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Baptist Theology North 2022 

Action, Spirituality and Change was the theme for the keynote speakers at the latest Baptist Theology North (BTN), held this year at New North Road Baptist Church, Huddersfield, our amazing hosts, writes Sally Nelson 

BTN speakers 2022-2

In the keynotes the Revd Dr Clara Rushbrook, Co-Principal of Northern Baptist College, addressed the question of environmental theology as a re-contextualisation of the tradition for modern times, using a helpful metaphor of ‘composting’ our inherited doctrines, while the Revd Dr Ian Stackhouse picked up the theme of dissent and patriotism, considering Bonhoeffer’s challenge to Nazism alongside contemporary political issues such as Brexit.

In addition there were eight papers from local scholar-pastors, with an impressive range of theological reflection (see below). Almost 40 people registered for the day, which (apart from the keynotes) is designed to provide a friendly and open opportunity to offer a short paper and facilitate theological conversation around it.

There is no shortage of theological imagination among Baptists in the north of England, evidenced by the enthusiastic reception of BTN on its return after a two-year Covid break. BTN has taken place annually since 2010, and this year was very special as an opportunity to reconnect in person with friends and colleagues, debating theologically together. 

Sally Nelson (of the BTN convenor group)  

Short papers

Shona Shaw: The trouble with women: liberating image of self and faith in older women
Women’s lives in the church have often been hidden and unspoken. What is revealed in the pastoral encounter when we use portraiture rather than words? 
Simon Hall: Forget Being or Doing. What about Becoming? Process Theology as a Better Foundation for Discipleship
A renewed interest in process thought in biology and ethics 
Robert Parkinson: Reworking an ‘overworked psalm’  
There is more to Psalm 23 than a potentially tired image of God as shepherd. I hope to offer an edifying reading of Psalm 23 in light of current psalms study.
Peter Morden: John Bunyan: Reading the Pilgrim’s Progress
A reconsideration of the relevance of John Bunyan's classic work for Christians today. 

Wayne Clarke: Learning from History
Wayne has recently published A Ready Man, his biography of Victorian Baptist Hugh Stowell Brown, and he reflected on the way history can inform our faith and practice.
Steve Langford: The grounded angel: a study in spirituality and intergenerational dynamics 
Ask yourself the question ‘does the church that I belong to seem to repeat certain patterns of behaviour?’ This paper considered the possible link between intergenerational dynamics and the spiritual realm. 
Chris Upton: Attention: an exploration with reference to Helen Cameron and Simone Weil
Mike Smith: ‘Holy tig’ or ordination?
An exploration of the way leaders have been appointed in the past and a look at apostolic succession and ecumenical views of ordination, amongst other things… 


Baptist Times, 10/05/2022
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