East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 6, No. 4, Fall 1998, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe


Roeder, Norie, Merike Uudam, and Alland Parman. How Christian is Estonia? [Tallinn]: Estonian Evangelization Alliance, 1997.

Sources for this 45-page statistical study include data gathered from the Estonian Board of Statistics and Bureau of Religious Affairs; a 1993-94 questionnaire to church pastors, with responses "scarcer than expected;" and a 1994 public opinion survey cosponsored by the Estonian Council of Churches, the Estonian Bible Society, and the Estonian Evangelical Alliance. The U.S.-based Alliance for Saturation Church Planting sponsored the project.

Research indicates that Estonia is a heavily secularized country: only some 16 percent of the population hold membership in a Christian church; only 9 percent of citizens identify themselves as believers; and only 7 percent attend church one to four times per month.

Available in Estonian at the Kehra Evangelical Free and Baptist Church website:  http://sool.ioc.ee/~alland/kogudus/stat/kuikr0.htm. For more information, contact Alland Parman, Kreutzwaldi 1, Kehra, EE2240, Estonia; tel: 372-2-764384; fax: 372-2-765696; e-mail: alland@teek.ee; or Merike Uudam , Kungla 16, Tartu, EE2400, Estonia; tel/fax: 372-7-428898.

Editor's Note: According to Alland Parman, an English translation of the entire study can be prepared and maintained on the internet for approximately $300. Please contact Alland Parman (address above) if you wish to assist in this project.

The Donetsk Independent Christian Center, organized in 1991 by students of the Donetsk Polytechnic Institute, has prepared a "Russian Electronic Bible" (Slavic Bible 1.5 for Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95 or NT). This program has Bible texts in Russian (several translations), Ukrainian, Church Slavonic, Romanian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Albanian, Biblical Hebrew, Greek, Latin Vulgate, English, and other modern languages. The base package of Slavic Bible 1.5 (software with Russian Synodal text, cross-references, maps, photos of the Holy Land, Alexander Men commentaries, Russian dictionary of biblical names, and topical handbook) is shareware, distributed for the price of four disks or CD-ROM and shipping and handling only. After a month of use, the distributors request a payment of $10.

The Donetsk Independent Christian Center is looking for Christian organizations or missions interested in duplicating and distributing the Slavic Bible 1.5 for a wholesale price not more than the equivalent of $2.50 in local currency. For more information, or to order Slavic Bible 1.5, contact Sergei A. Fedesov, Christian Center, Ul. Pintera 18-27, 340120 Donetsk, Ukraine; tel: 038-0622-346475; e-mail: sergej@mova.donetsk.ua; website: http://www.gospel.crimea.ua/resource.html.

Manastireanu, Danut. "The Place of Scripture in the Orthodox Tradition." M.A. Thesis, London Bible College, an Associated College of Brunel University, 1994. 50 pp. Reviewed by Mark Elliott.

The author explores the Eastern Orthodox understanding of the interrelationship of the Church, Scripture, and Tradition. While the consensus among most Orthodox is that the Church is the preeminent partner in this "trinity," more disagreements emerge in the ranking of Scripture and Tradition. "Some authors tend to give Scripture a higher authority, which makes their position compatible, at least to a certain extent, with the Protestant understanding." Twentieth-century Russian Orthodox theologian Sergius Bulgakov, in The Orthodox Church, thus writes that "the Word of God is above all other sources of faith, especially of all Tradition." Others, such as nineteenth-century Greek theologian Christos Androutsos, in his Symbolics, equate "the same value" to tradition and Scripture.

The explanation for the difference can be found in the two directions that divide Orthodox dogmatics in the twentieth century. Androutsos represents the older direction, which is a form of Orthodox scholasticism of Roman-Catholic origin, having its roots in the theology of the counter-Reformation. This explains its lower view of Scripture and the respective higher view of tradition, as a reaction on the Reformed insistence on the principle sola scriptura.

The other direction, represented by Sergius Bulgakov and other Russian theologians, in Russia and in the Diaspora, as well as a number of other writers such as Dumitru Staniloae, John Zizioulas, and Kallistos Ware, stands under the influence of Pseudo-Dyonysius, St. Maximus the Confessor, and St. Gregory Palamas. Even if this group of theologians is more inclined than the others to affirm the supremacy of Scripture over tradition, at the same time, because of their sacramentalism, they tend to give an exaggerated importance to the liturgic use of Scripture, which is considered by far the most important one. The result is a neglect of the private use of Scripture in the life of the Orthodox believer (pp. 30-32).

As the above treatment illustrates, Manastireanu is adept at clear summary and synthesis of complex theology. He also demonstrates careful and balanced judgment, as in the following thought-provoking conclusion: "Lack of instruction in the Scriptures in the Orthodox circles has opened the gate for a lot of confusion and syncretism, while a practical neglect of tradition in the Protestant milieu has given birth to liberalism and continuous fragmentation" (p. 35).

To request a copy of "The Place of Scripture in the Orthodox Tradition," contact Danut Manastireanu, Str. Columnei Nr. 18, Bl. K6 Ap. 4, 6600 Iasi, Romania; tel: 40-32-156-156; Fax: 40-32-215-255; e-mail: danut@mail.dntis.ro. Available free-of-charge via e-mail.

Downes, Stan, ed. Ghidul Retelei Organizatiilor Crestine din Romānia [Directory of the Network of Christian Ministries in Romania]. Bucharest: OC International, 1998.

OC International, in cooperation with the Romanian Evangelical Alliance, has produced a preliminary edition of a directory of 47 Christian organizations. A second edition projected for 1999 anticipates coverage of an estimated 200 church and parachurch ministries. Each entry, in Romanian and English, includes name, address, phone, fax, e-mail, denominational affiliation, name of director, name and address of international affiliate, beginning date in Romania, number of full-time staff, publication(s), and description.

Closing sections of the directory list organizations by types of ministries and by geographic regions (counties). Cost for the 43-page directory is $8 to Europe and $12 to the U.S., postage included. Checks drawn on U.S. banks should be sent to OC International, Box 36900, Colorado Springs, CO 80936-6900. Contact: Stan Downes, OC International, C.P. 57-93, Bucharest, Romania; tel/fax: 40-1-323-7710; e-mail: DownesSD@aol.com.

The Russian Regional Report is published weekly via e-mail by the EastWest Institute (EWI), New York, NY, formerly known as the Institute for EastWest Studies. Part of the EWI Understanding Russia Project, it is "designed to provide a steady flow of informed analysis that seeks to identify emerging ideas, trends, and patterns of power and governance in Russia." Each issue contains articles on the many regions of Russia under headings such as breaking news, patterns of regional development, center-periphery relations, social and economic issues, foreign ties, and special regional reports. While the Russian Regional Report deals primarily with business and political news, it is one of the best sources of regular information on current events outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Internet Edition is available free of charge. To receive the RRR-Internet Edition, compose a message to rorttung@iews.org. Leaving the subject field blank, in the text of the letter, type "subscribe regions," then first and last name and institutional affiliation. An Executive Edition of the Russia Regional Report is also available, with both print and e-mail options, for $475/year. The most recent edition is available on the EastWest Institute website, and a searchable archive of back issues since August 1996 is provided for paid subscribers. For more information, contact Robert Orttung, Senior Editor, EastWest Institute, 700 Broadway, New York, NY 10003; tel: 212-824-4100; fax: 212-824-4149; e-mail: rorttung@iews.org; website: http://www.iews.org/.

Rutland, Peter, ed. The Challenge of Integration: Annual Survey of Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union 1997 (New York: EastWest Institute, 1998).
This 352-page volume provides summary and analysis of key political and economic developments in each country of the region during 1997. Supplementing the chapters are maps, data boxes, documents, profiles, and sidebars. The Annual Survey 1997 can be ordered for $85 using the online order form at the M.E. Sharpe website (http://www.MESharpe.com). A discount price of $25 is available for subscribers to the EWI Russian Regional Report (see above).

The hardcover edition of the English-Russian Dictionary for a Christian Translator is now available from Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries. The 8,000 entries, triple the number of the previous edition, include Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic theological terms, with "problem" words specifically marked. It also includes a list of the seven most common errors that Christian translators make and a list of differences in Russian and English Bible chapter designations. Available for $30 in the USA at PDRM, Box 496, Wheaton, IL 60189; tel: 630-462-1739; fax: 630-690-2976; e-mail: rmusa@mcimail.com; website: http://www.russian-ministries.org. In Russia, contact Assotsiatsiya Dukhovnoye Vozrozhdeniye; Kv. 29-30 Noviye Cheriomushki, ul. Nametkina, Korpus 5, 117420 Moscow, Russia; tel: 7-095-719-7945; fax: 7-095-719-7890; e-mail: nadp@asr.ru; website: http://www.asr.ru.

Religiya i pravo: informatsionno-analiticheskiy zhurnal [Religion and the Law: A Journal of Information and Analysis] is published bimonthly by the Institute for Religion and Law (Institut Religii i Prava), Moscow. This informative Russian-language journal, edited by Protestant human rights lawyer Anatoly Pchelintsev, contains articles on topics such as religion and the military, recent news relating to legal proceedings, and recommendations for registration of Christian organizations. Also included are statistical data, contact information for relevant parties, and notices of upcoming events in the sphere of religious liberty in Russia. For a table of contents of Volume 6, see http://www.glasnet.ru/~irlaw/journal6.htm. For current price and subscription information, contact: Institute for Religion and Law, Leninski Prospekt 20, 117071 Moscow, Russia; tel: 7-095-795-3979; fax: 7-095-954-9255; e-mail: irlaw@glasnet.ru; website: http://www.glasnet.ru/~irlaw/.

Svoboda sovesti i zloupotreblenie svobodoy massovoy informatsiey: zashchita chesti, dostoinstva i delovoy reputatsii [Freedom of Conscience and the Misuse of Freedom of the Press: Defense of Honor, Dignity, and Business Reputation] is a practical textbook published by the Institute for Religion and Law in May 1998. Author Anatoly Pchelintsev examines legal strategies for defending the reputation of citizens and religious organizations from unscrupulous journalists. For current cost and ordering information, contact the Institute for Religion and Law (address above).

Resources, East-West Church & Ministry Report 6 (Fall 1998), 16-17.

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© 1998 East-West Church and Ministry Report
ISSN 1069-5664

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