Maybe you never did: perhaps you’re a cradle Baptist, or you just found yourself once in a church with a Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) logo on the front, or perhaps you’d first reach for words like “Bible believing”, “liberal evangelical” or “charismatic” to describe your church tradition?
You wouldn’t be alone. Our wider Baptist identity has become a bit of an optional extra, as Simon already put it: the “Baptist label was ok, but inconsequential”. Recently all first year ministerial students were invited to attend Baptist House (the national BUGB resource centre) for a conference where there was a Q&A with the General Secretary. Neatly sidestepping a difficult question about the Baptist position on something, Jonathan Edwards replied “there isn’t the Baptist church in Britain, there is only a family of Baptist churches within Britain”.
Risking the wrath of Baptist House when this is published, I have to say, I disagree.