• Colleges and libraries

    Well, our blog has gone a bit silent over the last few weeks – apologies to those who have been checking us out and eagerly awaiting new posts! One of the reasons is that one of the moderators (that’s yours truly) is away on a study leave – so if the supervisors of my dissertation are reading this, ehmm, I’m blogging in the comfort of the evening having worked very hard all day in the library. I’m enjoying the hospitality of our sister school, Regents Park College in Oxford. It’s amazing what a network of friends I’ve discovered here, mostly stemming from occasions when our ways crossed because of or…

  • BWA goes Virginian

    The three key officers of the Baptist World Alliance for the next Quinquennium 2010-2015 all live in Virginia, USA. This might seem surprising for an organisation which has been making claims of becoming more international in recent years. The new President-elect is John Upton, Chief Executive of the Baptists in Virginia and a former missionary to Taiwan. John is a good friend of IBTS and has visited us on several occasions. The First Vice President-elect is Daniel Carro. Daniel is from Argentina and was at one time BWA Regional Secretary for Latin America, but in more recent years has lectured in Systematic Theology at the John Leland Centre in north…

  • IBTS in the Netherlands

    It’s been a busy time for the summer remnant of IBTS! Probably most of the readers of this blog have guessed the reason: we’ve been celebrating the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first Baptist church at Amsterdam400. It has been a marvelous time – nearly 900 sisters and brothers from Europe and other parts of the world convening at the RAI centre and sharing the joy and the lessons of the past 400 years. There was a spirit of reflective festivity but without pompousness – at least this is how it seemed to me. For IBTS folk, it was also the time of meeting lots of different people…

  • Protestants Anonymous

    At the 13th CEC Assembly it was decided that on Friday we should consume our lunch-in-a-bag in “confessional groups”. It was declared only three such groups would be allowed – Anglicans and Old Catholics; Orthodox and Protestant. I duly joined several hundred others in the “Protestant” meeting presided over by Bishop Tomas Wipf (Switzerland), President of CPCE (the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe), so immediately we Baptists didn’t feel at home as CPCE declined to have us associated with them some time ago. Then the meeting was run more like an audience with the Pope, with Bishop Wipf doing most of the talking and setting his own agenda. Over…

  • Baptist Caucus meets at CEC

    The 13th Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) is meeting in the historic city of Lyon in France. Four hundred and fifty Christians from all sorts of persuasions, excluding the Catholics, are gathered under the theme of “hope”. Various pressure-groups want to meet in the framework of CEC. The Orthodox have asked for a meeting, the German Lutherans are pressing for a complete restructuring of CEC, and what are the small community of Baptists supposed to do ? Well, at least we managed a lunchtime meeting – Germans, Georgians, Italians, Danes, Brits and the EBF. For many years, going back to the 11th Assembly in Graz in 1997,…

  • Blogging from the CBF Assembly

    It’s hot in Houston! Nevertheless I need my sweater on as I am living in the air conditioned world of the George R Brown Convention Centre, sitting at a booth promoting IBTS to the attenders at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Assembly. As usual many excellent friends of IBTS come round to say “hello – glad you are here”, then there are inquisitive seminarians enquiring about IBTS as a place of post-graduate study and, indeed, two folks whom we have signed up as students and who will join us in August. It’s interesting to sit-in on the affairs of another Baptist group in which one carries no direct responsibility. Like everyone…

  • History starts here…

    Yevgeniya, our student (actually our Student President) from Kazakhstan, reflects on the recent trip that the students and some of the staff took to Germany: History is always connected with cemeteries. Those are special places where a person can feel the time of 17th or 18th century, for example. They are places where time stops! This academic year has been a special one for us students. We have visited several historic places; but wherever we went, we found ourselves in cemeteries. Grave yards were very specific and unique in each place we went. There were no similar burial grounds. On the one hand they looked the same, but on another hand, each of…

  • First Baptist Church, Washington D.C.

    Established in 1802, this Baptist Church now worshiping in a sanctuary built in 1955, has a historic past and is at the heart of Embassy and Government offices on 16th Street, NW. In the spectrum of Baptist worship it might be regarded as “High” Baptist with robed clergy and choir, and a high altar (yes, the information leaflet uses the word altar). On the Second Sunday of Advent the procession of choir and clergy also had one of the church families involved to light two of the purple advent candles. The selection of chorale music included “And the Glory” from Handel’s Messiah and we stood for the reading of the Gospel.