Weekend Roundup (3): BICTE Conference Statement


Geoff Pound at Theologians Without Borders has posted the final statement to emerge out of the 7th Baptist International Theological Educators Conference held in Prague this summer.  I re-post it here:

Report and Declaration of BICTE VII Held in Prague, Czech Republic, July 26 – 29, 2008

Gathered July 26-29 in Prague, Czech Republic, for the seventh Baptist International Conference on Theological Education (BICTE),
Baptist educators, pastors, practitioners, theologians and emerging
leaders from the worldwide Baptist family reflected on the theme
"Probing the Theological Boundaries: The Baptist Story from Amsterdam
to Tomorrow."

The program began with a session tracing Baptist
theological footprints over the past 400 years. Subsequent sessions
explored topics relating to ministerial formation and heard reports
from member regions about the status of theological education around
the globe. Participants were particularly challenged to consider how
their institutions could address the contemporary ecological crisis;
the exploitation of women and children; the changing forms of worship
in the church; greater utilization of art, film, and other media in the
classroom; and a radical spirituality that is open to fresh winds of
the Spirit.

As a gathering of Baptist theological educators open
to God’s self-disclosure, expectantly awaiting God's coming reign in
both time and space, we commit ourselves to:

1. Enact
convictions and practices evident in the historic walk of early
Baptists: reading the Bible, living the life, nurturing the community,
redeeming the powers, and telling the story.

2. Welcome from our many cultures and contexts new insights in the form of diverse enactments of our common Baptist way of life.

Pursue theological education that involves a life-long process of
learning for both students and teachers to be carried out in joint
partnership with local churches.

4. Uphold the sacredness of all life, actively demonstrating our faith by respecting and caring for God's creation.

5. Seek repentance for our failure to advocate for those who are abused, impoverished, and marginalized.

Prepare leaders who will equip local communities to live the Christian
life, share the gospel, and engage in works of justice as expressions
of Christian love.

7. Glorify the Triune God through holistic
practices of worship, work, and witness in which our Lord Jesus Christ
summons us through the power of the Holy Spirit to join in God's
mission to all the world.