Archive for February, 2013

A Reminder…

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

…that you still have a chance to come and visit us for the ‘Northumbria Week’, meet students from other European Baptist schools, and enjoy some time for reflection and fellowship.  All are welcome!

It’s Pancake Time!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Yes, it’s Shrove/Fat Tuesday, and tomorrow morning we will celebrate the Ash Wednesday, with the burning the Palm cross and imposition of ashes! But here’s what we enjoyed today over the coffee (sorry if this made you salivate:)):


Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Twenty biblical scholars, representing Lutheran, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic and Baptist traditions, from ten countries, recently spent three days in Prague reviewing Bible Translation matters in Central and Eastern Europe under the auspices of IBTS.

Since it was ‘a first’ of its kind it was appropriate that the issues ranged over a broad agenda but there was a clear thread and the purpose of the Seminar was never lost sight of.

Alec Gilmore set the scene with a presentation of how in 2011 the UK had celebrated the 400th Anniversary of the publication of the King James Version, based on two productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn and David Edgar’s Written on the Heart, focusing on some of the translation issues they raised to see how they chimed in with similar issues in other countries.

Since the Czech Republic was contemplating similar celebrations in 2013, Lydie Kucova (Biblical Studies Lecturer at the International Baptist Theological Seminary) followed with a survey of comparable translations, ancient and modern, from six countries in Central and Eastern Europe as a basis for further discussion. (more…)

Thoughts After the Intensives

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

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

IBTS Research colloquia week

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Each January sees 36 Research Students and up to 12 Adjunct Supervisors descend on IBTS for the Annual Research Colloquia week when Baptist and baptistic scholars from around the world gather to discuss their doctoral dissertations as they prepare them for examination.

This January was extra special as we were also delighted to welcome the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Vrije Universeteit, Amsterdam (VU), Professor Wim Janse and the Professor of Baptist Identity and History, Professor Henk Bakker, together with Hugo Meijer, who manages the Master’s programmes to tell our doctoral students how welcome they will be at the VU, when IBTS moves there in the summer of 2014.

It was an exciting week with research projects presented on topics to do with Missiology – varying from how can Christianity interact with a deprived housing area in a United Kingdom city, through to the establishment of missional churches in mid west America and on to building Christian presence and witness amongst converts from Islam in a Middle Eastern country.

Historians were also in abundance looking at the life of Anabaptist refugees in central Europe, the expansion of the church to the far north west in the United States, the development and influence on discipleship training amongst youth in the eastern seaboard of Canada and the planting of the first Baptist community of Bohemia.

Theology was explored and interacted with including some of the leading baptistic theological thinkers such as James William McClendon Junior, Paul Fiddes and Glen H Stassen.

The multidisciplinary interaction was very special and amongst our conversant partners we had Professor Nancey Murphy (Fuller Theological Seminary), Dr Stuart Blythe (Scottish Baptist College), Dr Marian Carson (an Old Testament scholar), Dr Simon J Oxley (a former senior staff member of the world Council of Churches), Dr J Andrew Kirk (one of the leading missiologists in Europe), Dr Jim Purves (Mission and Ministry Adviser to the Baptist Union of Scotland) and the IBTS Academic team.

Conversations continued long into the night on key topics affecting Baptist life and mission in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

On the Friday, the research students presented outgoing Rector, Dr Keith G Jones, with a special book of mementos and in a moving ceremony laid hands on him and prayed for his future life and work.

Here we are!

Friday, February 1st, 2013

…Or at least the majority of those involved in this week’s Colloquium.

And here we are, working hard around the ‘square table’ in the chapel.