Archive for October, 2008

Crumbs of hope

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

The following entry has been written by Nancy Lively, who together with her husband Bill works in the Library and also teaches our CAT students English (progress already visible!). Nancy and Bill have been coming to IBTS as volunteers for a number of years already and have become very dear friends of this place.

Here we were seated on a very nice, brand new train heading home to IBTS from a beautiful day in a medieval town in the Czech Republic.  Then the conductor made a rather long, very interesting announcement (which I told Bill sounded like – “You are all going to have to get off the train.”), the train pulled into a small station and lo and behold, everyone stood up and exited the train.  Bewildered at this turn of events, we stood with the milling crowd perplexed and quite ill at ease.  We showed our ticket with Praha on it to the conductor and she shook her head.  So, we waited with everyone.  Then the sorting started to happen and folks were sent to different tracks for trains to ‘somewhere’.  The conductor pointed to us and motioned for us to get back on the same train.  As we were walking up the aisle still confused, a woman heard us and said, “Didn’t you understand?” Well, those were words from Heaven to our ears!  She quickly explained about an accident on the train line, multiple changes we would have to make to skirt the ruined tracks and more or less took us under her wing all the way back to Prague.  (more…)

It’s that man again!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Our beloved Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, chose his speech on Czech National Day (28 October) to have a go at we foreigners. He built his statement to the nation around notable years since the Czechoslovak Republic was brought into being by the great powers in 1918.  Britain and France were condemned for the Munich agreement of 1938, the USA for permitting the Soviet communist takeover of 1948 and the Russians for suppressing the Prague Spring in 1968. The message to the nation was clear – foreigners are bad news. What’s more, the EU is especially bad news and the Euro proves what a mess the big European nations make of affairs – aren’t we glad we have the Czech crown?  Klaus seems to have missed out on the fact that nations that don’t have the Euro have also been having a bad economic time – witness the British pound, the Icelandic kroner and the US dollar! However, our President, though strong on rhetoric, may not be quite so bothered about facts. (more…)

Food for thought

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Here is a website to have a look at – though it can make you ‘uncomfortable,’ as one of the students observed after we reflected on it together in class. Worldometers “is world statistics available in a thought-provoking and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world. Sources are carefully selected to include only data published by the most reputable organizations and statistical offices in the world.”

They have it available also in other languages besides English.

Kafka, Klaus, and IBTS

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

One of the ‘kafka-esque’ features of this wonderful, ecologically-minded country the hospitality of which we enjoy is the country’s president who thinks that the talk of climate change is one big ‘hysteria.’ (You can watch his speech before the UN Climate Change Conference here, or see his notes here.)

In an interview yesterday given to one of the Czech news websites Mr Václav Klaus said that the reaction of the world’s leaders to the current economic crisis was ‘populist’ and that it would have been prevented in time had the leaders not trifled their efforts away in ‘fighting against climate’. Klaus is an economist of laissez-faire persuation: “Human wants are unlimited and should stay so.” (more…)

Live camera of campus

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

We now have a live camera on our Hotel Jenerálka website. So if you’re missing IBTS and want to see the courtyard real time, click here:

On the crossroads of values

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Komensky's portrait by Rembrandt

Komensky's portrait by Rembrandt

This week, several of us have been participating in the activities of the European Evangelical Accreditting Association. Gathered with other Visitation Evaluation Team members for a couple of days in the Mennonite-Anabaptist Academic Centre in Bienenberg (near Basel), we talked together about the purpose and the challenges facing theological education in Europe today. The issues discussed reminded us what the father of the modern education, Jan Komensky, emphasised 400 years ago: education must be concerned with the growth of human person. (more…)

Our residential student community

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

We are an unusual place, in many ways. One of them is that, as Parush, our Academic Dean, likes to say, our residential community reconstitutes itself each September: apart from the core group of teachers, staff, volunteers and other community members, much of the student body changes new every year, thereby giving a different ‘flavour’, which is then further enriched by part-time students, sabbaticals, and various other assorted folk who come for shorter or longer periods.

Here’s how the residential CAT and full-time M-level student community looks like this year: (more…)

Goat shots

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008