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.

Go Teach

For many years now my wife has been one of the EMW representatives on the Go Teach committee. It has been a tough year for them, as for most of us, but they recently organised a thanksgiving service on Zoom because God, as ever, has been very gracious in the midst of it all. It was my privilege to preach on this occasion to about 30 or 40. Gareth James chaired the meeting. The text of the sermon can be found here. Meanwhile Go Teach's website is here.

(Go Teach Publications Ltd is a UK based registered charity, which publishes Bible teaching material for use with children and young people aged 3 to 14 years.

Go Teach began publishing dated Sunday School materials (under another name) in 1946. It is the longest established producer of such materials in the UK. Originally it was part of the work of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC).

Go Teach Publications Ltd was formed from that earlier work and became an independent charity and limited company in 1976.

Its work is now managed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Grace Baptist Ministry to the Young and the Evangelical Movement of Wales.

Go Teach Bible teaching materials are distributed in the UK and throughout the world.)

Lord's Day April 25 2021

As we came away from the chapel on Sunday morning my wife said to me "Did you forget something?". I thought for a while and came up with nothing. Then she said "The long prayer". Right. It all came back to me. We had started with prayer, of couirse, and a hymn (Immortal honours) and then I read from Isaiah 8, the next of our continuous readings. Then one of my deacons spoke to the children about William Tyndale. When I cam back to the front I should have read and prayed but I only read (two short readings from Hebrews 6 and Romans 8) and prayed briefly before the sermon. I preached the next on the short series on Faith, hope and love - on hope. After that I think we prayed and then we had our last hymn (My hope is built). So there was a good lot of prayer but not that long prayer where we really come to the Lord. I made sure I prayed a bit longer in the evening when we were only on zoom. (My problem there was that I think I re-read Revelation 4 as our consecutive reading). I preached on the next part of Luke 5, on making judgements. We also had our good friend from Johannesburg, Thapelo along reporting, and that was great.

Midweek Meeting April 21 2021

Another good prayer meeting last Wednesday on zoom, which we are more than used to by now. We carried on in 1 Chronicles 24. Not easy to do as ever but I thought I made a better stab this time than last and may be I did.

Day Off Week 16 2021

This is my first formal day off in a few weeks after the holiday. It was spent reading and TV watching in the main. I recently bought missing volumes from the series on Particular Baptists and enjoyed reading some of those plus a chunk of Bill Bryson's Mother tongue. I also popped out for a coffee nd did a bit kof blogging.

Lord's Day April 18 2021


We were in chapel in the morning and I started on a short new series that I have never attempted to cover before - Faith, Hope and Love. I've never hears such a series even though it is such an obvious thing to do, Anyway, I started this last Lords Day with faith looking at that long chapter Hebrews 11. Numbers were poor but people listened well. One of my deacons also spoke to the children on Luther and the Diet of Worms. In the evening it was zoom only as we carried on in Luke 6.

Means of Transport Lorry


Means of Transport Kayak


10 Popular Preachers listed by John Bacon in 1799

When the Eclectic Society met in January 1799 they discussed what made preachers popular or unpopular. At the beginning John Bacon listed a number of preachers of the day and what made them popular. Here are ten

1. [George] Whitfield was remarkable for feeling, susceptibility, force
2. [William] Romaine for realizing faith; he had one subject indeed but this was the panacea; there was some variety.
3. [John] Berridge gained in some degree from the place in which he preached; he was always in populous places; simplicity was his one object
4. Rowland Hill is irregular extravagant bawling &c yet something extraordinary; upright, devoted, comes out; fire, brilliance, genius; talks rather than preaches; strong comparisons but they interest; stories.
5. [William] Jay has great natural powers, memory
6. [Samuel] Medley had some party in his spirit; glib, jocular.
7. [William] Huntington had promptitude, was easy, pleasant, fanciful like a harlequin
8. [Henry] Venn of Huddersfield some tone but remarkably fiery; current; realizing; heavenly; rapturous, holy, quickening.
9. [John] Wesley good sense, promptitude, clear, treats all circumstances as belonging to a system not that in his ministry which would independently have been popular.
10. [Robert] Robinson of Cambridge had ease comprehension, no turns or twists but new views of things &c
(He also mentions forgotten preachers [Jehoiada] Brewer - possessed moderate talents but pathos was fervent affectionate savoury no peculiar tone to obstruct and rather aided his manner encouragement to diligence was one of his frequent topics perhaps compared with the drawling manner of some other dissenters he may be classed as above the average; [William Bromley] Cadogan - had no variety tone or dash but perception of subject determination sawing through energy reality he took by force the one object he kept in view; [William Alphonsus] Gunn - without extraordinary talents but gives direction and application to the truth no tone or twang addresses this and the other evidently a good man his preaching is not treating the subject so much as dealing in address deals in general truths; [James] Fordyce - an orator but it looked not like the real thing; gilded but it wore off. He also gives the names - [William] Dodd, Harrison and Hodgson)

Means of Transport Jeep


Means of Transport Ice cream van


Lord's Day April 11 2021

Way behind with this - I've had a bad cold. Anyway from time to time I preach topically and with the death of the Prince of Edinburgh on April 8, it seemed obvious to say something in light of that. Hebrews 9:27 came strongly to mind (why did he die, what happened next and lessons). I was in two minds but thought it right to go ahead and glad I did. (If you want to hear the sermon you can find it here and if you want to read it, it is here). In the evening it was zoom only again. We went on in Luke 6, beginning the so called Sermon on the Plain So back to basics  but from Luke and so there is a freshness that one doesn't get in the same way with Matthew and the Sermon on the Mount.

Two LPs

My sister was going through her LP collection the other day and spotted these two albums (a pink one and a blue one) which she knew were mine. They are Thijs van Leer's unique 1975 solo album O my love! and the 1985 reunion album featuring van Leer and Jan Akkerman. The pictures of van Leer on the two albums tells a sad story of apparent physical decline. I hadn't really thought of O my love! in this way but with its gatefold sleeve and with Paul Buckmaster playing a role similar to that of George Flynn on Tabernakel, it can be seen as something of a reply to Akkerman's statement of the previous year. On both we have entirely solo efforts - Akkerman on Lute and van Leer on piano - as well as the expected group efforts with fine session musicians. Both albums were recorded in America - Akkerman's in New York on Atlantic and van Leer's in Los Angeles on Philips. They even both feature pictures of their wives of the time, Lammy and Roselie Peters. I love both albums but van Leer's is a rather curious one on the whole.

50 Years Old Today

If my calculations are correct, today (April 16, 2021) is my fiftieth birthday. I was born again on Friday, April 16, 1971, or thereabouts. Read more here.

Midweek Meeting April 7 2021

We were back to 1 Chronicles on Wednesday with Chapter 23. I prepared well and the priesthood of all believers is a favourite subject but it didn't quite take off I felt. Good prayer time, however. May be I was  bit tired. One encouragement is an improvement in some of the praying. All on zoom, of course.

Means of Transport Flying Boat


Means of Transport Elephant


10 Odd Names from Church History

Barebone (Top) Bottome (Bottom)

  1. Alexander Smellie (1857-1923) a Scottish Original Secession Church minister and writer.
  2. Francis Bottome (1823-1894) English Hymn writer
  3. PraiseGod Barebone (c 1598-1679) Puritan who gave his name to Barebone's Parliament
  4. William True Sleeper (1819-1904) American Congregationalist minister and hymn writer
  5. Arabella K Hankey (1834-1911) English missionary and nurse adn hymn writer
  6. George Perfect Pentecostal pastor and missionary
  7. Christmas Evans (1766-1838) Welsh Baptist preacher
  8. Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1754) Scottish minister and Secession leader
  9. Joseph Funk (1778–1862) American composer and music teacher
  10. Josiah Pratt (1768–1844) English evangelical clergyman
(Other contenders, Dwight Pentecost, Benjamin Woodd (sic), Jan Uytenbogaert, etc)

Means of Transport Dumper Truck


Means of Transport Car


Lord's Day April 4 2021

We had a great turn out on Easter Sunday for the morning service when were just under thirty in the chapel and with others joining us on zoo. There was only one visitor, a friend of a regular member of the congregation. Very few were away. In the evening it was on zoom only and a smaller number. At both services I simply took classic resurrection chapters and we worked our way through them. In the morning it was John 20 and in the evening Luke 24. It was good to look at these chapters once again. it was a shame not to be able to sing those great Easter hymns. In fact, if I was a bit more friendly with others I would have known that several decided to meet in the open air to sing those hymns. So I missed a trick there and we had to simply listen to recordings from the Aber Conference of In Christ alone and Thine be the glory. We began the day with communion. We weren't a large number.

Midweek Meeting March 31 2021

Last week we did have our zoom meeting as usual. I wanted to focus on the cross and so I adapted an old magazine article available here. (It is safe). I had tried to prepare something from Colossians before but abandoned it. We also had a good prayer session covering various matters, especially a dying lady who did in fact die about an hour or so after the close of the meeting.

Ken Plays Sylvia on Radio 2

Enjoyed hearing this on the radio earlier in the week

Day Off Week 13 2021

Today was filled with all sorts of things. First thing, I had to contact the local GP to talk to the nurse and the doctor. They each 'phoned back later. In some ways telephone appointments work better. Nothing to worry about medically. I began reading the book Why the Dutch are different which I bought a while ago. There was also lots of TV - an Italian detective drama I have started to work through, the latest University Challenge which I was unable to listen to on Monday night as I had a meeting. Then there was a superb documentary on Jackie Charlton Finding Jack Charlton (see here for a while). Many things stood out including the way the two talent brother seems to have so far outshone his five talent brother. Anyway, good busy day.

Lord's Day March 28 2021

Last Lord's Day was a little different in that we managed to have a visitor in the morning at chapel (with around 20 present) and he also spoke on zoom for us in the evening, which I attended as the church I agreed to preach for only wanted a zoom meeting in the morning. So the preacher here was our friend Reuben Saywell and I preached for Painshill in Surrey. One person was tuning on from France - the wonders of modern technology. I interviewed Reuben in the evening. We are praying for him and the family as they contemplate the future.