Saturday, July 18, 2009

the stimulation of being a global baptist

The last few days at the International Conference on Baptist Studies has been excellent. With 400 years of history (this year), and over 150,000 churches and 37 million members spanning 6 continents, there’s a lot of being Baptist to be studied. With conference speakers from England, US, Australian, New Zealand, Irian Jaya, Papua New Guinea, Aboriginal, Nigeria, India, Burma, it’s been a real feast. 3 highlights that spring to mind:

1: From PNG: The church is harmed by “grasshopper” Christians, those people who just jump from church to church, always chasing a blessing and seeking something better.

2: From Aboriginal Australia: The gospel calls us to be one, but it also calls each member to be unique. So the task of mission is to help each member helped to find their own God-given identity. That is our challenge: to be truly, authentically Aboriginal and Christian in a post-modern Australia.

3: From UK: research into letters kept in the British Library shows that William Wilberforce enjoyed a sustained correspondence over many years with key Baptist mission leaders and had a deep admiration for the work of the father of modern modern, William Carey.

My paper – Baptist Worship and Contemporary Culture: A New Zealand Case study – went well today, with some helpful feedback and good endorsement. With a few editorial tweeks, I hope it will get published down the track (as part of a Paternoster series).

Tomorrow I head down the Peninsula for a weekend with friends. Yep, a weekend away from Opawa. It means I miss the start of missions week, and the preaching of Paul Windsor.

Posted by steve at 12:27 AM

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