Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Danish Musings

Having a great time here in Denmark. On Monday, I spoke on emerging church issues to a group of church planters and other interested parties in Copenhagen. They were open and engaged, although our contextual differences were soon apparent. My host, Thomas Willer, opened by reading a bit from Soren Ostergaard's dissertation on Danish church plants in which Soren argues that the gospel is "radical contextualization."

I heartily concurred. The Danes (as has been my experience elsewhere in the world recently (Singapore and South Africa)) have been too easily co-opted by American models of church growth and revitalization. I pleaded that those of us from the US version of emergent church not be another in a long line of Americans offering a model. We're not offering a model, we're offering friendship. So, if you're looking for friends around the globe as you rethink church in your context, I said, then emergent is for you. Here's a pic of the Copenhagen group:

Early Tuesday morning, we travelled three hours by train to Jutland, the northwest part of Denmark -- kind of the equivalent to the Midwest, it's more agricultural, people a bit more conservative (in lifestyle, not politics). I spent Tuesday with a group of church planters in this area around Arhus. Today (Wednesday) will be with a new group in Arhus around issues of youth ministry, tomorrow at a Pentecostal Bible college, and Friday in Oslo, Norway.

One of the interesting things I've had to think through on this trip so far is the relationship between emergent thinking and charismaticism. The charismatic movement, particularly in its British "apostolic" form (as opposed, for instance, to the Vineyard) is very robust here -- well, I should say, robust among the small minority of Danes who are not part of the national Lutheran church. There's much talk about a church in Sheffield, U.K. who has developed this movement. My background is so thoroughly uncharistmatic that I always have to try extra hard to communicate faithfully in this idiom. More on this later...

Anyway, the hosts here are fantastically hospitable, the food exceptional (two types of herring at lunch on Monday!), and the beer.... mmm, what to say?... it's wonderful, and it comes in very large glasses!


Blogger Steffen said...

Hey Tony

Good to meet you in Copenhagen. We're still processing a lot of thoughts from that day.

I'm still planning on going to the states. What was that website again? Paradesofchurches?

It would be cool to hang out with some of you guys from Solomon's!

- Steffen

4:13 AM  
Blogger Sivin Kit said...

"We're not offering a model, we're offering friendship. So, if you're looking for friends around the globe as you rethink church in your context, I said, then emergent is for you."

Keep on saying the above! :-)

Looking at the beer reminds me of my time in Germany! BTW, Brian did great in Malaysia!

8:12 AM  
Blogger pastorjoe said...

Hey Tony, i got a buddy in Denmark. i am going to try and get him to look you up. i heard you speak a couple years ago in nashville at the NYWC. it was enlightening.

10:30 AM  
Blogger denmarkgirl said...

thanks for the thought provoking chats today. it got the wheels going in this little brain of mine. i would like to get more information on the disciplines you used to teach through the Bible with the teens that you were talking about today. i thought it was a good idea dont know how it will work here but would just like to hear the disciplines you used and then see how we can incorporate that in some shape or form.
thanks you gave us all something to keep talking about. enjoyed hearing your heart. please send my greetings to Jamie Miller and Eric Beavers when you return to the Twin Cities.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Willer said...

So Good to have you here! hOPE YOU the bible college goes well. Here is a link to the church in sheffield. Thans for some good discussions


12:45 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Willer said...

oops here it come http://www.sttoms.net/

12:46 PM  
Blogger Studenterpr√¶st said...

Hey Tony

thanx for some great days - now Im back in the north and I hope your last days in scandinavia will be great - you will .... them up ;o)

1:56 PM  
Blogger suburbanjesus said...

came on here to say... well... exactly what sivin said.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Sat said...

looks like you had 10 people show up...not bad

-Sat Jivenjall

1:38 PM  

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