May 11 & 12, 2011
Hotel Griff, Budapest
1113 Budapest, Bartók Béla út 152. Tel: +361 2040044
(see map and list of hotels for photos, adress and location)
Exact times of some meetings may remain slightly flexible because we are a small group and want to allow generous amounts of time for fellowship.
Wednesday May 11
9.00 Session 1: Introduction of the aims and goals of the HFE Theologians Network
Introduction of participants in the meetings
Dr. Thomas K. Johnson, Network Supervisor
10.00 Session 2: Theological Needs of the Global Body of Christ
Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance
14.00 Session 3: Theological Needs in Europe: Brainstorming in light of the entire Hope for Europe movement
Dr. Johnson, chair
15.00 Session 4: Twentieth Century Trends in Pastoral Theology and How They Relate to Pastoral Experience in Post-Soviet Lithuania
Dr. Giedrius Saulytis
16.00 Session 5: Whatever Happened to the Soul?
Dr. Eddy Delameillieure
On Wednesday evening participants in the theologians network are encouraged to get to know the people participating in the several other HFE networks.
Thursday May 12
9.00 Session 6: The Doctrine of the Trinity as the Point of Integration for Christian Theology
Dr. Marshall Brown
10.30 Session 7: The Doctrine of the Twofold Work of God and European Identity
Dr. Thomas K. Johnson
14.00 Session 8: Euroscepticism: a Theological Assessment with Special Reference to Dispensationalism
Dr. Raymond Pfister
15.00 Session 9: The Hauge Revival in Norway (1796-1820) as a Pattern of Spiritual Renewal and Social Reform
Dr. Egil Reindal
15.45 Session 10: Methods of Theological Diagnosis for Individuals, Congregations, and Movements
Dr. Thomas K. Johnson
16.45 General discussion: where to go from here?
On Thursday evening at 19.30 the theologians network will host Dr. Os Guiness who will give a public lecture entitled: “The survival of the fastest – living wisely when life is fired point blank.”
The HFE theologians face the task of equipping the Body of Christ in Europe to bring new hope into European culture and for European culture. The task is not only to communicate our eternal hope in Christ, but especially to equip the people of God to bring new hope for European society in the 21st century. For some centuries our fellow believers have been praying, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Our efforts today should build on the assumption that God has been answering this prayer and that he will continue to answer this prayer in the future. Indeed, European civilization is what it is because of the unique combination of God’s common grace and his special grace which he has poured out, so that there have been numerous signs of the presence of God’s redemptive reign as well as patterns of life inspired by God’s moral will. Today we must communicate God-fearing hope, really a new culture of hope, which consciously builds on the contributions of Christian ideas, values, institutions, and individuals to the creation of Europe as a distinct cultural entity; now we must develop people, literature, and events that will can contribute to a spiritual renewal of society, thereby communicating both eternal and temporal hope.
At the outset we must say that there have been aberrations and distortions of the historic Protestant faith, mistaken paradigms on the faith, which we must identify and outgrow. Theological liberalism and extreme fundamentalism are twin and mutually reinforcing errors which we must overcome. In the realm of ethics we must learn an ethics of civic responsibility that goes past any previous tendencies toward either an ethics of holy community which neglects society or an ethics of societal domination with theocratic rhetoric. The whole counsel of God in which we must train the people of God and also communicate to our societies must be consciously balanced and complete, illustrating our response to all three Persons of the Trinity, teaching both law and gospel in their rich interaction, and seeking to understand what God is doing in both his work of sustaining creation and world renewing redemption.
Protestant theology and ethics are always multi-disciplinary, including historical, biblical, sociological, and philosophical methods. Each must be employed in our current task. Some of tasks before us fall more to one discipline than another. Some of the tasks include:
* Identify the key ideas, practices, and institutions which have been contributed to European society from Christian sources. This will be a combination historical and sociological undertaking. The goal must a continuing series of academic and popular books.
* Identify the specific ways the Bible has contributed to European civilization. We often say one cannot understand Western culture without knowing the Bible. We need to write a series of academic and popular books that illustrate beyond doubt the many ways in which the Bible has contributed to art, literature, education, politics, economics, and music.
* We should identify key people from the past whom God used to bring life and culture renewing impulses into European life, in many of the various nations and language groups, and then arrange the writing and publication of both popular and academic books that tell their stories.
We sometimes say that western culture was formed by the dialog between faith and reason, as reason was defined in different ways in the classical, Renaissance, modern, and postmodern eras. We need to write books, probably written at the level understandable to entering university students, which illustrate that claim and continue the dialogue.
We should seek practical ways to bring the best of biblical teaching and classical Christian theology and ethics to bear in a renewing manner that serves each of the areas of ministry and life represented by the several networks and partners of Hope for Europe.
We should identify aberrations and distortions of the faith which threaten to undermine our eternal and our temporal Christian hope, and then we must offer holistic, biblical alternatives.
To undertake this task, we need a coordinated research, teaching, and publishing program that is in frequent dialog with the Hope for Europe leadership team, as well as leaders of the many HFE networks and partners.
Prof. Dr. Thomas K. Johnson