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