Muslims turning to Christ in Denmark

As we’ve blogged about, large numbers of Muslim refugees are converting to Christianity.  (Read Uwe Siemon-Netto’s compelling article on the phenomenon.)  I knew this was happening in Germany and in France, though it is not happening everywhere.  But it is also happening in Denmark, as I learned last week while I was there.

The organization Inner Mission, whose conference I spoke at, does much of the evangelism work in that supposedly secularist country.  Staffers told me about how they are being overwhelmed by Muslim immigrants and refugees who come to them wanting to learn about Jesus and asking to be baptized.

I was told about a Muslim couple who showed up at a Mission House for the weekly Bible study.  The next week, 14 Muslims attended.  The next week, 50 crowded into the facility. This is happening in Mission Houses across the country.

The inquirers are told up front that their becoming Christians would in no way make a difference to the Danish government considering their applications.  “We don’t care.  Tell us about Jesus.”  And if you get sent back, you would be in severe danger as apostates to Islam.  “We know.  Baptize us!”

Inner Mission staff encourage them to continue with the Bible studies.  In the meantime, they are taken to a conservative Lutheran pastor for catechesis and eventual baptism. [Read more…]

Has the word “evangelical” become meaningless?

Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore said that he is no longer referring to himself as an “evangelical.”  He says that today’s political opportunism and theological heresies have made the term meaningless, though he hopes it might come back.

Back in the Reformation times and still in Europe, “evangelical” referred to Lutherans, for whom the Gospel was central to all of their teachings, a term distinguished from the “reformed.”  Later in England, “evangelical” was used to refer to low church Anglicans, and later in America as a term for culturally-open fundamentalists, then for conservative Protestants generally, and then for Christians who emphasize “evangelism.”

It is still a slippery term.  Pollsters categorize Lutherans of the Missouri Synod as “evangelicals” because they emphasize the Gospel and the inerrancy of Scripture, while many Lutherans distance themselves from the term because it connotes non-sacramental, non-liturgical Christianity.

Moore approaches the terminology question differently, tying it in to Donald Trump’s candidacy, of all things.  What do you think of his analysis?  Should the term be retired?  Can you think of alternatives?

[Read more…]

Back to Denmark

Last Fall, as some of you will remember, I spent a couple of weeks on a speaking tour of Scandinavia. (See the series of posts including this one and this one and this one and this one and this one and this one.)  I was invited back.  Tomorrow I catch a plane to Denmark, where I will be giving a series of lectures at a big Inner Mission conference.  So I’m excited about that.

What about the blog while I’m gone?  I’m not sure of my access to the internet all of the time, and the time difference will be crazy.  But I should be able to give dispatches from time to time.

In addition, I have written a number of posts ahead of time, and they’ll be scheduled to come up during the week that I’ll be gone.  In fact, I have a series of posts on this blog’s great theme of VOCATION (what else?) that I think will interest you.

So stay tuned and say a prayer for me from time to time.   So Farvel og Gud velsigne dig!

The end of the religious right?

Nearly all evangelical leaders are opposing Donald Trump.  And yet evangelicals are voting for him in droves.  Jonathan Merritt of the Atlantic is hailing this phenomenon as the end of the religious right.  Read what he says after the jump, read my response, and offer your opinion.

[Read more…]

Why so many evangelicals are for Trump

Why are so many evangelicals supporting such a flagrant non-evangelical as Donald Trump?  Ben Domenech, publisher of the Federalist, gives the best answer I’ve heard:  The evangelicals who support Trump recognize that they have lost the culture wars, that Christianizing the government is futile, that America is no longer a Christian nation.  What they want now is protection from the politically-correct elites who would love to stamp out whatever Christianity is left.  And Trump, for all his faults, delights in defying the politically-correct elite.

You conservative Christians who support Trump, is this at least part of the reason?

[Read more…]

Lutherans and Anglicans together

While liberal Lutherans and liberal Episcopalians have gone the way of mainline Protestantism in its anything-goes ecumenism, it is a different story with church bodies that still hold to their historical doctrines.  The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has broken away from the Episcopal Church (U.S.A.), joining other global Anglicans in affirming a more conservative theology.

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Lutheran Church Canada has been in talks with the new American Anglican church, and the three church bodies have just released an Interim Report on their discussions.  The document is extremely interesting, especially in tracing the historical connections and parallels between Lutherans and Anglicans.  The report also details the doctrinal agreements (some of which you might find surprising), as well as the disagreements.

A sample and links to the report after the jump. [Read more…]


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