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.

Yes they really do

Sometimes you are told that people say a certain thing and you wonder if they really do. Yesterday in TableTalk Magazine in comments on 1 Corinthians 16:15-18 it actually does say this (italics mine).

We cannot be sure of who made up Stephanas’ household, but there may be here an indirect reference to infant baptism. The infants would have been baptized along with the rest of the household if, in fact, there were infants in the household (see 1 Cor 1:16). In any case, it is worth noting that some commentators believe that Stephanas and his household played a key role in establishing the church in Corinth and that Stephanas may have been an early leader there given the way Paul speaks about them as those who “devoted themselves to the service of the saints” (16:15).

Day Off

If you are wondering what has happened to these - it has been busy with visitors and this week some travelling and so a regular day off has not been possible. I'm not overworking, however, I'm sure. My main reason for writing about days off is to encourage younger men in the ministry to try to have a day off.

Lord's Day July 25 2021

And so at last we were back to two in person services with singing last Lord's Day. It felt a little strange and I must confess I was on edge a little now that the rules are there but not quite. I think I was a little flat anyway. I'm running our of fizz and need a holiday I think. Preaching with freshness each time is not easy. Anyway, it was Luke 8:1-3 in the morning and the final chapter of Joshua in the evening. We were around 12 in the evening and more like 30 in the morning with a few on zoom for both services.

10 Poisons used in Agatha Christie Novels

This was prompted by a question on last Monday's University Challenge
  1. Cyanide (The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, And Then There Were None, A Pocketful of Rye, Sparkling Cyanide). A rapidly acting, potentially deadly chemical that can exist in various forms. Cyanide can be a colourless gas, such as hydrogen cyanide (HCN) or cyanogen chloride (CNCl), or a crystal form such as sodium cyanide (NaCN) or potassium cyanide (KCN)..
  2. Arsenic (4.50 From Paddington). A chemical element with the symbol As and atomic number 33.
  3. Strychnine (The Mysterious Affair at Styles). A white, odourless, bitter crystalline powder that can be taken by mouth, inhaled (breathed in), or mixed in a solution and given intravenously (injected directly into a vein). It is a strong poison.
  4. Digitalis (Appointment with Death). Poison derived form the foxglove.
  5. Morphine (Sad Cypress). An opiate painkiller that can kill in the right dosage.
  6. Thallium (The Pale Horse). A chemical element with the symbol Tl and atomic number 81.
  7. Coniine (Five Little Pigs) an alkaloid extracted from hemlock, it works peripherally as a neurotoxin, causing death by respiratory paralysis. Less than 200 micrograms is fatal.
  8. Bacillus anthracis (Cards On The Table). Gram-positive and rod-shaped bacterium that causes anthrax, a deadly disease to livestock and, occasionally, to humans.
  9. Phosphorus (Dumb Witness). A chemical element with the symbol P and atomic number 15.
  10. Belladonna also known as Deadly Nightshade (The Caribbean Mystery, The Big Four). Poisonous plant.
(Sleeping tablets feature in Lord Edgware Dies).

Midweek Meeting July 21 2021

For the sake of completeness I note that there was a midweek meeting on zoom last Wednesday. It was better attended than in recent times. We looked at 1 Timothy 6:14-17 and there was a good opportunity for prayer.

Lions win first test in South Africa


17-22 and pretty close run with South Africa the better team in the first half.
Weird wanting Farrell to score but I did and he did.

Lord's Day July 18 2021

A little while back I noticed some grease stains on my Sunday suit (at present there is only one - important information here) and so I took it to the dry cleaners. I was supposed to pick it up the following Friday but forgot. I spent Saturday July 17 in Legoland with family and so I commissioned my youngest son to collect the suit. Sounds simple but he came back with the wrong one! Thankfully it's been so hot recently that no-one sees your jacket and so an old blue summer one was okay with a pair of smartish blue trousers. I think I got away with it.
I was not in Childs Hill. Reuben Saywell was preaching for me. I was in Bradford-on-Avon, a church I know a little. Our former elder, Robert Strivens, is the present pastor. I arrived there in good time and we began with a couple of hymns in the graveyard. Inside they have just had the central block of pews removed and one or two other changes. The chairs have not arrived yet but a stand in set (should that be sit in set?) passed muster. There must have been about fifty present, mostly older women, but some younger males around too. I preached on John the Baptist from Luke 7. In the evening it was Christ our city of refuge from Joshua 20. It seems to have been appreciated.
I spent the afternoon with my sister-in-law and her family in nearby Trowbridge. They attend Grace Reformed Baptist, Hilperton, as does the former pastor and elders. There were some issues a few years back, mostly now resolved.
Anyway, an enjoyable day, and hopefully a blessing to those who came along.

Midweek Meeting July 14 2021

Not a great turn out for this zoom meeting and I was a little distracted by one or two things, including the arrival of my oldest son and his family partway through. (They came for a week so that explains why we are behind  here). Anyway, we looked at 1 Timothy 6:11-13, mainly about the good fight and we had a good prayer session.

Lord's Day July 11 2021


We had a good attendance live in chapel last Lord's Day morning with one or two more members back and a new man who some of us had met giving out tracts the day before. A good sprinkling of Iranians but few other fresh ones. I preached from the next part of Luke on the woman who poured perfume on the Saviour. In the evening it was Zoom only on Joshua 23. A good day.

Midweek Meeting July 7 2021

We had our zoom meeting as usual last Wednesday, looking at 1 Timothy 6:6-10 and focusing on those great and complimentary texts Godliness with contentment is great gain and For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. We also spent time in prayer and many prayed. Prayer is so important. I doubt that we fully realise that.

Day Off Week 27 2021

The main thing today was a trip into town with my fourth son Gwïon and his girlfriend. They are staying here this week. We went down to Bunhill Fields to see the graves of Bunyan, Blake, Defoe, Owen, Goodwin, etc, etc. We also saw Wesley's grave across the road; the house was closed. After that we headed for the flagship Shoreditch branch of the Origin coffee shop, where I did the crossword and Gwïon and Marni played chess. Very nice coffee. En route I spotted Esme Young from Sewing Bee and told her how much my wife enjoyed the show. Back here it was football in the evening, of course. I also found time to read a chunk of Gerald Bray's new The History of the Christianity in Britain and Ireland. I also found time to watch some TV. Oh yes and the latest Private Eye on the right day. Pretty good day all told.

Lord's Day June 4 2021


Last Lord's Day, we began with communion. We also welcomed a new member, a young Nigerian man who has been living in the area a little while and who we have got to know. After communion we had our in person morning service. Several of our new Iranians were there but also visiting friends too, one of whom know my son well. Our Filipinos were back too and one or two others returning. I preached on Luke 7:18-35, a potentially difficult passage that I have long studied and feel I had hold of well. In the evening it was zoom only and we were looking at Joshua 22 and the subject of Christian unity. We also had two LCMers talking about reaching people in London today. They were encouraging us to get involved in door to door, which we have done in the past but it was good to be reminded again. Some are sceptical of it but I feel it is one of the least worst methods open to us.

Midweek Meeting June 30 2021

Another zoom meeting on Wednesday. We looked at 1 Timothy 6:2c-5 mainly considering false teachers with references to Rob Bell and William Lane Craig by way of example. We had a good prayer time with several praying. Conscious of the time as we had a members' meeting the next night. That went well too although numbers were a little low.

Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Love this one too

Elvis Burning Love With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Came across this recently

Day Off Week 26 2021

This week's day off, of course included plenty of football - England finally living up to their potential against Germany and Ukraine beating Sweden. That was the evening. Before that I had been out for a good walk and had had a coffee and done the crossword, etc. The rest of the time was mainly reading, making an overdue phone call and some blog and article work. On the reading front I started to tackle Bavinck on a Christian Worldview. It was given me free at the Catalyst conference. It is well translated but I found it hard going beyond the introductory matter. I also went back to my unfinished copy of Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I have mentioned a pile of ten unread or part read novels that I am hoping to get on with at some point. I got quite a way through Gilead last time but got distracted so I have started again and am enjoying. Reading has such a providential element, it is important to read the right book at the right time. I should probably abandon the Bavinck. I am coming to it too late in life - or may be not.