Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. 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.

Captain Phillips

One of the things we did on holiday together this week was to watch a DVD. We had talked about going to the cinema but then decided on a DVD. This is not easy as there are six of us with quite varied tastes (plus the fact two or three of the boys have seen quite a few things already). Anyway we were in a department store where we found Captain Phillips going at a reasonable price. The fact Tom Hanks was in it gave us confidence (rightly). The film appeared in 2013 and tells the true story of an American captain whose cargo ship is boarded by Somali pirates (in 2009) and who is then kidnapped and taken away in a small lifeboat. It is not the greatest film ever but with high production values, an interesting enough script and some good moments it kept us happy for an evening.

Hot Air

View overhead today

Boys who know what to do on holiday

We're away for a few days in Sussex and my sons have been making good use of the time

The General Havelock

We were in Hastings the other day and I noticed this pub called the General Havelock. Havelock was a great British general in the 19th century who has a bust in Trafalgar Square. He was also a Baptist and a man of true faith. I wondered what the connection with Hastings might be a she was a northerner. It is simply that upon his death in November 1857, something the whole country seems to have mourned, Passenger Station Road in Hastings was re-named Havelock Road in his honour and the Havelock Hotel was opened at no. 27. (The office of a prominent local architect George Beck, at No. 37 Havelock Road, was called Lucknow House - Lucknow being the scene of Havelock’s final battle during the Indian Mutiny and the place where he died of dysentery.)

The Waverley Encyclopedia

I was in a charity shop today when I saw this going for £5. It is a 1953 encyclopaedia edited by Gordon Stowell. A 1072 page comprehensive volume of facts with illustrations and maps it is the encyclopaedia we had at home when I was a boy and it brought back happy memories to see it again. I didn't buy it.

10 Ways to Mill

1. Ball Mill (slightly inclined or horizontal rotating cylinder partially filled with balls of stone or metal which grinds material to the necessary fineness by friction and impact with the tumbling balls)
2. Rod Mill (rotating drum causes friction and attrition between steel rods and ore particles - term also used for slitting mill which makes nails)
3. Autogenous Mill (rotating drum throws larger rocks of ore in a cascading motion which causes impact breakage of larger rocks and compressive grinding of finer particles)
4. SAG Mill [Semi-Autogenous Grinding Mill] (essentially autogenous mills, but utilising grinding balls to aid in grinding as in a ball mill)
5. Pebble Mill (rotating drum causes friction and attrition between rock pebbles and ore particles)
6. HPGRs [High Pressure Grinding Rolls] (two rollers with the same dimensions rotate against each other with the same circumferential speed)
7. Quernstones, Millstones or Buhrstone Mill (old fashioned pair of stones one over the other)
8. VSI Mill [Vertical Shaft Impactor Mill] (throws rock or ore particles against a wear plate by slinging them from a spinning centre that rotates on a vertical shaft)
9. Edge Mill (stones roll around on their edges, on a level circular bed)
10. Burr grinder (two revolving abrasive surfaces separated by a distance usually set by the user)

10 Types of Mill

1. Bark Mill (producing tan bark for tanneries)
2. Cider Mill
3. Grist Mill (Corn Mill or Flour Mill)
4. Oil Mill
5. Paper Mill
6. Saw Mill (cuts timber)
7. Steel Mill (makes steel)
8. Textile Mill (silk, flax or cotton)
9. Powder Mill (gunpowder)
10. Rice Mill or Huller

10 Types of Grinding Mill

A recent visit to a windmill set me off on this
1. Panemone Wind Mill
2. Post Mill
3. Hollow Post Mill
4. Smock Mill
5. Tower Mill
6. Water Mill
7. Tide Mill
8. Horse Mill
9. Ship Mill
10. Treadwheel

Christopher Wren's House

While down at The Globe recently I noticed for the first time this house nearby. A plaque reveals that this was the house where Christopher Wren resided when involved in the building of St Paul's Cathedral on the opposite bank of The Thames (most conveniently reached these days by means of the Millennium Bridge). Apparently it was in this same house that Catherine of Aragon first lodged when she arrived in England in order to marry the son of Henry VII, Arthur.

Retro Album 30 - Snow Goose

The Snow Goose is the third of 14 studio albums album by the progressive rock band Camel, released in 1975. It is one of those albums that I was aware of for many years and even heard snatches of somehow somewhere but didn't actually buy until 10 years on or whatever. As a teenager I was very poor, very honest and not much given to borrowing albums. Apparently it was their The White Rider suite (based on J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings on the band's previous album, Mirage that inspired them to write more novel-inspired conceptual suites.
The band considered several novels on which to base their third album before settling on Paul Gallico's novella The Snow Goose which I have still never read. The official title Music Inspired by The Snow Goose was designed to accommodate legal protests by Gallico. His protests were not, as often stated, due to a disapproval of smoking, Camel being also a cigarette brand (he was in fact a keen smoker!) but simply on the grounds of copyright infringement. The album is chiefly instrumental due to Gallico's objections, which is a real plus as far as I am concerned.
The music was apparently mostly written during an intensive fortnight in a cottage in Devon. The London Symphony Orchestra participated in the recording and composer and Conductor David Bedford was enlisted to write the highly evocative orchestral arrangements for Latimer and Bardens´ creation. The album eventually reached number 22 in UK album chart and was certified Silver.
The album is considered a masterpieces of symphonic rock and in 2014 was voted no.31 in the Top 100 Prog Albums of All Time by readers of 'Prog' magazine.

Wesley, a man of one book

My attention was drawn recently to the preface to the sermons by John Wesley
TO candid, reasonable men, I am not afraid to lay open what have been the inmost thoughts of my heart. I have thought, I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God: just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing,—the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. For this very end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri.* Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone; only God is here. In His presence I open, I read His book; for this end, to find the way to heaven. Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read? Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of Lights:—“Lord, is it not Thy word, ‘if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God?’ Thou givest liberally, and upbraidest not. Thou hast said, ‘if any be willing to do Thy will, he shall know.’ I am willing to do, let me know Thy will.” I then search after and consider parallel passages of Scripture, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” I meditate thereon with all the attention and earnestness of which my mind is capable. If any doubt still remains, I consult those who are experienced in the things of God: and then the writings whereby, being dead, they yet speak. And what I thus learn, that I teach.
* a man of one book

Programme for Carey Conference 2016

The programme for the Carey Conference, January 5-7, has now been published.
Tuesday 5th
Registration from 12.00 to 13.00 and 13.45 to 14.30 13.00
Lunch (if pre-booked)
14.30 John Owen - Gary Brady / Women’s Track – Julia Jones
16.00 Tea 16.30 The Functional Centrality of the Gospel - Mike Bullmore
18.30 Evening Meal
20.00 Reaching Muslims Today - Hicham El Mostain
Wednesday 6th
07.45 Prayer
08.30 Breakfast
09.30 The Gospel and Pastoral Character – Mike Bullmore
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Communion with God – Phil Heaps
13.00 Lunch
14.30 Free Time
16.00 Tea 16.30 Q&A / Women’s Track – Julia Jones
18.30 Evening Meal
20.00 The Gospel and Pastoral Labour – Mike Bullmore
Thursday 7th
07.45 Prayer
08.30 Breakfast
09.30 Confronting & Connecting: The Gospel as the Subversive Fulfilment of Culture – Dan Strange
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Conference Sermon – Andrew King
13.00 Lunch & Depart

Lord's Day July 26 2015

I preached yesterday on John 4 (having preached the week before on John 3) and the closing verses of Matthew 7 and the Sermon on the Mount. There is lot's of to-ing and fro-ing with camps and holidays and so on in these holiday months and it turned out that we had a fairly large number in the morning and quite a small number in the evening. In the morning our friends from Carcassonne were there and so I asked H to give us report on the work before we began the worship. In many respects their church experience is very similar to ours except that there are few evangelical churches near them and they currently have no building. H's ministry to Muslims is further feature of the work and a very encouraging one as more and more come to faith. I had not been looking forward to preaching on John 4 after having decided to preach on it but it went better than I expected. It was good to have a visiting couple who have recently moved to the area and found us on the Internet (hope we see them again) and another unmarried couple where she is local and he from the other side of London. He has some sort of Christian background and seems very keen to know more. I hope we see them again soon. It was okay in the evening despite the lower numbers. The wise man and foolish is one of the great passages in Scripture.

A provocative theological question and answer

Writing to his fellow minister David Dickson from exile in Aberdeen in 1637 the great Samuel Rutherford asked a provocative question (and gave a provocative answer) at the end of his letter. He writes
... I have now made a new question, whether Christ be more to be loved for giving sanctification or for free justification? And I hold that he is more and most to be loved for sanctification. It is in some respect greater love in him, to sanctify, than to justify; for he maketh us most like himself, in his own essential portraiture and image in sanctifying us. Justification doth but make us lappy, which is to be like angels only; neither is it such a misery to lye a condemned man, and under unforgiven guiltiness, as to serve sin, and work the works of the Devil; and, therefore, I think sanctification cannot be bought, it is above price. God be thanked forever, that Christ was a told-down price for sanctification. Let a sinner (if possible) lye in hell forever, if he make him truly holy, and let him lye there burning in love to God, rejoicing in the Holy Ghost, hanging upon Christ by faith and hope; that is heaven in the heart and bottom of Hell. ...

Elie Wiesel - Night

We are all aware of the twentieth century Holocaust and the way it affected the Jews in particular. I am currently going with the family through the story of Corrie Ten Boom using a children's book. I remember reading the book Hiding Place many years ago and seeing the film. I have also seen Schindler's List of course. Humanists as well as Christians played their part. I have visited the Ann Frank House museum in Amsterdam but never actually read the diary. I must do so.
I'm sure there are many books on the subject. I recently became aware of Night by Elie Wiesel, a sober and brief telling of one boy's story beginning in Hungary. I think it was the editors who got it down to the size it is and they are to be praised for that. The result is a lean, spare and gripping piece that hold you and horrifies you. Not matter how many times you go over the story, it is extremely difficult to take in. How those without a thoroughgoing doctrine of total depravity can do it I do not know. Night was first published in 1960 and was followed by two other books - Dawn and The Accident. Wiesel called Night his deposition rather than a novel.