Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Intensive Week’s Teaching at IBTSC

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Been a lot going on. During the period 22 August till the 2nd of September we held an intensive teaching week for new and existing students enrolled on our MnixonA programme or part thereof. Here are some of the faces of new and existing IBTSC students and Tim leading one of the units on Faith and Reason.classmatthenrikgabriel

michael

What does it mean to say that we are an “International” Study Centre

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

International TreeI have recently being doing some work on what it means to offer supervision to international, part-time, theological PhD students in a  largely distance learning environment.

What follows is one reflection on this:

IBTSC is not an international study centre because we are a national institution with international students which is the way the term is often used in Higher Education discourse. Rather, for us the term indicates something more complex than that. It represents the fact that we are a meeting place of students and supervisors who come from different countries, often researching in their own local situations but bringing their contextual work into conversation with others from different situations to offer a richer texture and perspective. The learning involves “transculturation” in that it does not simply go one way, from one dominant culture to another, but rather all involved in the dialogue both teach and learn through this interaction.

National identities remain important, difference is not denied or negated, such can be oppressive, but in so far as all our identities are constantly being made and remade the interaction is part of that process of making us somewhat more “international” than we would be without the experience. At the very least we become more informed about other contexts, at best we begin to understand the limits and the strengths of our own identity in relation to a wider picture of global humanity.

To be sure in all of this our faith offers us a common denominator but even our faith is culturally embodied and expressed so this becomes another place of international encounter: commonality, difference, and “(re)formation”. In these ways the learning at IBTSC takes place in a particular “ecosocial” environment (to borrow a phrase from Bill Green “Unfinished business: subjectivity and supervision”) where the international is explicit.

If as we sometimes claim believer’s baptism is the baptism into a new humanity which transcends national identity although finds expression  in such national identities, IBTSC aspires to reflect something of the complexity of that reality in the international learning and teaching context we offer.

[The educational literature from which I drew and with which engaged in this blog post includes:

Green, B. (2005) Unfinished business: subjectivity and supervision. Higher Education Research & Development, Vol. 24 (2), pp. 151-163.

Manathunga, C. (2007) Intercultural Postgraduate Supervision: Ethnographic Journey’s of Identity and Power in Palfreyman, D. and McBride, D.L. (eds.) Learning and Teaching Across Culture in Higher Education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Trahar, S. (ed.) (2011) The Doctorate: International Stories of the UK Experience, ESCalate. [Online]. Available at https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/8137.pdf [Accessed 4th July 2016].

Blythe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Edition

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

We are pleased to announce the recent publication of the latest copy of the Journal of European Baptist Studies.

JEBS-cover-generic

As Keith Jones indicates in A Dictionary of European Life and Thought one purpose for this Journal was to encourage the work of young and new scholars. With varying degrees of experience behind them all contributors to this edition are PhD research students with IBTSC. If you would like to know more about this Journal please visit our website here.

Encouraging and facilitating the publication of their research students is one of the features of the IBTSC PhD research studies programme. If you wish to know more about our PhD studies research programme please look here.

Here is the editorial from this current Journal edition. 

This edition of JEBS contains three different but equally interesting articles related to distinct facets of Baptist life and work. These are produced by three of our current IBTSC PhD research students and represent aspects of their study and areas of ministry and mission.

Alex Kammon To presents something of a historical account of ‘Baptists meeting the Education Needs of Hong Kong between 1842 and 1970’. As such he gives fresh information of a location, situation, and subject which has hitherto received limited treatment. This description, however, also highlights areas of tension related to the provision of education as an expression of mission. These areas include the extent to which the churches should cooperate with the State, the extent to which evangelism rather than education should be regarded as the primary activity, and differences in perspective on these issues between the Hong Kong Baptists and the Southern Baptist Mission Board and missionaries.

Christopher Schelin in his article discusses the practice of ‘congregational hermeneutics’ as an expression of Anabaptist and Baptist polity. While sketching the historical antecedents of this practice, its demise, and rediscovery, his particular concern is with ‘how’ such hermeneutics can be facilitated. Schelin argues that the ‘circle process’ is particularly suited to this task as it is an approach which can ‘inoculate against both hierarchicalism and clericalism, on the one hand, and individualist anarchism on the other’. In this discussion of the suitability of the circle method for congregational hermeneutics connections are made with the idea of a ‘covenant’, the ‘magisterium-hood of all believers’, and the intriguing potential role of one named a ‘librarian’.

Rupen Das in his articles addresses theological and missiological issues related to the present refugee crisis although pointing out that such displacement is not a new phenomenon. In particular he explores why God has a particular concern for such ‘poor’ people. He argues that displacement is a result of structural evil and sin and dehumanises the individuals and families who experience it. God’s response, accordingly, is one of compassion with the concern to redeem them. From this perspective he then offers a number of missiological perspectives not least in relation to Christian witness to and among particularly Muslim refugees. These perspectives include an emphasis upon the importance of local congregations demonstrating the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

 

Rev Dr Stuart Blythe (Rector IBTSC Amsterdam)

Marion Carson

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Marion CarsonMarion Carson is a free lance Scottish theologian who is an adjunct supervisor with IBTSC. She is also secretary of the European Baptist Federation’s Anti-Trafficking Network. In this recent book she ‘sets out to answer the question, ‘What does the Bible say about human trafficking?’ Aimed at Christian anti-trafficking activists and church groups, the book offers an overview of the biblical material on Marion-Carson-book-cover-e1446459194624slavery and the sex trade. Acknowledging that there is a difference between the biblical worldview and that of most Christians today with regard to slavery, it suggests that we can learn much from the Abolitionists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Following their example, it reads the biblical text through the lens of the law of love. each chapter provides study questions and the book is illustrated throughout’. (From the back cover)

Special Edition of Baptistic Theologies

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Gathered are some of the authors of Volume 7 No 2 of the IBTSC Journal Baptistic Theologies. This particular edition was produced to honour Dr Parush Parushev and his work as a theologian through his years of academic service to IBTS Prague and IBTSC Amsterdam. The theme of this Journal was ‘Discipleship: In the Thick of Things’. The title was deliberately chosen as a play on words to reflect the influence of two of Parush’s theological mentors: the late James Wm. McClendon and the late Glen Stassen. In turn Parush has done much to promote, disseminate, and develop the ideas of ‘baptistic’ and ‘convictional’ theology throughout Europe.

Information about obtaining this edition or subscribing to our Journals can be found here.Parush Baptistic Theologies

Season’s Greetings

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Presentation1

‘Then the good news of Christmas, the core good news (not the tinsel and the lights, not even the shepherds and the angels, but the heart of the matter) is this: “So the Word became flesh.” Which as we have seen, is to say

We can know God , for God knows us.

We can reclaim humanity’s birthright.

We are assigned the role of a witness people, living the life that Jesus brought to all.

This is the Christ present; that is the good news to all.’

James Wm. McClendon Jr. ‘Christmas Present: A Christmas Sermon’ in Making Sense to a Troubled Church (Cleveland, Ohio: Pilgrim Press, 1995).

Rosa Hunt Successful Promotion

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

This moment of drama PhD defence Rosa Huntin the theatre of the ‘Aula’ at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam marks the successful completion by another IBTSC research student of their PhD studies. Here Rosa Hunt receives her certificate of the award of ‘Doctor’. Rosa’s thesis was entitled: ‘The Self-Enclosing God. John Chrysostom and Ephrem Syrus on divine self-limitation as a gift of love in Genesis 1-3’.

Rosa’s promotion became the stimulus for a day long Biblical Interpretation, Patristics, and Systematic Theology seminar co-sponsored by IBTSC and held at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. This seminar included a lecture by Professor Frances M. Young a leading scholar in the field of Patristics on the theme of: ‘Scripture in the Economy of Revelation’. This was followed by several scholars from a variety of traditions explaining the way in which their ‘tradition’ interprets the Scripture.

Rosa’s success like that of all IBTSC students should be put in context. Most if not all of our students are part time and pursue their studies while being involved in a wide range of mission, ministry, and educational roles. As well as wife and mother Rosa is the pastor of Salem Baptist Chapel in Wales a bilingual church which is a member of both the Undeb Bedyddwyr Cymru (Cymanfa Dwyrain Morgannwg) and the South Wales Baptist Association.

The staff and other students at IBTSC will miss Rosa’s presence at our annual January gatherings. We wish, however, to congratulate her and her promotor’s and co-promotors: Prof. Dr. I. Noble, Dr. L. Kucová and Prof. Dr. W.T. van Peursen.

 

 

Seminar on Biblical Interpretation

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

file-page1We at IBTSC are happy to be supporting this seminar as part of the promotion events of one of our students.