A Russian Note on Protestant Theological Education
Editor's Note: The author evaluates the activity of Evangelical theological schools in Russia which are often controlled by overseas Christians and which, he argues, do not take into consideration Russian believers' viewpoints.
I do not agree with the statement that our fellow believers from overseas came to us with the goal of "planting a [new] way of life." They evidently are trying to behave themselves correctly, and even if there are some sad failures, these are very few and are not a result of well-thought-out politics. They don't have a goal of "correcting" our faith. Quite the opposite. They show by consensus that "We cannot touch the faith of Russian Protestants." However, not everyone can resist the temptation to "convert" us to the truth.
We cannot say that our fellow believers in overseas countries do not realize the arising difficulties. For example, in the East-West Church & Ministry Report reasonable articles are published that highlight such issues. It correctly writes about the ineffectiveness of interdenominational theological schools in Russia and about the weak connection of schools with churches from which students are being recruited and in which students should work after completion of their studies. The Report also writes about local churches, especially in the provinces, not accepting seminary graduates because they have been Westernized and "modernized."
Edited excerpt reprinted from the Web site of the Evangelical Christian-Baptist Church of Russia: http//baptist.org.ru/2/255_1.html.
Translated by Vitaliy Bak.
I.V. Podberezskii, author of Byt' protestantom v Rossii [To Be a Protestant in Russia] (1998), holds Kandidat and Ph.D. degrees from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations with a specialty in Philippine history, culture, and languages. He is a member of the Central Moscow Church of Evangelical Christians-Baptists.
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