This has been, once again, a profoundly meaningful and enriching time as part of the community of IBTS.
The first week of these Intensives was, as always, quite exhausting! The second week of chatting, reading, discussing was a good balance. Concentrated listening, analysis, response and interaction are good but need recovery time! Yet the combined result is something that makes this environment quite unique. This is no school for learning a set of principles, a place for the ‘right answers’. Frankly, people should have passed into and through that stage of their development long before they come to this decidedly post-graduate environment.
IBTS is for people who, having learnt the basics of the Faith in their original cultures and context, realise that to develop as disciples and as effective Christian teachers, they must now face new questions and challenges. They realise they have to come to the Scriptures with fresh eyes. They know that humility and the place of listening is at least as important as hope and faithful preaching. To acknowledge that others they once refused to meet with might have, after all, some insights into the truth and life that is in Jesus Christ.
I am so thankful for my involvement at IBTS over the last 12 years. As it moves next year from Prague to Amsterdam, I am excited about future developments and opportunities. For this is a unique environment, a place to meet other, wonderful disciples from around the World who can and will impact and shape each others lives as we seek to move into the deeper, richer and life transforming power and perspectives of God’s Word and Spirit.
- Jim Purves
Mission & Ministry Advisor
Baptist Union of Scotland