Wednesday 25 May 2011

New Head of Faith and Unity. The Word Is Out.

We can now confirm that, contrary to earlier rumours, Harold Camping has not been short-listed to replace Graham Sparkes as the new head of faith and unity.  A source close to the  General Secretary has told us, "We are sad to have to report that Harold is no longer under consideration.  No one could question Mr. Camping's suitability for the post, his profound grasp of theology and evident prescience are as plain as the meaning of the book of Revleation but unfortunately negotions broke down when he insisted on a ridiculously short term contract."

Baptileaks have heard that the new front runner is one Terry Jones.  It is less than clear though just which Terry Jones our leaders are touching up.   Is the erstwhile Monty Python star set for a surprising career move?  Or maybe the scouse former mission advisor has been persuaded to renounce his Trappist vows and return to Didcot?  Baptileaks would advise their readers to put their money on a third option.  We understand that in the light of their disappointment following the break down of negotiations with Harold Camping, the powers that be are now prioritising the interfaith dimension of the job and have come to the conclusion that God's man for this key ministry is Jones the flame from Florida. 

Friday 17 December 2010

Baptist College Principals Emerge From Debilitating Slumber

This just in from Hanserd Knollys

A memo tabled at this week’s joint Baptist College Principals meeting (the ‘Lack’, as it is known) for presentation to the BCJCC (Baptist Colleges Joint Consultative Committee)


In recent years the bitter rivalry between the various Baptist Colleges has diminished to a deplorable level.

In former generations, you could tell the difference between a Bristol Man and a Spurgeon’s Man at a hundred paces. However, the trend in the last twenty years has been towards a disastrous homogenisation of ministerial formation. No longer will students fight to the death for the honour of a College Motto. No longer can we be certain that Regents graduates will preach worthy but dull sermons. No longer can we count on a Spurgeon’s graduate’s ability to alliterate on demand. No longer can we be certain that Welsh College students can preach bilingually, simultaneously. No longer can we reasonably expect a Manchester College student to turn Unitarian after their first pastorate. No longer do we encounter the incomprehensibly angry preaching of the Scottish student. No longer can we be sure that the Bristol student will forever harbour resentment that they didn’t go to Oxford.

Clearly this is unacceptable, and urgent steps must be taken to rectify the situation.

It is our proposal that an immediate reallocation of all staff be undertaken, with all tutorial staff being relocated back to the College they trained at. This will restore the pride of the alma mater, and will weed out those trained in other, non-Baptist, institutions. This is the first crucial step towards the realisation of our goal.

The second phase will be a renaming of the Colleges to reflect their theological position. Henceforth they shall be known as:
  • Spurgeons Calvinistic-Premillennial-Reformed-Evangelical College
  • Regent’s Park Overly-Theological College
  • South Wales Ble mae'r diwygiad College
  • Bristol not-Regent’s Baptist College
  • Scottish C.U. Jimmy Baptist College
  • Northern Baptist Learning Community.

The final phase will be the introduction of a scoring system to be utilised by Ministerial Recognition Committees, whereby students will be allocated to Colleges according to their response to a key shibboleth, as follows.

What is your opinion of Calvinism?
  • I knew you were going to ask me that. – Spurgeon’s
  • Are we talking Neo-Calvinism, Positive Calvinism, or Antithetical Calvinism here? – Regent’s
  • Christmas Evans was a Calvinistic Baptist Revivalist, let’s genetically re-engineer him. – Wales
  • If Arminius was good enough for Helwys, he’s good enough for me. – Bristol
  • Mark Driscoll makes an interesting point on this one. – Scottish
  • Calvin Schmalvin! We’re a Cuddly Community – Manchester

It is our feeling that these simple measures will do more to revitalise the missional and ecclesial life of the Union than any initiatives or theological positioning papers that may emerge from the so-called 'Ministry' and 'Mission' Departments in Didcot. The power within the Union has always rested with the Colleges, and for too long we have been inactive. It is time we took the initiative once again.


The Lack of Principals

Monday 13 December 2010

Surprise Choice For Mainstream Conference Speaker

Documents obtained from a recent meeting of the Mainstream apostolic team confirm that John Milbank is to be the headline speaker at their next Swanwick conference.  The former doyen of Radical Orthodoxy is a little different to most recent Mainstream speakers. 

We at Baptileaks understand that Milbank underwent a dramatic conversion experience while listening John Lewis preach at last year's Gorsley Flower Festival.  We have not been able to discover why he decided to attend in the first place. 

Since this experience, behind the scenes, Mr. Milbank (he now eschews the title Reverend describing it as an unhelpful ecclesial trapping with unfortunate priestly overtones) has been throwing himself enthusiastically into his newly discovered evangelicalism.  Sources at Premier Radio have confirmed that he is to be the voice of a new Back to the Bible programme that will air next spring.  The broadcasts will, we are told, "cut through all the crap of tradition so that the listener can discover what the Bible actually says." 

We also understand that Stuart Murray Williams has recently commissioned Milbank to write the next book in the popular After Christendom series. The working title is said to be Heterodoxy after Christendom.

On a more personal level Milbank has told trusted friends just how excited he about his new online prayer triplet with Steve Chalke and Mark Driscoll.  He is said to be delighted to have found two such stimulating guides to today's church and contemporary popular culture.

We also know for a fact that Milbank is deep into conversations with Graham Cray about the possibility of becoming the new Baptist advocate of Fresh Expressions.  That's right dear reader, Baptist advocate.  Milbank, who has been known in the past to be rude about Baptist Ministers, is himself to become a Baptist.  Apparently Ian Bunce has been acting on behalf of the BUGB in an attempt to straighten out Milbank's theology.  Word has it that Mr Bunce has done a first rate job of responding to a wide variety of philosophical objections.  "He just needed someone to tell him straight" says Bunce.

More likely than not Milbank will be attending the forthcoming Baptist Assembly in Blackpool - he says he has always harbored a desire to worship God in a dingy hotel nightclub accompanied by a band playing more or less contemporary middle of the road music.  If you see him, be sure to give him a hug.

Saturday 11 December 2010

Send us your leaks

We at Baptileaks are greatly encouraged by the response to the launching of our little blogospherical ministry.  We are also learning to be light on our feet as we sidestep  evermore frantic efforts to take us down.  (Only yesterday one of our volunteers had to catch a ride on a passing helicopter to escape from a suspicious looking albino brandishing a copy of Gathering for Worship in a very threatening manner - wouldn't be surprised if he had a mouldy copy of Payne of Winward strapped to his upper thigh.)  Any how this is to let you know that because we are having to relocate our office every twelve hours there might, from time to time, be extended delays between the release of documents. 

You should also know that we are keen to receive more leaks from those of you out there who still nurture the flame of dissent in your bosom. Simply email your goodies to  We shall have to verify the authenticity of the submissions and we cannot guarantee to publish everything that lands in our inbox.   We will of course maintain the anonymity of our correspondents.  You may wish to choose an appropriate moniker that we can use as your byline.  If you submit material on a regular basis this will add to the  experience of our readers and help to build a sense of community.

Thursday 9 December 2010

No Dream Team For The London Baptist Association

Yesterday afternoon we received a hurried telephone call purporting to come from the toilets at Bloomsbury Baptist Church.  The caller was concerned to quell rumours that have been spreading across the capital.  She was able to confirm that even though both men were indeed prepared to come out of retirement, the LBA will not, repeat NOT be offering the position of Regional Minister (Team Leader) as a job-share to the so called dream team of David Pawson and Michael Taylor.

Women Ministers, Bible Weeks and Church Politics

The latest document to be released here is not a document as such.  What you have below is a transcript of a secret recording.  The tape has only recently made its way back from the Vatican courtesy of a Baptist minister who “stumbled across it” while on a site-seeing trip organised by Dan Brown Tours Ltd. 

Unfortunately, the sound quality is not great (the problem is made worse by background traffic noise and the dodgy accents) and therefore we have to publish a disclaimer: we cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of the transcript; there are places where we have had to guess what was being said.  However, reports just in from our voice analysis lab have confirmed the identity of the two speakers:  The Bishop of Rome and the BUGB’s very own Paul Goodliff. 

His Holiness:  Great idea of yours to meet here.

Ratzinger: Yes, no one will ever know that this conversation even took place.

His Holiness: Who’d have thought there’d be so much room under the seat in the pope-mobile?

Ratzinger: Glad you find it spacious – of course if you do end up bumping your head when we go over the speed bumps you could always sit down.

His Holiness: Thank you, but I think I’ll be OK.  Good job though that J.E. couldn’t make it after all.

Ratzinger: Anyway, best get on with it, how’s the plan going?

His Holiness: Not well.  They just don’t seem to want to go for it.

Ratzinger: Why the hell not?  It worked with the Anglicans.  Sure, it took us some time to get there but once the precedent was set -  tickle me pink and pass the lipstick!  women priests everywhere; lots of disgruntled traditionalists; bish bash bosh, a nice little harvest of presbyters for us; problem with falling vocations eased; result.

His Holiness: Well yes, genius, of course, but we Baptists are not the same as the CofE.  It’s not that simple.  We take the Bible seriously you know.

Ratzinger:  Bible schmeible.  Your problems are nothing to do with scripture, you’ve always managed to get round it before when necessary.  Trouble with your lot is that they are just a bunch of reactionaries.

His Holiness : Well maybe, but even if we went the whole hog like your envoy Undercover Cardinal Colwell suggests and withdraw Home Mission funding from any church that disagrees with women in ministry, what makes you think those who don’t like it would go running to Rome?

Ratzinger:  Look, Goody-Two-Shoes where else would a Free-Churchman go?  It’ll only be a few years before the URC disappears completely and any sensible Baptist would much prefer Rome to the Methodists – we’re not nearly as centralised.

His Holiness: I don’t know, I just can’t see it coming off.  Can’t we find some other way of getting you to provide ongoing funding for Leading Edge?  How about we agree to fit out all the toilets with dispensing machines for your new range of condoms?  What is it you are calling them, "Pope-ylactics: papal letters you can put your faith in"? … Not that there’s that many HIV infected male prostitutes at Baptist House - it would be unbiblical.

[At this point excessive volume seems to have distorted the recording and it is impossible to decipher the German’s reply, then the entire recording comes to a sudden end.  Still an interesting insight into the inner workings of the upper echelons of church leadership.]

Tuesday 7 December 2010

David and Jonathan

In light of the recent news that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has finally been nobbled  we at Baptileaks feel that in the interest of truth, liberty and freedom of conscience we ought to step into the breach.  We are looking to God for a double portion of Julian's spirit as we take up at least one corner of his mantle and continue his work for the kingdom in our own small corner of the Lord's vineyard.

This blog which is protected by the latest security software will pursue what we believe to be its God-given mission of lifting the baptistery cover of denominational life within the Baptist Union of Great Britain.  We shall move the immersion heater to one side, peer past the surface scum into the murky waters and reveal fearlessly what lies beneath.

We have already been contacted by lovers of truth within The Pentagon Baptist House.  Our sources have provided us with some potentially church-shattering documents and once our team of lawyers have given us the green light the information will be posted here.

Watch this space, and remember John 8:32

Here's the first document to have come our way since Baptileaks was founded. It casts a whole new light on BUGB President Jonathan Edwards' Christmas newsletter.

Some have suggested that there are certain features of the letter that could be taken to indicate that it is a fake.  However, after rigorous scientific analysis we can confirm that it is utterly genuine.  Shocking, but genuine