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.

Grace Assembly 2024

Ebenezer, Campbell, Relf, Whitton

Jonathan Gulliford, Mark Richards, Matt Benton, David Last

I have spent the time since Tuesday lunch here in Swanwick at The Grace Baptist Assembly. The assembly used to meet in Childs Hill once upon a time and I was on the committee that arranged the assembly. For the last 20 years, however, we have met for a residential conference. For various reasons I have been unable to attend for a few years but it was good to be there this time. The format is largely unchanged and it was good to meet old friends and new.

Paul and Bridget Relf acted as hosts and so Paul preached at the beginning of our time together, looking at some words of encouragement from 1 Thessalonians. On both evenings David Campbell preached to us from that wonderful verse, Romans 8:28. We had two news sessions - one on Reformed Baptist work in Italy (presented by a gentlman from Rome called Davide Ibrahim) and one on the British scene, including reports on Chorlton and irmston; teaching English to internationals in Leytonstone; College Park, Lewisham; Pidley, N C|ambridgeshire, etc.
The conference theme otherwise was The nurturing church and particualrly the perennial subject of eudcation. So on the Wednesday morning we had an excellent survey of the last 50 years of state education in this country by Alun Ebenezer, former headmaster of Fulham Boys School. He helpfully pinpointed 11 things that have changed over this time with good humour - the culture, the view of children, authority, mental health, technology, the view of the body, the matter of the environment, sex and relationships, equality, religion/beliefs and family. This was followed by a discussion panel featuring men who had (respectively) sent their children to a Christian School (Jonathan Gulliford, Yate) home schooled (Mark Richards, Chesham) and state school (Matt Benton, Aylesbury). This was followed up on the final morning with a discussion session, chaired by David Last.
There was  also a necessary business session on Tuesday afternoon. The biggest decision was to move to Northampton next year, due to rising costs at Swanwick (the same change has had to be made by the Carey Conference).
In the final session, Steve Whitton from Lewisham preached from Genesis 19 on The cost of compromise.

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