive to be the sense of the words of the Scripture, and the nature of the thing signified and expressed by them, it is unlawful for me, also, to think or conceive in my mind what is the sense of the words or nature of the things; which to say, is to make brutes of ourselves, and to frustrate the whole design of God in giving unto us the great privilege of his word.

Wherefore, in the declaration of the doctrine of the Trinity, we may lawfully, nay, we must necessarily, make use of other words, phrases, and expressions, than what are literally and syllabically contained in the Scripture, but teach no other things.
He then goes further than this and asserts that if a biblical truth is accurately expressed in non-biblical language then that truth is also valid.

Whatever is so revealed in the Scripture is no less true and divine as to whatever necessarily follows thereon, than it is as unto that which is principally revealed and directly expressed. For how far soever the lines be drawn and extended, from truth nothing can follow and ensue but what is true also; and that in the same kind of truth with that which it is derived and deduced from. For if the principal assertion be a truth of divine revelation, so is also whatever is included therein, and which may be rightly from thence collected (ie deduced).

He concludes then that as the Bible reveals Father, Son and Spirit to be one God then they must be

one in essence (wherein alone it is possible they can be one), and three in their distinct subsistences (wherein alone it is possible they can be three), - this is no less of divine revelation than the first principle from whence these things follow.

The claim is not to inspiration but to having the truth.
It is a way of thinking that some modern evangelicals would be uncomfortable with. The fear is that Owen has opened the door to rationalism. However, he is clear that man's mind is far from being the measure of all things. He carefully maintains the Creator/creature distinction and warns against mere carnal reasoning. Nevertheless, the finite can understand the infinite at least in part. If the doctrine of the Trinity seems unreasonable to some it is because it is contrary to carnal reason.
A useful discussion followed. The Bible alone position is still attractive to many good people today who do not see the danger in that simplistic approach.
A further lunch time meeting (on Lloyd-Jones and his prefaces by yours truly) is set for 1 pm on Monday, May 17. Before then we have our opening, which is on Saturday April 17 at 3 pm. Do come and join us.

Translation tradition

In his new book Scandalous Don Carson makes an interesting remark regarding the way all the German translations of John 11:35 he checked went one way (Jesus was angry) and all the English ones another (Jesus was deeply moved). He then says in parenthesis "That fact, I suppose, shows how often there is a controlling tradition even in our Bible translation." I've not really come across that sort of statement before. Are others aware of it or are there other examples?


Don Carson's various books are always appreciated. His latest, the seasonal Scandalous The cross and resurrection of Jesus is no exception. Dedicated to his wife, its 170 pages contain a five sermons on New Testament texts, originally delivered at the end of 2008 at the Resurgence Conference in Seattle. They look at Matthew 27:27-51a, Romans 3:21-26, Revelation 12, John 11 and John 20:24-31. Typically they contain careful exposition, interesting background, mature reflection and always application. Inevitably the sermons vary in quality but they tackle big and important themes, such as propitiation, Christ's resurrection and biblical eschatology in an orthodox but fresh way and are all useful. Not all will share Dr Carson's penchant for poetry but a nose for a good illustration and helpfully told background material is appreciated. Unexpected nuggets include his exposition of John 11 (p 131ff) rejecting the common English translation and a slightly tangential exploration of six kinds of doubt (143-148). Clear headings and two indices add to the book's value.

No Title

We often remark on this blog on how busy it is and this last week has been no exception. Today I was out fairly early to lend a hand with the church clean up, something we try to have regularly. Seeing the Principal of the London Theological Seminary busy with a hoover was a good reminder of the varied tasks church members sometimes end up doing as they seek to serve the Lord.
It was off then by bus to Trafalgar Square. Had a nice chat with an African American woman who has been a member of the huge Hillsong church since there were only twelve of them. We didn't get on to theology (!). When I arrived, Sebastian Mani, our main organiser, was preaching. I preached next and we also heard from Gavin Childress and his 18 year old son James. The weather was not great but we were able to give out tracts and Bibles and preach the Word. You get plenty of flak but loads of opportunities. I was able to give Bibles to two Turkish boys and tracts to two teenagers from Abu Dhabi. I also had some conversation with a Polish atheist who claimed to believe that our meeting was merely random. That I doubt. What opportunities!
On the way home I bumped into retired minister Joseph Hewitt and listened to the animated conversation of a newly engaged couple as they argued and made phone calls. If they were really drama students (I've seen that before now) they were brilliant.
I'm back home now watching the Ireland Scotland match and enjoying a chicken pie Dewi made in fod tech in school (very nice). Glad that Wales beat Italy but it hasn't been a great tournament. That's why I've said nothing until now.
Yesterday was also very full with a lecture on the cults at EMF in the morning and a committee meeting for Grace Publications in Covent Garden in the afternoon. In the evening I got along to Bethesda, Kensington, where Paul Brown was giving the annual lecture for the Strict Baptist Historical Society. The society itself is understandably rather quaint but the lecture was a fine one - on Ernest Kevan and focussing on his pastoral years, first at Walthamstow then at New Cross. The emphasis on hard work and vision was challenging and contained lots of useful insights.
Tuesday and Wednesday were also pretty busy. On Tuesday I was in the John Owen Centre again, this time with 8 or 9 others for some Hebrew from Genesis (the Abrahamic covenant) with David Green - always worthwhile. (I should have mentioned being in the JOC the other week when we were reading the book on the Lord's Supper by Malcolm MacLean, which I appreciated but others found less satisfying). In the evening there was a church officers meeting. Wednesday was my typically busy fortnightly one as I was among the older folk morning and afternoon, with the midweek meeting in the evening (still working through Titus).

Helm on Owen

Just a reminder that Paul Helm is speaking on John Owen at lunch time on Monday in the new Evangelical Library. Starts 1 pm. More here.

Third Photo Series 04

Spring's here - at last!

Busy Golders Green 2

I was in Golders Green on Monday when who should come past but Gordon Brown - that's who I think it was anyway (it's his official car). I was in Childs Hill one day some years ago and, quite unexpectedly, the Queen came past. Ah, London life.

Busy Golders Green 1

I was in Golders Green last Friday just after an accident involving a Toyota Corolla. Two pedestrians were apparently mown down but not killed when the car ploughed through protective roadside railings shortly before 2pm. It smashed into the Kim Chee Korean restaurant next to Barclays Bank. Apparently a 21-year-old woman driver suffered a suspected broken arm in the collision, while a man, 23, suffered a dislocated shoulder. Being a Toyota there is the possibility of a mechanical failure.

Flavel and Providence

One of the ways that God reveals himself is through his providence. It is a fascinating thing as this article found in the brand new April edition of the Banner of Truth Magazine (the electronic version arrived this morning) demonstrates. Do subscribe to the Banner, those of you who don't. It always contains something interesting and heart warming.
Ryan Kaupas is a member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC, where he has served as a pastoral intern. The editor says that while visiting the USA last May he heard Kaupas tell the story at Capitol Hill. He now works as a private consultant for the US Federal Government. The article was originally reproduced with permission and I am assuming this use infringes no copyright. The aim is rather to urge you to buy the mag!

I trust that you will appreciate this story, for it concerns a Puritan Preacher, a pastoral intern, a homeless man looking to run away, and our great God.
Earlier this week I arrived in Crystal City to meet friends for dinner. I turned up early so that I might snatch a few minutes to finish the last three pages of a book I was reading and benefitting from immensely - John Flavel’s The Mystery of Providence. I sat down at an empty table outside on the terrace and began to open the book. No sooner had I begun to turn the pages than a man riding a bike stopped right in front of me. Interrupting my reading he asked rather forcefully, ‘What is that book?’ I grasped my belongings thinking that this was some kind of ruse
to distract me so that he might steal my stuff. I could tell that he had been drinking, but my suspicions quickly dissipated when he proceeded to sit down next to me and again ask in his somewhat brazen manner, ‘What is that book about?’ I began to explain. The book was written by a nonconformist preacher of the seventeenth century ... but I soon realized that I would need to give a simpler explanation. I told him that this preacher, John Flavel, wrote many helpful things about suffering and the providence of God. My keen listener then asked me to tell him more about what was in the book. I opened the book and began to read some of the sentences I had previously highlighted.
I kid you not ... the man hung on my every word. The antiquated, seventeenth-century, Puritan style of writing didn’t seem to get in the way of my eager enquirer or put him off in the slightest. At times he even repeated parts of Flavel’s sentences and as he did so it seemed that the words were having a sobering effect upon him. Now and then he interjected and asked me to repeat something I had just read, but to do so more slowly than before. Occasionally, and with a hint of frustration, he would blurt out, ‘Now what does that mean?’ It was as if Flavel was reading his heart like a book. My new-found friend opened up and confessed that he was a believer in Christ but that his faith was weak. He said that he was tired and ready to end his life. He admitted he was struggling with unbelief amidst many afflictions. I think he was homeless and without family at hand, and he had clearly turned to drink. I couldn’t really tell the extent of his problems. But the strange thing was this: he wasn’t sitting next to me because he wanted to befriend me. No, from the beginning he had a preoccupation with the book in my hand. The following excerpt from Flavel brought evident relief to his soul:
No stroke of calamity upon the people of God can separate them from the love of Christ. Who shall separate them from the love of Christ? (Rom 8:35). Shall tribulation? There was a time when Job could call nothing in this world his own but trouble. He could not say my estate, my honour, my health, my children, for all these
were gone; yet then he could say; my redeemer! (Job 19:25) Well then, there is no cause to sink while interest in Christ remains sure to us. All your calamities will have an end shortly. The longest day of the saints’ troubles has an end; and then no more troubles forever. The troubles of the wicked will be to eternity, but you
shall suffer but a while (1 Pet. 5:10). If a thousand troubles are appointed for you, they will come to one at last, and after that no more. Yea, and though light afflictions are but for a moment, yet they work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor 4:17). Let that support your heart under all sufferings. By this time the friends I had come to meet arrived and I signalled the need to go.
We both marvelled at the mysterious providence of God! I offered him the book as a gift. He broke down in tears. He told me that he had planned to run away to Florida, but now decided against it.
Two days later I shared the story with a friend. He suggested that I read the remaining three pages of Flavel’s book. Honestly, it hadn’t even crossed my mind to do so before! So I borrowed the book from my roommate. The last section exhorts its readers to write down their experiences of providence in special seasons for the benefit of others. And that’s just what I did!

CM 09 Tchaikovsky

Once you're talking Russian composers you come to Tchaikovsky and any number of his pieces have wormed their way into our thinking, especially from the ballets. This is from the Nutcracker as Disneyfied way back in 1940 for Fantasia.

AHOCIA 100 Objects 09

This is the plan for a monastery created circa 816-836 AD. The plan included detailed drawings for the monastic gardens and an orchard. St Gall, though never built as planned, was thought to be the ideal layout for a Benedictine monastery. A copy of the plan was found preserved in the library at the Abbey of St Gallen in Switzerland. It was addressed to Gozbert, abbot of St Gall from 816-836 AD. We include it in our series not because monasticism is biblical but as a reminder of the bold attempts made to live a godly life in the first millennium. Though we will not want to go down this path we must be equally radical in our efforts to be godly.

And the logic?

Just got this from the crazy man at Amazon

Greetings from,
As someone who has purchased or rated John Owen: Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man (Great Theologians Series) by Carl R. Trueman, you might like to know that Women and Print Culture in Post-Independence Buenos Aires (Monografías A) is now available. You can order yours for just £47.50 by following the link below.

DMLJ 28 Ideals in medicine

So at last to the final foreword (I think). This one is actually a joint effort with two others and is found in the Christian Medical Fellowship book Ideals in Medicine, A Christian Approach to medical practice published by Tyndale Press in 1958 and edited by V Edmunds and C G Scorer.

Some will no doubt greet this book with a weary sigh and comment that “Here is another treatise on a well-worn theme”. That, however, is exactly what it is not! For, strangely enough, comparatively little has been written about Medical Ethics and associated matters. Further, it is apparent that the subject is growing in complexity with each main advance in scientific Medicine. We feel, therefore, that the production of such a book is particularly valuable at this stage in the evolution of medicine.
To any medical student, who may have read thus far and wonders if this concerns him at all, we would put one or to questions. A woman who is dying from a rapidly spreading cancer asks to be told the truth about her condition, but her husband forbids it. What would you do? Would you tell her a lie? Whatever your view of such a case may be, is it ever right to tell patients untruths, or partial truths, or to practice deception in any way?Such questions go to the very heart of one's ethical principles. Again, in some countries, the most the most altruistic and painstaking acts may be grossly misused even by the patient. One of our surgical colleagues, working in a Christian hospital in Asia, excised the patella of a tribesman and made a good job of restoring full function to the knee-joint. As the patient was leaving the hospital, the surgeon enquired why he had so many notches cut on his walking-staff. The proud reply came back that each notch represented a man whom he had killed, and how glad he was to be able to get about again so that he could finish off the blood-feud and add several other victims to his bag!
Or the ancient rules which have been inherited from the Babylonian Medicine of 2250 B. C., or from the Greek Medicine of 400 BC? Who, or What, determines our reactions in these matters? It is true, of course, that slowly over the years medical principles have become to some extent standardised. We must, indeed, be grateful for the high standards which have come to be the guiding influence in Medicine at its best and we must all aim to approximate our Practice to the best that we know. Few leading members of the profession have taken in hand to set down exactly what might be recognised as a universally binding code of medical ethics. Even if they had, they could scarcely have met in advance all the problems and dilemmas which come with each scientific advance.
We would ask, therefore, if there is not a place for conscience as an arbiter? But if its voice is to have its due place, it needs to be adequately informed. The writers of this book are obviously amongst those convinced that the Christian-trained conscience has been the most valuable arbiter in European civilization and should continue to occupy such a place. It is relevant to enquire how far the high standards achieved in the late nineteenth century by doctors in the English-speaking world were the result of deep Christian influence on their education. Such considerations have a bearing not only upon matters of life and death, but upon the problems of human rights, generally, as well as upon such matters as artificial insemination and euthanasia.
To what then must we direct our primary concern? As doctors we are called upon to treat the body. Yet how far can we treat it without taking into consideration the personality as a whole?There is a refreshing story of an earlier Chaplain General of the Forces, who when asked to speak on “Has man a soul?” startled his audience by declaring that the answer was “No!” He went on to explain that “Man has a body, but he is a soul”. We all know now that personality and the interrelation of of soul and body are more complex than earlier scientific Medicine was prepared to allow.
The existing wide gaps in our literature on these subjects are felt especially by younger members of the Profession. What they need is not detailed answers to a multitude of potential problems so much as a statement of general principles, with a few typical applications worked out. The writers of this book have given much time and thought in an endeavour to provide these for them. They have produced a book which will arouse interest. We welcome its publication in the hope that it will so stimulate us all to think these things through for ourselves and prove to be the beginning of increasingly informed and accurate writing on the subject.
W. M. C.
D. M. Ll-J.
H. J. O-E.
(W Melville Capper, D Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Hugh J Orr-Ewing)

RnR 07 Love is strange

A series on rock 'n' roll has to include the great Buddy Holly. We are spoiled for choice but this one is not so much of a rock 'n' roll number but a very attractive piece of work later overdubbed to great affect in the late sixties.

Happy St Pat's

St Patrick's means a good excuse to show a bit of Horslips. Not sure when this Beatles hommage took place. King of the faeries it is.

JOC Lectures on Scripture 4

Apologies for the delay in writing up the final morning of studies. We continued to look at Andy McGowan's problematic book. We discussed his idea of relocating our doctrine of Scripture in systematic theology, which seems a rather minor point in many ways. The changes of vocabulary he suggests could create as many problems as they may solve. His idea that Warfield's faulty (to McGowan) statement of the doctrine arose because of the heat of battle would not be one shared by Warfield himself. McGowan says there is no reference to Scripture in the early creeds (p 25) but Warfield says the opposite (p 106 of his book on Bible Inspiration). Inerrancy may not be a biblical doctrine but it is one that is discernible by implication. Although he complains of this McGowan himself does the same thing with his doctrine. Further, it is more than an implication - see Psalm 12:6, Jeremiah 42:5, 6, John 17:17. McGowan's suggestion that Bavinck is different to Warfield and superior to him is an overstatement.
We finished off with a discussion of the round table discussion article found in the current edition of Modern Reformation here (for subscribers).
A great week then. It was a privilege to be with Dr Campbell and with old friends Lewis, Wim (both doing the course), Ian (a graduate like myself) and Rich.

JOC Lectures on Scripture 2/3

Another stimulating two days have passed with Iain D Campbell and the other four doing the week's course at JOC.
On Day 2 we looked at Calvin - first the Institutes Book 1 and then, more interestingly, various places in the commentaries – the authorship of 2 Peter, early remarks in the Psalms, comments on Genesis 1 and 3, Matthew 2:6, 27:9 and 1 Peter 1:12. There is an essay on Calvin and inerrancy by Jim Packer in Volume 4 of his Shorter Writings. (See here too).
Then we came on to Karl Barth. I am not familiar with Barth but given that Greg Beale has accused Peter Enns of Barthianism and the fact Andy McGowan seems much under the spell of the Barthian Torrances his current influence cannot be denied. (Apparently Kevin VanHoozer has traced the recent history of this in Karl Barth And Evangelical Theology edited by Sung Wook Chung).
Barth's view, it appears, is rather elusive, but he distinguishes the Bible and revelation, speaks of recollection and anticipation, preparation and accomplishment and warns against absolutising a word that is always human. He calls the Bible the Word of God but what he means by that is not what we may mean. Bruce McCormack has labelled his view "Dynamic infallibilism". Barth spoke of the Word of God as the Word of GOD – God not being the object; the Work of God – an event not a storehouse of facts and the Miracle of God. He also warned against trying to shield ourselves from its offensiveness. He does not see the presence of God inhering directly in the book as such and says that we cannot decide just when the Bible is the Word of God. God, he says, is not ashamed of the fallibility of the word nor should we be. Mark Thompson has identified certain motifs in Barth - God's Lordship – he can't be mastered by a text; the centrality of Christ and the fact that God reveals himself dynamically so that things can change (see Gibson and Strange's Engaging with Barth).
We finished off the day with a summary of Peter Enns' very controversial Inspiration and incarnation. We mentioned the book in a previous blog here. Since then Enns has ceased to be a professor at Westminster. He has a
blog here. This blog is not recommended by any means.
On Wednesday we carried on with Enns this time in more critical fashion, considering some of the so called problem texts that he mentions in Proverbs, Acts, etc.
We then went on to the answer to Enns produced by Greg Beale The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism
We took up Beale's criticisms of the way Enns uses the incarnational analogy and Dr Campbell traced the more recent history of the subject. Gaussen (Theopneustia) and Shedd (in his Dogmatics) are in favour of it and Kuyper and Bavinck (as Gaffin reveals in his God's Word in Servant Form: Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck on the Doctrine of Scripture see sample here) go into overdrive with it. Barth is fairly happy with the idea but sees overlappings and contradictions. Tom Torrance is similar.
It is Warfield who cautions against misusing of the analogy. Christ is a divine human person, Scripture is a divine human work. The analogy is therefore remote. Andy McGowan is not happy either (pp 119, 121). James Scott writing on Enns (WTJ Spring 2009) says it is a mistake to see Christ trapped in his culture. He concludes that Enns is saying something huge in his book when he writes as he does as the idea that the incarnate Christ misunderstood things is a major error.
We were also referred to John Goldingay's book on Model for interpretation of Scripture (pp 248-251 and a Lane Tipton article here. He points out that if the hypostatic union is unique, it cannot be an analogy. The only way forward is to focus on then on pneumatology. He also draws attention to the resurrection and ascension and how Scripture brings about regeneration, sanctification, etc.
We ended the day with summarising Andy McGowan's The Divine Spiration of Scripture. More tomorrow, God willing.

Expensive area?

An article here reveals that the borough in which I live (Barnet) boasts five of the country's most exclusive streets. Mouseprice street rankings make Ingram Avenue (Hampstead Garden Suburb) second most expensive in the country (average house price c £6 M). Nearby Winnington Road is sixth (average house price c £5.4 M) and Bishops Avenue is 16th (a mere £4.75 average). Third in the UK is Courtenay Avenue, which actually falls into Haringey. All three are situated between Highgate and Hampstead golf courses, which according to Mouseprice makes it “one of the most exclusive places to live in the country”.
Of most interest to us in Childs Hill are Eden Close and Elm Walk, "which border leafy Hampstead Heath in Childs Hill" eighth and 11th respectively (with average prices £4.9-5.1 M). I hasten to add that nearby are flats at £175-185 K or £195 K for two bedrooms - still not cheap but indicative of the variations in the area.


You can find more such examples of sciency tattoos here. When I was a boy it was more or less only blokes in the navy or prison who got tattoos. These days everyone gets them. It's something I really don't get. The Jews were forbidden to have tattoos. In part I think that is because it is difficult to take seriously someone covered in tattoos.

JOC Lectures on Scripture 1

It was my privilege once again today to be among the privileged few at the John Owen Centre in nearby Finchley for lectures this time from fellow blogger Iain D Campbell on the doctrine of Scripture.
We began with brief biblical introduction (taking in Psalm 19, John 10:35, 2 Timothy 3:16, etc). We then went on to look at Westminster Theological Seminary and Scripture. We began with Machen (see this Daryl Hart essay via here) moved on to Murray (in the Infallible Word symposium, outline here) and E J Young (Thy Word is Truth). We also looked at Sinclair Ferguson in Harvie Conn's symposium (outline here).
We then turned to Old Princeton beginning with Turretin (whose tome Hodge would have used), passing over Hodge himself and focusing on Warfield, especially his inaugural address at Western in 1881 and his essay with A A Hodge on Inspiration (see here). I notice that several Warfield articles are here.
In the afternoon we looked at the opening chapter of the Westminster Confession which, though familiar, was worth going through together its finely balanced statements.

DMLJ 27 More than notion

This is the "embarrassing one" we have been holding back. Embarrassment because the book commends what the infamous George Ella labels "Huntingtonian piety". It is "tainted", that is to say, by hyperism. J H Alexander is a pseudonym for a female writer. I think Lloyd-Jones just enjoyed the experientialism at a time when he thought some people were getting rather dry and doctrinal. The book is available online here.

More than notion by J H Alexander
I am delighted to hear that there is a call for a second edition of this excellent book and am most happy therefore to write a word of commendation for it. It came into my hands almost accidentally. I had never heard of the author but the moment I began to read I was gripped and deeply moved.
There are some books of which it can be said that to read them is an experience, and one is never the same again. The extracts out of the lives of these various people who came in varied ways to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ are, at one and the same time, convicting and encouraging. Some were poor and ignorant, others well placed socially, and learned and cultured; but all came to the same glorious experience.
In reading about them one is shown the vital difference between a head knowledge of the Christian faith and a true heart experience.
In recommending it to the congregation at Westminster Chapel on a Friday night I said that it should be made compulsory reading for all theologians especially, but it will prove valuable also to those who long for a vital Christian experience.
Many who have read it as the result of my recommendation have testified to the blessing they have received. In one church known to me the reading of the book by one man led to a prayer-meeting such as they had not experienced before.
In these superficial and confused days I thank God for a book such as this and pray that He may bless it to countless souls.
D M Lloyd-Jones
Westminster Chapel

CM 08 Khachaturian

So from Rimsky-Koraskov we move seamlessly to Aram Khachaturian and the Sabre Dance from the ballet Gayanne. The influence on me of Cardiffian Dave Edmunds whose Love Sculpture did a great electric version cannot be denied but its just a great piece of music however it's played. My mother used to enjoy giggling to it with her closest sister who died tragically young. This is a Mexican orchestra.

AHOCIA 100 Objects 08

It is an interesting question as to when Christians of some sort were first to be found in this country. The evidence suggests it was fairly early on, perhaps 2nd Century. This mosaic is 4th century. In 314 three British bishops attended a church council in Arles (France) Eborius of York, Restitutus of London and Adelius of Caerleon in Gwent.

2000! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Warm greetings to all who visit regularly or anyone just dropping in! This is my two thousandth post here.

London Welsh 2

We were among the 1,650 down at Old Deer Park this afternoon watching the rugby (not something I've ever done before, I confess). Yr Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain were singing before the game between London Welsh and Llanelli. Owain, my youngest, had the privilege of being one of the mascots who ran on with the team through the phalanx of Welsh guards and officials present. I've never seen a mascot in long trousers before (nor Welsh costume). We did leave before the end but not before we had seen all 30 points scored - a win for the Welsh but not enough to make progress in the cup certain despite a lot of pressure. Full report here.

British Library

I was in the King's Cross area on Friday (I'd been up to Welwyn to give my first lecture to the EMF students on heresy and the cults - nice lot, mainly Hungarian speaking) and so I decided to pop into The British Library. It's something I have often intended to do but haven't got round to. I was staggered to see that 12 years have elapsed since the new building went up. Where does the time go? There's so much in London. Nice atmosphere there with loads of people busy on their laptops. Found a nice remainder bookshop opposite selling books at £2 (what they should be?). There's a book there I want to read that I have never seen elsewhere.

Foot note

You will have read of the death of (former!) atheist Michael Foot. Like his successor, Neil Kinnock he was a known atheist. One wonders if the atheism was a factor in their not beoming PM. The British public are perhaps happier with a John Smith, a Gordon Brown or a Tony Blair. The other connection, between those two is their Gwent ties. They with two or three others are men with Gwent/Monmouthshire connections who went high but never to the very top. The ones I am thinking of together are

1. Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960) - Monmouthshire born and raised, MP for Ebbw Vale, founder of the NHS, who stood for Labour leadership in 1955 but lost to Gaitskell.
2. Roy Jenkins (1920-2003) - Monmouthshire born and raised MP who became Chancellor, Home Secretary and Deputy Labour leader 1970-1972 before leaving to form the SDP.
3. Michael Foot (1913-2010) - West country born MP who succeeded Bevan in Ebbw Vale (after 10 years in Plymouth) and was Labour Party leader 1980-1983 after Callaghan, before Kinnock.
4. Neil Kinnock (b 1942) - Monmouthshire born and raised MP who succeeded Foot as Labour leader and served 1983-1992.

Of the three Wales based men who became PM
1. Lloyd George (1863-1945) Liberal PM 1916-1922 was a North Walian
2. J Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937) Labour PM 1924 and 1929-1935 though Scots was MP for Aberavon in South Wales the first time he was in office.
3. James Callaghan (1912-2005) Labour PM 1976-1979 was born in Portsmouth but was MP for Cardiff South (East)
Clearly the lesson is that a Monmouthshire connection takes you a long way but it will not get you the top job!

DMLJ 26 Blair Collection

What should be our penultimate foreword is from a collection of about 14 articles by Duncan M Blair under the heading The beginning of wisdom. The book or booklet first appeared in 1945, the year after Blair's death.

It is with a high sense of privilege that I write a brief foreword to this collection of addresses delivered by my friend, the late Professor Duncan M. Blair.
When the unexpected and tragic news of his death reached me, I, together with all others who intimately had known him and his work, felt that something should be done to provide a permanent memorial to him and of him. And what better memorial could there be than this book which records his own words and the quintessence of his teaching?
There are some men who can be easily divorced from their addresses. Indeed, it can be said of them that they are in no way essential, as such, to their addresses. Their view of truth and their presentation of truth are so objective that in a sense their speeches could have been delivered by anyone. But there are others and of these the greatest and most illustrious example is the Apostle Paul who, though never anxious to obtrude themselves into their message, nevertheless are an integral part of the message. Their words, even when read, are never lifeless. As we read their words we see the speaker, we hear the voice, we see the familiar gestures and we are dominated by the sway of the powerful personality.
The late Professor Blair belongs to that group. In this book we not only read his words, but we are face to face once more with the man himself. For he was essentially a speaker and a teacher, and whatever he did, he did it "with all his might." All who ever had the privilege of listening to him will hear and see him again as they read these pages. It is indeed the ideal memorial to such a man.
That alone justifies a book like this. But there is another reason for its publication and one which would commend itself (and probably the only one which would commend itself) to Professor Blair himself. It is to propagate the truth which he believed, and by winch he lived ; and to perpetuate the work to which he gave himself so generously and untiringly.
The word "work" is not used in any mere conventional sense. I do not know of any man who has crowded more into a comparatively short life. It was a constant source of amazement to all his friends to know how he found the time for all his activities. His post as Regius Professor of Anatomy at Glasgow was a heavy task in itself, and especially to a man who was so conscientious and painstaking, and who so hated anything slip-shod or unworthy. But in addition to this, his activities in a purely religious sense were such as, I fear, to shame many of us who are whole-time ministers of the Gospel. It would be no exaggeration to say that he was the most outstanding religious layman in Glasgow. He was an active member of, and elder of, his local Church; Chairman of numerous Committees; and in constant demand as preacher and lecturer. He also had proved himself on countless occasions to be the perfect chairman of either a small devotional meeting or else a mass assembly of God's people in the largest halls in the city.
Nevertheless, it is true to say that his greatest work was done amongst students. I do not mean by that his work as professor of Anatomy, or the inevitable effect which his great personality had on all who studied under him. I refer specifically to his association with, and work for the Inter-Varsity Fellowship of Evangelical Unions. That association began in 1928 and continued until he was taken to his eternal reward. This was the sphere and the activity which appealed to him most of all, and increasingly he became the dominant personality in the work. He was made President of the Fellowship three times. But, unlike many whose association with the work ends when their year of office expires, his interest never flagged or failed. Regularly year by year he attended the annual Conference whether invited to speak or not and did all he could to help individual students by wise counsel and advice and generally to make the conference a success. At the time of his death, the tribute paid to him by the I.V.F. was that "He was a great Christian, a wise counsellor and a loyal friend." His wisdom and his knowledge, his tact and his sympathy and understanding made him an ideal chairman of committees. Above all, they singled him out as the obvious and heaven-sent leader in the international side of the work.
To all these activities he gave himself without stinting, happily and gladly;and he revelled in every moment of it. Being a Christian was no sinecure so far as he was concerned.
It may not be inappropriate at this time to attempt to assess the results of this great work and to discover the nature of his particular contribution to the common cause. What was the outstanding feature of his witness and the aspect of the truth concerning the Christian life which he emphasised and illuminated ? The answers to these questions are to be found in this book. I would direct attention particularly to the following matters which Professor Blair himself was always so anxious to emphasise.
The first is that the Christian can glorify God by his success and achievements in his work and profession, and that it is his duty to do so. Believing as he did in the doctrine of "common grace" this was inevitable. All powers and abilities are given by God and all knowledge is ultimately God's truth. An irrational dichotomy between sacred and secular is therefore something to be avoided. and Christian students must never place over against each other in competition their duties as Christians and their studies. Nor must they regard the latter as being unworthy of their wholehearted attention. It is the Christian's duty to do everything with all his might to the glory of God.
The next thing that stands out is that here was a man who gave the lie direct to the foolish assertion, made so often, that no true scientist can be a Christian. Here was an Anatomist, of all things, an expert in a subject that can so often be dry and mechanical, moreover an Anatomist profoundly interested in the subjects of Morphology, Comparative Anatomy and Genetics, and yet one who was not merely Christian in a formal general sense, but actively and militantly. The studies which are supposed to account for the scepticism and unbelief of so many simply went to confirm and increase his faith. He thereby demonstrated (what the Bible teaches everywhere) that unbelief has its origin in the heart and not in the mind. The words of John iii. 19 are still true - "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
In other words his emphasis was always upon the wholeness of salvation. Salvation is not something that merely gives one a wonderful experience; it takes up and affects the whole man - emotions, will and intellect. Professor Blair was always anxious to stress the importance of the latter, and to show that nothing is really sane and reasonable save the Christian view and way of life. The result was that the note of Apologetics was always prominent in his addresses. This was not the basis of his faith, as it never should be, but it enabled him "to give a reason for the hope that was in him." Moreover, it accounted for his healthy dislike and indeed distrust of a weak and sentimental pietism that in a spirit of fear distrusts intellect and regards "the Queen of the Sciences" as being almost of the devil. This in turn led him to shew constantly the importance of a sound knowledge of the Bible and of theology as a background to one's witness. His upbringing in the Free Church of Scotland had not been in vain, and he was never tired of paying tribute to those who had led him as a boy and young man into the treasures and mysteries of the faith. I do not know that he ever said so, but he always gave the impression that the Shorter Catechism played a similar part in his Christian life to that of the spinal column in one's physical existence. It gave "backbone" and stability, it guaranteed order and system and arrangement, and above all it reminded one constantly "that we are His workmanship" and that our calling and election are sure and unshakeable.
That indeed was the secret of his life. He had accepted the revelation of God given in the scriptures. That led to a personal experience of Christ as His Saviour and then to an ever-increasing comprehension of the great plan of salvation. And everything he learned and discovered in his scientific work seemed to fit in with that plan and to reveal it still further. Such was the teaching of this beloved professor. As a man he was big in every sense - physical, moral, intellectual and spiritual. He was a true nobleman and a born gentleman. To those who think of men in terms of animals he can be likened to a great St Bernard dog. He was big and strong and yet gentle. He could be firm and severe when occasion demanded, but no man was ever more sympathetic or kindly in disposition. His zest and energy and keenness were unbounded, and all his friends agree in testifying that they never knew a happier man. Indeed, the word "gaiety" is the mot juste, in thinking of him. He radiated good cheer and friendliness and fellowship. His smile was a benediction. But nothing was so impressive as his humility and the reality and simplicity of his devotional life.
As so often happens when one tries to describe one of God's saints, one turns for the final word to the Pilgrim's Progress. John Bunyan has given a perfect portrait of Duncan Blair in Mr. Great-Heart. Countless students face to face with the dangers and errors and subtleties of life and with difficulties during their training and studies, have re-echoed the words of Mathew, the son of Christiana, who, turning to his mother and Mercy (when they were afraid of the dangers of their journey along the King's highway) said "Mother, fear nothing, as long as Mr. Great Heart is to go with us and to be our conductor." "This was a MAN ! "
D. M. Lloyd-Jones

Gwyl Dewi Sant

Yesterday was St David's Day, of course, and so like all Welsh people (you didn't?) we had cawl cennyn/leek soup and bakestones for tea. Owain, my youngest, also met the speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow who was involved this year in the annual St David's Day service in St Mary Undercroft. As usual, the London Welsh School took part, as did a male voice choir Eschoir. This time the children recited Ffrindiau bach a mawr and sang Dewi Sant.

London Welsh

To mark St David's day I thought I might do a little something on the four roads here in Childs Hill with Welsh names. It is the biggest concentration of such names in London. Elsewhere you will find one or two Welsh names but never, I believe, as many as four. Aral tradition suggests that they were given by a Welsh builder. There is still a Welsh builder nearby (D W Bevan) though that is probably a coincidence. The Welsh have been in London for centuries and there is no concentration of Welshies in Childs Hill or any other one area. The names of the streets are
Llanelly Road, Llanvanor Road, Crewys Road and Nant Road
The first (pronounced Lanuly locally) suggests a Llanelli connection. The second is perhaps the name of a farm. The third is a main road in Cardiff (there is no 'e' in the Cardiff version. It is pronounced Crooz locally). The fourth and most interesting is the Welsh for brook or stream, and indeed there is one although it is now almost entirely underground.
More interesting again is the fact that near Cross Ash in Monmouthshire, there is a small settlement called Llanfaenor with both a Nant Farm and a Great Crwys Farm too. There is a Llanelly not too far away. Perhaps that Welsh builder was from the same corner of Wales as me.
The local residents association is called CLAN after the three main streets of the four.