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.

Begg on Lloyd-Jones

Some of you may be interested in this link here

Midweek Meeting January 12 2022

For our midweek meeting last week (still on zoom) we looked at Psalm 32. What a wonderful psalm on forgiveness it is. We had a good time of prayer too with a decent number.

Day Off Week 2 2022

After all the holiday, we are trying to get back into some sort of routine, so last Tuesday it was my first day off of the year. I did a lot of work on various books I have written or am writing. Someone kindly sent me a festchrift that has been written for Bob Penhearow of Carey Outreach Ministries, which I have had some small connection with. I love that format and there were lots of good things on there. More details here. I went for a walk and a coffee and bumped into Lord and lady Childs Hill who I rarely see together. They told me they are celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary this year. I also watched a bit of TV. Nice day.
(The book I should add features Bible Studies, theology, church history and pastoralia. I enjoyed the church history best. I'd never heard of Chang and Chu of Shanxi - brilliant story [inevitably the solitary typo I spotted comes where Pastor Hsi is called His] or of Charles Tupper and I though Dr Haykin did an excellent piece on Machen. I also found Carl Muller on butn out interesting - it reminded me of the importance of the day off!)

Lord's Day January 9 2022


It was good to be preaching again on the last Lord's Day. We began with communion, held over from the previous week. I then preached on those wonderful words in Isaiah 40:30, 31. We were around twenty i guess with others listening in on zoom. In the evening we were again in Isaiah and tackling a classic text - Isaiah 60:1,2. Numbers were much less in the evening. It was good to meet a new man who first came the week before. I hope he sticks with us.

Great Obscure Track Joachim Kühn's Mushroom

Joachim Kuhn, Philip Catherine, John Lee, Gerald Brown 1976

Midweek Meeting January 5 2022

Our midweek meetings are still on zoom so there was no problem leading the midweek meeting. We finished off  a series on John 1:1-18, looking at verses 14-18. You'd think we'd be all christmassed out but not at all. We had a decent number too - eventually! Some still struggling to get back into it after the break last week. Good prayer time as well.

10 OT verses sometimes called the OT version of a NT verse

In commentaries you will sometimes come across the suggestion that a certain OT verse is the OT version one found in the NT. Here are some examples.
  1. Genesis 50:20 - Romans 8:28 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives./And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
  2. Leviticus 19:2 - Matthew 5:48 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy./Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
  3. Psalm 1:1 - Romans 12:2 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,/Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
  4. Psalm 34:9 - Matthew 6:33 Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing./But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
  5. Psalm 91:9-11 - Romans 8:35-37 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;/Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
  6. Psalm 119:164 - 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws./Pray continually
  7. Psalm 138:8 - Philippians 1:6 The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever - do not abandon the works of your hands./ being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
  8. Proverbs 10:16 - Romans 6:23 The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death./For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  9. Proverbs 28:13 - 1 John 1:8-10 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy./If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
  10. Ecclesiastes 11:5 - John 3:8 As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things./The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

10 Differences between justification and sanctification

  1. Justification is binary, Sanctification is progressive
  2. Justification is legal, Sanctification is moral
  3. Justification is free, Sanctification is costly
  4. Justification is instantaneous, Sanctification is life-long
  5. Justification is perfect, Sanctification is always imperfect in this life
  6. Justification is by faith, Sanctification is by faithfulness
  7. Justification is not of works, Sanctification is of works
  8. Justification concerns Christ’s righteousness, Sanctification concerns my righteousness
  9. Justification involves my position in Christ, Sanctification involves my practice
  10. Justification considers what God has done, Sanctification considers what I am doing

Lord's Day January 2 2022

Last Lord's Day was one of the stranger ones in my life. The previous week I tested positive for covid (as several family members also have) and although I have not been too bad with it I have had to isolate, including last Lord's Day. Thankfully, one of my deacons had family staying and his son and son-in-law were able to stand in for me. So in the morning James Howlett preached from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and in the evening Pieter de Jong from Titus 2. They both preached well. We listened online along with a few others. I don't how many were there in person, although I hear there was at least one new person. Frustrating not to be there but seeking to accept it in the Lord.

10 excuses for not coming to Christ highlighted by Benjamin Beddome

In a sermon on Luke 14:18 They all with one consent began to make excuse Benjamin Beddome lists eight excuses people give. We have stretched his sub points under the third excuse - pre-engagement  -to make it 10.

1. Some men will say they have no need to come to Christ
2. Others imagine they are already come to Christ; and the act being performed, they have no need to repeat it.
3. Pre-engagement is another excuse which sinners make for not coming to Christ - a hurry of business
    4. Pre-engagement - the necessary occupations of life, and consequently a want of time
    5. Pre-engagement - feasting, dressing, unedifying visits and unnecessary recreations, etc
6. Some say they have tried but cannot come to Christ
7. Others who are deeply bowed down in spirit, do not so much plead their inability, as their unfitness and unworthiness
8. Some stumble at the austerities of religion, and the dangers to which it will expose them.
9. It is the fear of some that if they do come to Christ, they shall either be rejected, or dishonour him.
10. Many who do not come to Christ now, purpose to do so hereafter

Christmas Books 2021

Around this time of the year I like to mention the books that I have been given for Christmas. This varied bunch is from my sons, my wife and my father-in-law. The one on the Universe accompanied a beautiful gemstone collection representing the planets of the solar system. I have read that now and started on the Cromwell biography and the book of Paul McCartney. The one on the Heath is about nearby Hampstead Heath by Hunter Davies, while the other two (Christmas Carol and The Great Gatsby) are novels in the beautiful Chiltern series.

Lord's Day December 26 2021

We had two services as usual on the Lord's Day. Attendance was down, however, especially ion the evening. We again sang a capella and were okay in the morning but by the evening a small number and the unfamiliar tunes combined with the appearance of a cat that lives next to the church  in the second hymn finished us. We recovered for the other two hymns. By December 26 Christmas is officially over but I thought the texts I chose were about right for the occasion - Revelation 12:1-5 and Galatians 4:4 where I pointed out eight ways in which the set time had come.

Christmas Day Service 2021

We must have been around thirty on Christmas morning thanks to relatives and so on. I like to take a text on such occasions and newly discovered 2 Corinthians 15:19, which I have never preached. We sang three hymns a capella (there being  no pianist). It was lovely to have some children there.

Midweek Meeting December 22 2021

We were on zoom again on Wednesday and quite a small number. It was good to go on with John 1, however (1:11-13) and to pray - lots to pray about at the moment.

Lord's Day December 19 2021

Last Lord's Day we had our first Christmas sermons of the season. Because we were starting so late I plunged straight in with the shepherds and the wise men. I prepared fresh sermons on the familiar passages. I took particular note of the structure of the passages. We were a decent turn out morning and evening, supplemented by family members. We had communion in the evening. A man who has come more often recently was there morning and evening. Not sure if he has got beyond his need for money yet.