Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Worldliness, John P Thackway, Bible League Quarterly, Words of Truth booklets No. 4, 2004. ISBN 1741-5969. £1.25, 48pp. available from 46 Bulbridge Road, Wilton, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 0LE Website of Bible League Trust

This is a vitally important and highly practical booklet. Mr Thackway laments that whereas historic evangelicalism asserted holy living together with doctrinal orthodoxy, modern evangelicals finds this concern embarassingly unfashionable. As Thackway expresses it: 'Fear of being judged “old fashioned” grips them much more than “the fear of the Lord” and how “to walk and to please God”. Engagement with the world in the name of relevance now means that any talk of separation from it is 'equated with seriously hindering meaningful witness'. The booklet begins by defining what the Bible means by the term 'the world' and proceeds to identify what it says about the Christian's pilgrim relationship to the world.

Application of these truths is followed through in terms of Scripture in the areas of speech, entertainments, the home and the church. Largely speaking principles are laid down as opposed to extensive practical application. While examples are used, perhaps it would not hurt to be even more specific. The benefit of the approach taken, however, is that it encourages the reader to think things through from a principled basis. We are too apt to see worldliness in things and practices rather than words and attitudes. The booklet concludes with sound principles for separation.