Monday, April 30, 2007

Infant Baptism and the Redeemed Community

One of the greatest weaknesses of Evangelicalism is its neglect of ecclesiology. Evangelicalism has always been a religion that has emphasised the vital need for individual conversion. However, the emphasis on individual salvation can sometimes lead Evangelicals to neglect the corporate aspect of salvation in terms of the formation of a redeemed community of God.

Luke 19
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Acts 16
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Obviously, if a person believes, there is no guarantee that their family will be saved. However, in a sense salvation has come to their house. Their family are brought into a new relation of blessing and privilege. These blessings extend not only to increased opportunity to hear the Gospel, but also transformed family relationships. For God created marriage and family and when family is brought into God's transforming and renewing work, then family members can experience an increased knowledge of the goodness of that created insitution of family.

The Gospel is good news for family:

Titus 2
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

1 Timothy 3
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Ephesians 5
22 ¶ Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Ephesians 6
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3 that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: Col. 3.21 but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The Gospel makes the family a sphere of blessing, even if not all within a Christian family are born-again believers themselves. Thus, even though we do not know for certain whether any of the household baptisms of Acts included infants, the concept of a household salvation is very meaningful and entails blessing even for those who do not as yet believe.

In a real sense, the families of believers are said to be sanctified:

1 Corinthians 7
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Notice that only the children are said to be holy. Not the unbelieving spouse. The children of a Christian parent are in a special relationship to God. This raises the question of why these children should not be baptized. If they are holy and clean, why leave them unclean in a symbolc sense by leaving them unbaptized? Why leave them sybolically outiside the Ark (1 Peter 3:20-21) or in Egypt, the place of this wolrd by refusing to let them cross the Red Sea?

It is important to recognise that the Church in the New Testament is presented as a spiritual family:

1 John 2
9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

12 ¶ I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.

13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

1 Timothy 5
1 Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

2 the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

If we understand the Church as a community built along family lines, this should lead to the inclusion of infants within this earthly sphere of blessing and standing, even if those infants are not yet brought within the spiritual reality of that one Body of Christ. I think the notion of a redeemed family community is also reinforced by the reference to a holy nation in 1 Peter 2:

1 Peter 2
9 ¶ But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

I do not want to go into the analogy with circumcision here, but I think the idea of a holy nation gives a nod in that direction.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Some Stereotypes turn out to be true

I think a lot of British people had a stereotype idea in their minds of all East European women being really beautiful.

Now that a number of East European countries joined the European Union, there are lots of East Europeans here in the UK, especially Poles.

And it turns out that all East European women are beautful. I have never seen a female Polish immigrant who is unattractive. And guess what, most of the Polish men are very handsome too.

I like East Europeans. They tend to look very serious and they follow the custom of removing shoes at the door.

Baptism and the Kingdom of Heaven

John the Baptist preached that the Jews should be baptized in preparation for the coming of heaven. The fact that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as children makes it probable that John the Baptist baptized infants. This is especially likely given the Jewish practice of proselyte baptism.

It must be understood that John the Baptist preached that kingdom which is prophesied in the Old Testament, a physical literal kingdom, with its capital in Jerusalem. This kingdom will finally be established in the Millennium after Christ's return. The kingdom of heaven must never be confused with the church, which is Christ's mystical body, a truth concealed entirely in Jewish times.

As the Jews have rejected their messiah, the promised kingdom has been postponed. In the present intercalation between the offer of the kingdom and its establishment at the Millennium, the kingdom of heaven has been introduced in mystery form. Our Lord revealed the nature of this by parables to His chosen few.

The nature of the Mystery Kingdom is presented in Matthew 13. The first, concerning the sower and the soils demonstrates that this kingdom is formed through the preaching of the Gospel. The wheat and the tares shows that it is composed of both regenerate and unregenerate persons. The parable of the mustard seed shows that the preaching of the Gospel would lead to the formation of a great Christian power in the world. The Parable of the leaven shows the corruption of this power doctrinally.

The Mystery Kingdom is a sphere of profession and knowledge. All of those baptized persons within Christendom are responsible to God for making use of the knowledge of the Word that they have received, whether they be regenerate or unregenerate.

Romans 11 helps us to understand the position of Gentile Christendom is this dispensation.

17 ¶ And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

18 boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear:

21 for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Through the preaching of the Gospel, Gentiles have been brought into God's sphere of blessing and privilege. However, this entails responsibility. And the failure of this dispensation will result in its termination at God's judgment. This judgment is seen in the apocalypse, in chapter 17; this reveals God's judgment on Mystery Babylon or Christendom.

When we correctly understand the kingdom of heaven in mystery form as a sphere of blessing, privilege and responsibility, we can understand the appropriateness of giving recognition of the Christian child's being baptized as a sign of that responsibility, just as circumcision was a sign to the Jewish child of his own entrance into a sphere of blessing and privilege which also brought responsibilities to God.

Martin Luther talked about a Superman

I was surprised to read yesterday that Martin Luther mentioned in his writings a concept of a superman. Luther tauight that in times of disorder and opression, people should not rebel against the political establishment, but should pray to God that he might send a superman, a charismatic leader who would right all wrongs. It is possible that Martin Luther might have seen himself as such a man, if he did not, his supporters probably did.

Talk of supermen naturally makes us think of Wagner, Niezche and Hitler. I consider myself to be a Germanophile, but I find it amazing the worrying predictablility of Germans. Historically Germans seem to have had a remarkable tendency to exalt the idea of an all-conquering hero and to see such figures as the natural solution to problems.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Presuppositions in the Baptism Debate

I think it is clear that the Baptist and the Paedobaptist start from different presuppositions.

The Baptists generally assume that as infant baptism is not mentioned in the New Testament it:

1) did not take place.
2) is a bad idea.

The Paedobaptist rejects this presupposition arguing that infant baptism may have taken place without being mentioned. The New Testament is written in a missionary contxt in which people came to conversion and baptism as adults. The writings of the New Testament is addressed to specific concerns in the early church, which evidently did not include infant baptism.

I think it is helpful to compare this issue with the less important issue of musical instruments in worship. Some Paedobaptists (and some Baptists) reject musical instruments, but the majority of Baptists favour the use of musical instruments in worship.

If we apply the same presupposition of Baptists on baptism to musical instruments in worship we find that:

1)Musical instruments were not used in worship in the early church.

2)Musical instruments are not an appropriate part of worship for the church.

Both of these conclusions are questionable. The use or none use of instruments may have been beyond the scope of the writings of the New Testament. The second conclusion may be correct, but it is uncertain. There may be no mention of instruments in the NT, but we may have good reasons for retaining them.

The Paedobaptist rejects the conclusion that the absence of mention of infant baptism determines the worthiness or unworthiness of the practice. The real question is the theological appropriateness of applying the ordinance to infants.

Another Dumb Proposal

BBC News: Call to stop children's drinking

This is just crazy. A group called Alcohol Concern want to ban parents from serving alcohol to children under 15, even at mealtimes. Currently, the law allows parents to give alcohol to children over five in their own homes. Unless, they changed the law, I think they can drink wine at a restaurant at 14.

Aside from the fact it would criminalize thousands of decent parents, it would be counter-productive. How are young people going to learn responsible drinking if not from their parents?

If they want to do that they may as well ban alcohol altogether.

I started drinking with my old folks in my teenage years and it taught me to know my limits and to be responsible.

Sarah, Antonio and Rose~ : You can reply here

Sarah, Antonio and Rose~, if you have the time, I would value your writing posts responding to what I have written on baptism here on this blog.

There is room for more than one view on this issue.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Patronizing Message

We have a council election coming up here in the UK. As usual I will be voting Conservative.

I am a bit irritated by the message from the Conservative party, occasionally made by representatives of other parties as well, on the subject of the extremist British National Party (who I find quite abhorrent). This message really spoiled an otherwise excellent election broadcast.

David Cameron says:

Vote for any party, but please don't vote for the British National Party.

Why tell us that? Are the British people not intelligent enough to make their own minds up about the BNP? If the mainstream parties don't want us to vote for the BNP, they should give us policies that people will want to vote for.

David Cameron, I think you are great (most of the time), but please don't patronize the electorate.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Our Authority for Baptizing Infants

Where do we start in considering Scriptural authority for baptizing infants? After all there is no specific command to do so.

The key place where we find this authority is Matthew 28:

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Where else do we start but our own children?

Christian parents have the responsibility of teaching their children God's Word and the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their children from the moment of birth are set to enter a process of discipleship-making.

If Christian parents are not teaching their children to be disciples of Christ, I have no idea what they are teaching them.

Naturally, this text does not settle the matter and I will be posting more on this subject.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:14
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.

It is quite interesting that those who reject infant baptism often quote these verses to defend the salvation of infants. It is argued from these verses that they prove that children who die in infancy are redeemed through the saving merits of our Lord's death.

I think these verses very strongly imply that indeed, infants come within the scope of Christ's saving work. However, this is not clearly stated anywhere in Scripture. There is no positive and direct proof in the Bible that all who die in infancy are saved.

In the same way that many Evangelicals argue without direct Scriptural proof that infants are saved without exercising faith in Christ, the paedobaptist may argue from these verses that children of Christian parents, who have not yet exercised saving faith may be baptized.

I have read some Evangelicals argue in reply to the paedobaptist use of Matthew 19 and Mark 10 arguing that the children that came to our Lord were all of such an age that they were able to exercise saving faith. That is perfectly fine. You may consistently use such an argument. However, if you do so, logically you cannot also use those texts to argue for infant salvation.

Given that most Christian parents assume that their children are saved if they die in infancy, because of the scope of Christ's saving work, why not then have them baptized? Is baptism not a type of God's deliverance through judgement (1 Peter 3:20-21). Baptism represents the separation of the saved from those who are not saved, and thus if infants can be relied upon to be saved in their infancy, they can rightly be baptized.

These texts brings up the issue of the Kingdom of Heaven. Central to my case for the agreeability of infant baptism is the premise that baptism brings one into the mystery form of the Kingdom of Heaven, a sphere of profession, knowledge, responsibility and discipleship. I will explore this in a further post.

I got tagged by UKSteve

These are really tough questions.

Name up to three characters (from books)...

1). You wish were real so you could meet them.

The pilgrim in Pilgrim's Progress. Then I could teach him some Free Grace theology. Free him from the burden of that legalistic Lordship Salvation.

2). You would like to be.

Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. He is so me. I even played him in a theatrical version at school.

3). Who scare you.

Mr. Quilp, the evil dwarf in Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens

I suppose that means I have to tag somebody. Okay, Rose~ and Libbie.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Coming out in favour of Infant Baptism (or Dispensation Baptism)

I do hope I will not be rejected by the predomminantly Baptist Christian blogsphere if I come out and admit I am in favour of infant baptism.

I have not embraced Covenant theology. In fact, my Dispensationalism has lead me to accept infant baptism. I am not a Covenant Baptist, I am a Dispensation Baptist.

Without writing an essay, my main reasons for favouring infant baptism would be:

1. The existence of the mystery form of the kingdom of heaven as a sphere of profession, knowledge and responsiblity.

2. The existence of the assembly as a visible redeemed community, involving sanctified and transformed family relationships.

3. The inexact, though not irrelevant, analogy with circumcission.

4. The importance of family in God's purposes.

I think these arguments are sufficent to make a case for infant baptism in the absence of any clear Scriptural indications as to whether or not children were baptized.

Perhaps it is ironic that I am adopting this Reformed view, given my general hostility to Reformed theology. While you occasionally get the odd Reformed Baptist who reads so much covenant theology that he crosses the line and becomes paedobaoptist, there are not many. There seems to be a line that Reformed Baptists are unwilling to cross. Maybe it is because adopting the practice would require them to do something about it (baptize their children and refrain from encouraging re-baptisms).

What I think is far more important than this issue are two things. 1) Repudiating Baptismal Regeneration as incompatible with the Gospel. 2) Maintaining our fellowship with fellow believers despite differing views on this issue. It is quite regrettable that some churches feel the need to deny fellowship with those who take a different view. There is room for differences of views and practices within assemblies.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Surprise Conversation with a Sikh

While I was visiting the university library at Cheltenham, I happened to visit some shops. I went in this menswear shop. One of the Indian staff got talking to me. When he found out I was studying church history, he wanted to ask loads of questions about our Lord and about the Bible and religion. He was a Sikh and knew little about Christianity. However, he had been fed a lot of misinformation by sensational documentaries about Mary Magdalene and the Bible Code.

The Macra return to Dr Who

I watched Doctor Who the other night. I have hardly watched the recent Dr Who series dilligently, but I have managed to catch a few episodes here and there.

The episode on Saturday was pretty good. I was rather delighted by the fact that it featured the Macra, a crab-like monster from the Sixties story 'The Macra Terror.' That was one of the lost Dr Who stories that tragically ended up on a bonfire thanks to a thoughtless BBC.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Being really radical

I was really radical today. I wore shorts to a prayer meeting. Maybe I might even wear shorts to the preaching class tomorrow.

The Fundamental Basis of Government

The fundamental basis of all government is somebody with the power to say:

Okay, discussion over. You are going to do what you're told.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You think our age is turbulent? What nonsense

You think our age is turbulent? What nonsense

Excellent Times article by Anatole Kaletsky

There is little real evidence that the world is any worse in the Twenty-first century.

I am enjoying the early summer

We are having summer-like weather over here.

I am wearing my new shorts today. Usually, I wear shorts for the first time in the year in May or June. April is really early for putting shorts on.

I had lunch outside on the patio. This is really pleasent.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Clothes Shopping

I bought a pair of shorts and a t-shirt today. I had not planned on it, but I happened to look in some clothes shops and thought about the warm weather we are having.

Clothes shopping makes me feel happy. It feels so wonderful to see all the lovely clothes in the shops and to see all the happy people buying them. Clothes shop are a wonderful reminder of the prosperity and goodness that we enjoy in today's society. God has so richly blessed us in the West.

However, rather than being thankful for our prosperity, what you tend to get is Christians attacking prosperity and wealth. The usual target is consumerism.

Consumerism is not the great evil of our age. Consumerism is good. It drives the economy, it creates jobs in the Third World and it makes millions of people happy. It is true that some people get into debt, but that is because the consequences of debt these days are not as drastic as they used to be. People can afford more debt that they used to be.

Shopping makes people happy. People are not shopping because they are miserable, because their relationships are futile, because they have been brainwashed by advertising, because they are 'empty inside' or because they have no 'spiritual consciousness.'

No, people go shopping because they have money and want to spend it. People are sensible enough to know how to spend their leisure time and to know what makes them feel good. If shopping was as futile a source of pleasure as the moralists made out, people would not do it.

People shop because they have more money than people have ever had before and they have a right to enjoy it. That those who accept the logic of the free market are appalled at this is a great absurdity. People are not children, they know how to spend their leisure time and shopping is as legitimate a source of pleasure as any other.

I stand by consumerism.

Monday, April 09, 2007

It seems that Heroism is a Myth.

I know that it is considered sacrilege by many to criticise our troops, however, I feel I must register my disappointment in the British military personnel held by the Iranians.

These marines and sailors were not tortured, yet they betrayed their country by making statements that compromised the position of our government.

I am sure I am not the only one who must feel disappointed that our servicemen were unable to rise to a little heroism.

True, they were intimidated. They were blingfolded. They were threatened with being jailed for seven years. I have never experienced those things, so I have no idea how I would have reacted. But I still feel disappointed.

They were not tortured. They knew what happened when another group of servicement were taken prisonner a few years ago. They must have had a pretty good idea that the British government would move heaven and earth to try to secure their release. Yet they co-operated with their captors.

Are we to think that our servicemen and women would give away vital information, information that would cost lives; not under the influence of torture, but after being blindfolded and threatened with jail?

Maybe I am asking too much, but I thought our troops were supposed to risk their lives in our service, not betray their countries out of fear of the remote possibility of jail.

To make matters worse, there people have compromised their own position by selling their stories to tabloid newspapers.

Trip Out

With it being a bank holiday I had a trip out. Being unoriginal, I went to the same places I went to some time last year. That is, down the M50 to Newent, then Ross-on-Wye.

The excellent Christian bookshop in Newent was closed. Not a surprise, but it has been open on Easter Monday before. However, the Costcutter in that town sells some cakes that I really like, so I bought a load of cakes from there.

Ross-on-wye was as pleasent as usual, but there were a lot of tourists out today. There was a special offer on beer at an off-licence, so I got some bottled ales.

I had lunch at a fish and chip cafe; battered sausage with chips and curry sauce, and some tea.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Lunch

My grandmother came for lunch today. She brought a rhubarb and apple crumble that we ate for dessert. However, first we ate boiled ham with kidney and broad beans.

Before the meal I had a glass of Tunisian date liquer.

Not that one, please

Today in church, we sang that awful hymn about the Resurrection. The one with the really pathetic line "You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart."

I believe that our Lord Jesus Christ lives because His resurrection is an historical fact, not because of some emotional experience.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Collect for Good Friday

O merciful God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen

The Book of Common Prayer

Alas, whatever happened to this ultraconservative side of Anglicanism? How often do you hear a Church of England minister lamenting the ignorance and hardness of hearts among Jews and 'Turks' (Muslims)? How often do you ever hear a Church of England minister say the word 'heretic'?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Going to church a lot

I went to a Maundy Thursday communion service this evening. Tomorrow there is the Good Friday service to go to.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Iranian News Conference

The president of Iran, Ahmadinejad, began a news conference this morning. The BBC crew were keen to hear nes of the captured military personnel, but the president was taking his time about it. The conference began with a recitation from the Quran, then Ahmadinejad went into a long sermon about various prophets (including our Lord).

I tried to imagine our prime minister, Tony Blair, beginning a news conference with a collect from the Book of Common Prayer, followed by an exposition of the 39 Articles of the Church of England. That would be so cool.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Queen Victoria on Moody and Sankey

Queen Victoria was once invited to attend a Moody and Sankey evangelistic meeting. She replied:

It would never do for me to is the kind of religious performance that is not at all wholesome.

It is to be regretted that our great queen did not recognise Moody as a great soul winner, who lead thousands to Christ. However, it could well be argued that Moody and Sankey did pave the way for the shallow entertainment evangelism that is so frequent these days. Moody's preaching was at time shallow and while many of Sankey's hymns were reverant and worthy, there was something of a sentimental quality to the musical style of the duo that has almost certainly influenced modern contemporary Christian music. L.S. Chafer wrote a very good book, 'True Evangelism', in which he rejected much of teh revivalist methodology of such preachers.

It is very unfortunate that it is for the most part those whose theology is Reformed that are most concerned about a Biblical approach to evangelism. Those who reject Calvinism can often fall into the use of shallow methodologies.

Going back to the great queen Victoria, I think a lot of people have a misleading idea that she was deeply theologically conservative, an Evangelical or fundamentalist. While I can not claim to be an expert on Victorian religion or Victoria's own views, from what I have read she did have some 'Liberal' or rationalist tendencies. She tended to prefer bishops who were great intellectuals and scholars, rather than bishops who were great preachers.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Unbalanced Selection and the Nazi Obsession

If you ever go to a bookshop and look in the history section, you will probably find that nearly all the books on German history are about the Nazis. There are unlikely to be any books about Bismarck, Imperial Germany, Metternich, Hapsburg Austria, Frederick the Great or the Holy Roman Empire. Or evern the modern Federal Republic of Germany.

It is as though the only part of German history that happened was the Third Reich. It is very sad. I am far more interested in pre-twentieth century German history than the events of the Thirties and Forties, important as they are.

The problem is that so many of English men (including me at times) have fallen into this Nazi obsession thing. It is remarkable how English boys can pick up the Nazi fetish and then keep it up throughout their lives. It starts with reading comics like Commando, where they are exposed to images of men in cool uniforms shouting things like 'Achtung'. They then go on to take an interest in assembling models of German tanks and soldiers. The Nazi enthusiast also spends lots of times reading books about the history of the Third Reich and the Waffen SS.

I know because I have done all this.

The Nazis have a real appeal to us English. They have an exotic quality that feeds into the English Gothic tradition.

Occasionally you read in the newspapers about academics complaining that history undergraduates are obesessed with the Nazis and know about nothing else. British history students studied the Third Reich at GCSE (age 16), they then study it at A-Level (age 18) and when they get to university, they are expecting to study it again.

So it is hardly surpising that bookstores are stacked with books about Hitler and the Third Reich.

For homework, I want you all to find out the name of the dynasty that ruled Prussia.

Afternoon Trip

On Saturday afternoon, I had a trip out to one of Worcestershire's greatest beauty spots, Whitley Court.

Whitley Court is a ruined country house (destroyed by fire) with a most fantastic gaden and two impressive ornamental fountains. One of these fountains is a most wonderful portrayal of Perseus and Andromeda.

The surrounding landscape is also very beautiful, with many hills and forests.

Whitley Court is attached to an Anglican church which is one of the few in the country in Roccoco style.

Whitley Court looks remarkably like the ruin in the video for the Procul Harum song 'Whiter Shade of Pale.' I dare say it is the same place.