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.

Lord's Day September 17 2023

What a full day it was last Lord's Day!  We haptised two people in the morning service and that was followed by a lovely fellowship meal together. It was Eleri's birthday and someon had made an aamzing cake for her. We all sang happy birthday. I preached on Acts 22:16. In the evening there was communion and we welcomed oour newly baptised friends into membership. Then Eddie Webster, our new assistant, preached an excellent sermon on Mephibosheth from 2 Samuel 9. Great day.

West Kilburn Baptist Induction

The deacons ask their new pastor vital questions (Can you spot the back of my head?)

It was great to be at West Kilburn Baptist Church recently for the induction of their new pastor, Steve Palframan. WKBC is an FIEC church now but CHBC would have been in the same NW grop of LBA churches back in the day. I have known the previous two pastors (Peter Law and especially Paul Pease before him). The induction included a church rededication. Also taking part were Paul Wells, who Steve knows from his previous church in Liverpool and Bob Cain from Flitwick who served as moderator when WKBC were without a pastor. The preacher was Yannick Christos-Wahab of Stockwell Baptist Church who preached well from Psalm 96. It was good to see a few familiar faces, including Welshman James Sercombe. Tasty African style food to follow. We wish the church well as this new chapter begins.

10 Bute Park Animal Sculptures

Click to enlarge

One of the features of Cardiff City Centre is a series of animal sculptures on the wall of Bute Park. There are 15 altogether (a lioness, two lions, raccoons and baboons are the others). It now stands to the west of the entrance to Cardiff Castle, having been moved from its original position in front of the castle in 1922 when the road was widened. The design for the wall was conceived by William Burges, architect to the third Marquess of Bute, during Burges's reconstruction of the castle in the 1860s, but it was not executed until the late 1880s/early 1890s. This work, which included the original nine animal sculptures, all undertaken by Burges's favourite sculptor, Thomas Nicholls, was carried out under the direction of William Frame, who had previously assisted Burges at both Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch. When the wall was moved, the fourth Marquess commissioned Alexander Carrick to carve a further six sculptures to sit on the extended wall which now fronted Bute Park in 1931. The Animal Wall is a Grade I listed structure. Above the top five are by Nicholls, the bottom five by Carrick. The animals were originally painted in naturalistic colours, although this paintwork deteriorated rapidly, and was subsequently removed.

Midweek Meeting September 13 2023

We had our second in person midweek meeting on Wednesday. The numbers were very similar. We've bought an omnidirectional Mike, which helps those online. We didn't project pn to the wall this time. Of course, switching thigs on is important with any electrical gear, which we eventually did. We were looking at Psam 63. A good prayer time followed. Previous to the meeting there had been a funeral in the chapel. One of our oldest members died recently. He was patriarch of a large London Nigerian family. Ipreached on Psalm 23.

Day Off Week 37

Lots of traditional elements in the latest day off - reading (read most of a book on Welsh wonders that I bought in the summer - fascinating), looking at an art book (Alfred Sisley this time; interesting but how many landscapes can you do?), bought some Manchego cheese as I explore that world (turns out it is made with sheep's milk), a coffee in Costa, a bit of TV in the evening (Inheritance on Channel 5). However, my first tasks of the day were letting of a mini-fumigator in our bedroom (we have a dog) and getting some keys cut as I have lost the ones I had. There is a completley automated key cutter nearby. I just thought I'm sure it was on the same day that I read the obituary of Mike Yarwood in The Times (two impressionists then, with Sisley!).

10 British Kings Not Born In England

  1. William I (and II) - Falaise, Normandy
  2. Henry II - Le Mans, Maine
  3. Richard II - Bordeaux, Aquitaine
  4. Edward II - Caernarfon, Gwynedd
  5. Henry V - Monmouth
  6. Henry VII - Pembroke
  7. James I - Edinburgh
  8. Charles I - Dunfermline
  9. William III - The Hague, Holland
  10. George I (and II) - Hanover, HRE
(Also, Stephen - Blois, Edward IV - Rouen, Normandy)

Rugby World Cup 2023 Week 1

So the rugby world cup is off to a flying start. For various reasosn I haven't seen much of ot. However, hats off to England for a perfectly handled opening match against Argentina and well done Wales for beating Fiji, currently ranked above us. It looks unlikely that Wales will prgress beyond the quarters but with strength in depth who knows. Good to hear that the soccer team is back to winning ways too with a 2-0 victory over Latvia.

Affinity Meeting 2023

Paul Yeulett introducing the Theological Study Conference 2025

There was another opportunity to hear about the work of Affinity yesterday and as it was at London Seminary, on my doorstep, I gladly took the opportunity to go along. My new assistant Eddie is living at the seminary so it was an oppoortuntity to catch up with him too. Graham Nicholls works for Affnity only one day a week officially but he does seem to lap up the opportunities to speak on local radio, etc, and get the evangelical viewpoint acoss. We ought to be thankful for that. Finances are okay and the work of Foundations, the social issues bulletin, the theological conference, etc, all carry on too. Nice to catch up with Mark Thomas and others too. How encouraging.

Evangelical Library Lunch Time Lecture Wesley

Just had an excellent lunch time lecture on zoom with Roger Fay from Ripon. We tend to underdo Methodism, at least the Arminan variety, so it was good to return to the subject of John Wesley amd his experience at Aldersgate Street. After a brief introduction Roger reminded us of the salient facts and Wes;ey's heart being strangely warmed as someone read the preface to Luther on Romans. He then worked through some examples of how the story has been subsequently treated, including by Wesley himself (Heny Rack,  Yrygioyen, V H H Green, etc). A brief discussion followed. It was good to revisit this subject. A recording of the lecture will be available soon on YouTube. The next lecture will be Norman Hopkins on Wesley's maternal grandfather Samuel Annesley on October 9. The picture above is the Aldersgate Flame, a piece of public art that features Wesley's diary entry concerning his experience. I assume it is still outside the London Museum, although big cahnges are going on over there, I think.

Lord's Day September 10 2023

We had a good attendance last Lord's Day in the morning and not too bad in the evening. We carried on in Luke in the morning (18:1-8 and the parable of the unjust judge or importunate widow). During the morning service we welcomed our new assistant Eddie and a new church member, another of our Iranian friends. Good to be there. Some were rather eager to dash off after the am service for different reasons and didn't stay for a cuppa. That's rare thankfully.

Ligonier London Conference 2023

Chris L, Mike R, Sinclair F, Steve L, Burk P

Steve Lawson

Back in 2019 Ligonier Ministries organised their first London Conference in Westminster Central Hall. Last Friday and Saturday they were finally able to have a second conference. This time we were in the slightly smaller Westminster Chapel, whih was a wise decision. We really missed Alistair Begg but the other speakers all did well ion the whole.
We started with an extra bit for ministers. In that session Steve Lawson preached a typically robust call to Preach the Word and then Mike Reeves spoke helpfully on prayer. (I thought it very interesting to hear that Spurgeon once said of public prayer, “I am not able to see any reason for depriving me of the holiest, sweetest, and most profitable exercise which my Lord has allotted me; if I have my choice, I will sooner yield up the sermon than the prayer.” [See his lecture on it to his stundents]). We also had an excellent expositon of Jude from Sinclair Ferguson and the final message was from Burk Parsons on ordinary means. There was also a worthwhile Q&A.
We did not reconvene until 3 in the afternoon for the start of the conference proper. Entitled Pilrims and Exiles the conference addresses looked at verses from the opening chapters of 1 Peter. On that first day we had Ken Mbugua on Elect Exiles, Mark Johnston on The Salvation of Exiles Prophesied and Our Living Hope in Exile by Burk Parsons. By this time it was very hot, perhaps more difficult to concentrate. I certainly found it so.
We reconvened the next day to hear four more messages and to listen to two Q&A sessions. We heard Holy Living in Exile by Michael Reeves, Foreknown for the Sake of Exiles by Steve Nichols, The Word of God for Exiles by Steven Lawson and finished on a high note with Honourable Conduct in Exile by Sinclair Ferguson. The chairman throughout was Chris Larson.
About 600 were present I guess from 27 different countries. One could do without the regular applause for preachers that was felt necessary and the little band for some of the hymns is just what people do these days. The main thing was to hear the Word faithfully expounded, to meet friends old and new and to see the wonderful bookstall. If yoou love the Word you can only wish Ligonier well.

Midweek Meeting September 6 2023

Yesterday was a bit of a red letter day in that, at long long last, we met in person for our midweek meeting. We were 12 in the room and three extras online. The 12 included our new assistant pastor, Eddie Webster, two local young unchurched believers who are looking for a church and a man who has been attending recently. We sang first then looked at Psalm 148, spent some time discussing matters for prayer and then prayed (one prayer was a dismbodied contribution from zoom). We didn't help ourselves by using a tie mike we passed around but it worked okay. We had gone to the trouble of projecting the zoom call onto the wall but I don't think we need to do that. So encouuraging to be back to it.

Day Off Week 36

The holidays over it was back to a more formal day off this week. There were the common components - an art book (Michelangelo this time - stunning genius indeed), some cheese from Waitrose (Jarlsberg this time) and some TV in the evening (BBC). I also read some more from Calvin on Titus, the book for the reading group at the Pastor's Academy at the end of this month. I also took an hour or so out to chat over hot drinks to a very interesting Iranian man who has started to come along to us. I alos made a start on a paper I'm giving in November.

Lord's Day September 3 2023

It was good to be back in Childs Hill once again yesterday. We began with communion and then in the morning I preached the next part in Luke, the end of Luke 17. It wa a little longer than usual but not a major problem. People were missing but there were others present including relatives of members and visitors. Some good chats after both services. In the evening we looked again at the comings of Christ, including is becoming our High Priest and a life giving spirit, etc.

Midweek Meeting August 30 2023

Hopefully this was or last meeting only on zoom. We plan to go back to live meetings next week. It is one reason why I was not so sorry to have only seven of us joining in last Wednesday. We all prayed. Lots to pray about. Before that we looked at the famous Psalm 137, which I don't recall speaking on ever before.