Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eight Years of Ministry

It is hard for us to believe, but has now been online for over eight years.  Brad Haugaard and Bill Hunter, both evangelical Christians with Danish ancestry, sensed the Lord's direction in initiating this prayer support ministry for Denmark. Though both of us are active members of strong evangelical churches, we are not sponsored by them and are not compensated monetarily for our efforts.  Indeed, is not sponsored by any church or denomination, or by any para-church or mission organization.  We have never had designs on setting up a church or ministry of our own in Denmark. This Internet blog is entirely self-supporting, that is, we do not solicit contributions, and do not attempt to generate funds for the expenses inherent in keeping it online.

We have tried and believe we have succeeded in these eight years to maintain a broad perspective on Danish evangelical churches, pastors and ministries. The commentary and prayer requests on PFD over the years demonstrate quite clearly that we have exercised concern for a wide variety of evangelical work in Denmark through the churches and organizations we have highlighted. With some we are in total agreement and with others perhaps not in every detail, but we have been and continue to be concerned that the Body of Christ in Denmark not be further fractured or splinterered.  Of course, we hold to certain basic and non-negotiable biblical and theological truths that distinguish conservative evangelicals from other churches and denominations even when there may be differing views on some issues.

We are always on the lookout for ways and means of getting the webblog before people, especially those with Danish ancestry living in other countries who know and love the Lord and who are willing to share our burden of prayer for heightened evangelism, revival/renewal, and church planting in the ancestral homeland. In the end, it is "not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord." We praise the Lord for giving us the vision for and are so grateful for the commendation and support of a number of people similarly burdened for the progress of the Gospel in a land with hundreds of church buildings but little evidence of spiritual power. We remain committed as ever to revival/renewal, evangelism, and church planting in Denmark

Brad and I take great pleasure in announcing the addition of a third member to our administrative team.  Robert “Bob” Elmer has recently joined us and will be working with Bill in writing posts that highlight the needs and challenges of evangelical work in
Denmark.  Bob not only has sterling Danish ancestry (his parents having immigrated to the United States from Denmark) but he has a better grasp of the Danish language than either Brad or Bill.  That will stand him in good stead as moves into the future.  What is more, he has a real heart for the Danish people and for the strengthening of the Lord’s work in Denmark. It may be that Bob will feel led in the future to share something of his background with readers of this webblog.

PRAY for the Lord's continuing blessing and direction for's unique ministry of prayer support for evangelical work and workers in Denmark.

PRAY for an increasing number of visitors to the website who will covenant with us to pray for a resurgence or reintroduction of evangelism, revival/renewal, and church planting in Denmark.

PRAY for Danish pastors and churches experiencing discouragement and needing the encouragement of those committed to praying earnestly for them and their ministries. Many of them are under-supported financially. The Danish free (non-Folkekirke) churches are small and struggling to find effective ways and means of reaching their local areas with the truth of the gospel of grace and salvation in Jesus Christ.

PRAY that the addition of new team member Bob Elmer will enhance and even invigorate the ministry and outreach of

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Johann Gerhardus Oncken and Evangelism in Denmark

The year 1839 marks the beginning of the Danish free church movement, when a clear biblical message of salvation was reintroduced to Denmark. While visiting in the country, Julius Köbner, himself a converted Danish Jew and co-worker of the German Baptist preacher Johann Gerhardus Oncken, met with several individuals of similar doctrinal convictions. Undoubtedly at Köbner’s request, Oncken came to evangelize in Denmark. That same year, 1839, Oncken baptized several people and planted a new church, the first non-state church in the country (Copenhagen’s still-existing Baptist Kristuskirken).

Oncken's theology and message has been described as conservative, Calvinistic (Reformed), and evangelistic. He was a zealous, fearless evangelist who through passionate preaching and evangelistic efforts laid the foundation for evangelism and the planting of free churches in Denmark. The following quote gives clear indication of the substance and evangelistic thrust of Oncken’s preaching:

“The two great truths which from the day of our conversion to the day we enter into heaven the Lord teaches those who shall be saved are in reference to ourselves that we are poor, lost, helpless sinners, who, if left to themselves, must perish for ever, and in reference to God, that out of boundless compassion He has sent His only begotten Son into the world to atone for the guilt of all who should believe in Him, and then in this glorious Savior more—infinitely more—has been brought back to all who believe in Him, than ever was lost by Adam's transgression and our own sin.”

Sound biblical doctrine and evangelistic passion go hand in hand, and the spread of the Gospel of Christ requires utter passion for the Good News. Yet there are too few today with Oncken’s fiery passion. And just as in America and the rest of Europe, Danish churches are susceptible to the kind of doctrinal fads which lack the sound biblical foundation that brought the free church movement to the country 173 years ago and transformed the lives of so many under Oncken’s Spirit-empowered preaching. If God did it once, He can do it again.
PRAY that passionate Bible-based evangelism will arise in Denmark to bring many to repentance and faith in Christ and thereby shake the very foundations of Danish life and culture.
PRAY that God will raise up an increasing number of gifted evangelists in Denmark with a biblically-based passion for the Gospel that was so evident in Oncken’s preaching.
PRAY that Danish believers increasingly will recognize their part in the spread of the Good News whenever they give testimony to others of their personal experience of God's saving grace and the hope they have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15).