I ran across an interesting article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (registration required – though I’m sure you can find it elsewhere via Google). The Rev. Thorkild Grosboell said in an interview sometime last year that there is “no heavenly God.” Having publicly denied the existence of God, he was suspended by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark, the state church – doesn’t seem like it would be terribly difficult to determine why.
This weekend, however, he was able to return to his pulpit in Taarbaeck, Denmark, after a successful appeal to the regional bishop and a renewal of his vows. His views on God are apparently unchanged. The next logical question in my mind, of course, is to wonder exactly what kind of vows one must take to be a minister in the Danish church. What happens in a church where even the pastor is an atheist? We’re not talking about “practical atheism,” where people seem to live as if there was no God even though they claim they believe in one. No, we’re talking good old fashioned atheism, or some off-the-deep-end version of an evolutionary process deity or something of that ilk. What does he preach about? What does that say about the state of Christianity in Europe? Are we really that far away from such stories closer to home?