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.

Midweek Meeting November 25 2020

On zoom again last Wednesday for another chapter of 1 Chronicles - Chapter 14. We then nearly got sidetracked on the matter of the vaccine and what to make of it as we gathered up matters for prayer but got going in prayer in due time and a good time it was.

Westminster Conference 2020


You may be aware that the Westminster Conference this year has not been possible but there is a short online version next week. The two sessions will be

Tuesday 1st December 2020

DAVID MCKAY ~ Pastor of Shaftesbury Square RPC, Belfast
Luther stands astride the history of the Reformation like a colossus. We all know, or think we know, his famous, “Here I stand …” But what governed his life and bound his heart? Who or what directed Luther’s steps? In some respects, he could be seen as a flamboyant rebel with a stiff neck. In others, he appears a humble subject with a bent knee. We need to see him in a milieu in which authority was very differently understood in comparison to our own day, and to learn how he wrestled with and submitted to authority, whether God’s or man’s.

LEONARD O DE CHIRICO ~ Pastor of Breccia di Roma
If you read much Protestant and Reformed theology from the 16th and 17th centuries, especially of a more polemical kind, you are likely to come up against the name of Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621). Who was this man, and why was he such a significant interlocutor with the Reformers and their successors? Leonardo De Chirico will introduce the man, survey his works and his thought, and help us to understand how and why he became one of the most prominent and even respected opponents of the Protestant Reformation.

The conference will be on more than one platform. The Youtube link is

Westminster Conference 2020 on YouTube 

Westminster Conference 2020 on Facebook

So, God willing, the conference will run from 2pm until 5pm on Tuesday 1st December 2020. Two of our original speakers will be joining us to deliver two papers, followed by a round table discussion.

At 2pm, David McKay, pastor of Shaftesbury Square RPC, Belfast, will speak on Luther and Authority. After a short break, at 3.15pm Leonardo De Chirico, pastor of Breccia di Roma, will address us on Bellarmine against the Reformers. Immediately following this paper, our two speakers will participate 
in a moderated round table discussion. We expect to conclude by about 5pm.
Anyone is welcome to join us. We hope that this may be an opportunity for many who do not normally attend the conference in person to get a taste of the theology and history which we love to study and from which we delight to learn. Some eighty have registered so far.

As we are not holding a full conference this year, there will be no printed publication for 2020

Pilgrim Brother Seth Lakeman [Narrator Paul McGann]

For Thanksgiving tomorrow

Book on the Mayflower Pilgrims arrives


These arrived at my door today. See more here.

Lord's Day November 22 2020

Another zoom Sunday then. In the chapel in the morning preaching on the second half of 2 Corinthians 12. Not an easy passage but I think I had hold of it. I hope so. Only one more to go now like that. In the evening it was zoom again, but from home - Joshua 18, once again not easy but there was plenty to chew on. Rather alliterative today for some reason. Good to see everybody, even though not in the flesh.

Wales Georgia - A win's a win

Louis Rees-Sammit scores the first of two tries

Avid readers of this blog will perhaps have noted an absence of reference to Rugby Football for some time. The chief reason for this is an abysmal losing streak for Wales of six games, under new manager Wayne Pivac. This is their worst such run in seven years (yes, even under Gatland we lost eight on the trot at one point). Anyway last Saturday an experimental side (that included Ian Botham's grandson) beat Georgia 18-0 to halt the slide. It wasn't pretty but a win's a win as they say. England next, so we'll see. Meanwhile the soccer team has qualified for the Euro finals which is very good news. (Haven't bumped into Gareth Bale now he's back in London).

Midweek Meeting November 2020

On zoom again, of course. We reached 1 Chronicles 13 this week. (Having worked through the previous 12 chapters we were in a better position perhaps to understand and appreciate what the writer had to say  next. I'm trying to put the material on my Preached Sermons Blogs as preaching through this book is something we all need help with).Very straightforward narrative - the story of David's first attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem. It was possible to make a number of worthwhile points. We also had a good attendance and another good prayer meeting, where the men kicked us off well and then the women really took up the baton. One or two less familiar voices, which is always great.

Day Off Week 47

To be frank, I'm not coping with this lockdown very well. Couldn't settle to anything really today. I did do some work on my Tabernakel blog and my Beddome blog but I struggled rather. Also read the paper. Ended up watching some reruns of Would I lie to you and then sat in front off the TV all evening.

Sending out an SOS
Sending out an SOS
Sending out an SOS
Sending out an SOS
Sending out an SOS
Sending out an SOS

10 Famous People With Interchangeable first and last names

  1. Michelle Gayle actress
  2. Loretta Lynn singer
  3. Daryl Hannah actress
  4. Grace Kelly actress
  5. Nina Simone singer
  6. Jack Nicholas actor
  7. Michael Jordan sportsman
  8. Lewis Hamilton racing driver
  9. Charles Darwin scientist
  10. Harrison Ford actor

Lord's Day November 15 2020

It's easy to get behind in these days of lockdown. I don't remember being so far behind in ages. Anyway, ages ago last Lord's Day we had our second Sunday of the new regime - both zoomed services - in the morning in the chapel and in the evening back here at home. I preached again from 2 Corinthians am, on 12:1-10 and again from Joshua, Chapters 16 and 17 pm. It's not ideal but we are doing what we can.

Midweek Meeting November 11 2020

We carried on with 1 Chronicles this week - Chapter 12. Good prayer meeting too. Plenty of people there. We tried the break out groups again after. (Sorry to be late with this once again).

Day Off Week 46 2020

It's limited what you can so on a lockdown so it was the old faithful - reading - this time round. I was at a funeral in Wales the day before so I was tired (more on that later). I'd picked up a Private Eye on the way home so I could read that. I also dipped into the review pages of last Saturday's Times - something I rarely find time to do. I also pulled one of those unread books off the shelf and enjoyed a modernised version of Beowulf. I must admit that despite studying Beowulf in university I'm quite vague on it so I was glad I read this abridged version by Julian Glover.

365 Albums 301-315

  1. Under the Iron Sea Keane 2006
  2. Bingo Ekseption 1974
  3. Bonaparte's Retreat (Chieftain's 6) The Chieftains 1976
  4. October U2 1981
  5. Phaedra Tangerine Dream 1974
  6. Dark Sky Island (deluxe) Enya 2015
  7. Roll Back Horslips 2004
  8. Logos Live Tangerine Dream 1979
  9. Focus at the BBC Focus 1976
  10. America America 1972
  11. Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival 1968
  12. Live at Trading Boundaries Thijs van Leer 2015
  13. Mindmirror Ekseption 1975
  14. Swung Vol 2 Swung 2014
  15. Look Away Doc & Merle Watson 1978

Lord's Day November 8 2020

So yet another permutation this last Lord's Day. In the morning I went to the chapel and preached on Zoom. The only other person present was the pianist who kindly played a hymn at the beginning and at the end. I had the camera further away this time but that made the audio more echoey. My very slow brain thought that I should be muted so I could sing but if that had happened we wouldn't have heard the music either! I preached on the second half of 2 Corinthians 16. We did break out groups afterwards which we have tended not to do as numbers are small. I think that went okay. In the evening it was our regular zoom on Joshua 15.

Midweek Meeting November 4 2020

Looks like a missed a report on the meeting for October 28. Not sure why I got so busy. Anyway it was a zoom meeting as was our most recent meeting. This time we looked at 1 Chronicles 11 and the time before Chapter 10 (the death of Saul). We're into easier parts now. We had a good prayer time both times too, especially last time. Nice to have a friend form Spain with us. (Some things are better on zoom).

10 Songs that feature a different vocalist to usual

This list was prompted by a question on University Challenge recently

  1. The Kinks, "Death of a Clown" (1967) Dave Davies not brother Ray
  2. Canned Heat, "Going Up the Country" (1968) Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson not Bob "The Bear" Hite
  3. Marshall Tucker Band, "Can't You See" (1973) Toy Caldwell not Doug Gray
  4. The Eagles, "Take It to the Limit" (1975) Bassist Randy Meisner not Glenn Frey
  5. Blue Oyster Cult, "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" (1976) Buck Dharma not Eric Bloom
  6. Police, "On Any Other Day" (1979) Stewart Copeland not Sting
  7. ABBA Does your mother know? (1979) Björn Ulvaeus not Agnetha Fältskog or Anni-Frid Lyngstad
  8. Toto, "Africa" (1983) David Paich not Bobby Kimball or Steve Lukather
  9. U2 "Numb" (1993) The Edge not Bono
  10. Oasis, "Don't Look Back in Anger" (1996) Noel Gallagher not brother Liam
(There are lots of Queen contenders but no obvious one. I toyed with including Ringo Starr singing With a little help from my friends. May be Happy Nightmare on the first Focus album where Martiin Dresden sings could be added but that's pretty obscure)

Day Off Week 45 2020


Having made a big dent on the big Unexpected History book by Wills and Daybell last week I sent for the other four smaller books they have and on Tuesday I read the one on The Tudors and most of the one on The Vikings. I thought I'd start with the one on the Tudors as that is probably the period of English history I know best. I enjoyed it. As for the Vikings I'm 20% or so Scandinavian and I have been enjoying a lot of Scandi TV recently so I thought that was the next best choice. I was slightly disappointed with this although its reliance on the sagas is very enlightening. I feel I got more from Silk Roads when I read it. Anyway, a nice day all told.

Lord's Day November 1 2020

Bit behind with this but we had last Sunday morning what we won't really be having for the next four Sundays - communion followed by a service in the chapel. In the evening we zoomed so that was as has been and will be. We were not many for communion but it was good to be together again. Hopefully we will be able to sit down together again on December 2. I felt the preaching am (from 2 Cor 11:1-15) went much better than last week. The passage was just as difficult but I was fortified by not wanting to flop again and a quote I came across from Kanye West (of all people). He has just discovered expository preaching (something I have been doing here for over thirty years). He describes it like this

... it's like one-to-one by the Word. I like all different kind of preachers but there are some type of preachers they get up, they have the bible in their hand, and they close the Bible and they just talk for two hours.
And some do have anointing, but expository preachers go line for line, and for me it’s like I come from entertainment. I got so much sauce, I don’t need no sauce on the word. I need the word to be solid food that I can understand exactly what God was saying to me ....

In the evening we were in Joshua 14 where we were looking at Caleb, a model of faith. A good Lord's Day to fortify us for the tough days ahead.

10 Reasons to give thanks at the present time

No-one is happy about the present lockdown in England but it is important to give thanks. Here are 10 reasons to be thankful.

1. Give thanks God is still on his throne. His purposes may be obscure but it is his will that prevails
2. Give thanks that we had communion last Sunday. We are thankful for the timing
3. Give thanks that we also had a baptism the other week. We were glad again for the timing
4. Give thanks for the 20 weeks or more we have been able to meet on a Sunday morning since June
5. Give thanks that this new lock down is set to be only for four Sundays
6. Give thanks that whether the government has made the right decision or not their motives are good
7. Give thanks for this opportunity to show our submission to the powers that be
8. Give thanks for the opportunity to identify with fellow believers in Wales, France, etc
9. Give thanks that we can still make use of zoom to meet
10. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thess 5:18)