eNews and prayer update November 2017
Crucial commentary came during conflict and crises
A year after the Slavic Bible Commentary was launched, the project’s manager Taras N. Dyatlik explains how it came at a pivotal point in Euro-Asian history, and outlines their future plans for the book.
“The Slavic Bible Commentary was written during the deep conflict between Russian and Ukrainian nations and states. The 94 authors represented different evangelical traditions from Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and other countries where the Bible is read and interpreted in Russian. They were all directly influenced by the socio-political challenges between pro-Ukrainians and pro-Russians.
“One of the project’s main objectives was to create an interpretative community of Eastern European theologians, who could respect theological differences. By God’s will, this came in the context of severe conflicts: the huge Kiev protests of 2013; the war in the Donbass region; the Syria-Ukrainian refugee crisis; corruption and economic challenges in Ukraine, and corruption and Western sanctions in Russia.
“The Bible for these 94 authors became the real source of looking for God’s will for contemporary Slavic Christians. They asked: what is God’s mission to nations torn by the war and military conflicts? What is a Christian church leader’s mission to representatives of the nations, which are considered to be enemies?”
Miraculously nearly $100,000 was raised through pre-sales for printing the Commentary, despite the corruption and deep economic crises. Just two copies are left in Ukraine, after 6,400 copies were printed in September 2016.
“Around 5,400 copies have been distributed in Ukraine and Ukrainian states so far. This is unbelievable in our context of economic and social-political challenges.
“We had two separate prints in Ukraine and Russia, because it would be extremely difficult to import this large Christian book from Ukraine to Russia as the two countries are in a state of hybrid war”.
Earlier this year, translators came on board to translate the commentary into English and Ukrainian.
“It is extremely important to bring Eastern European theological perspectives on scripture to English-speaking theologians and church leaders. We want to strengthen mutual relationships between Western and Eastern evangelicals, in the context of the Church’s mission and the Kingdom of God.
Witness of unity in Christ
“Translation into Ukrainian will hopefully begin soon. It will be relevant for ministers, and the next generation of evangelicals, who are asking how God’s Word applies in the current socio-political context.
“This commentary, in the current socio-political challenges of Eastern Europe, is a witness of unity in Christ between Ukrainian and Russian Christians around the Lord and His Word.
“Langham Partnership’s investment wasn’t just into a commentary, but also into strengthening the relationship between evangelicals from countries in a state of hybrid war. The Lord is the architect of history, and we’re thankful to Him for our partnership with Langham during all these years when the commentary was written.”
Join us in prayer
- In December, the team in Benin will be visiting the Preaching Clubs in the country. Preaching Clubs are a vital part of strengthening and maintaining the Preaching work in a country. Pray for safety in travel for those who will make the visits and for the members of the Clubs to be encouraged in all they are learning.
- Please pray for these upcoming events:
- 12-18 November Uganda, DR Congo, Indonesia Sweden, Botswana, Tanzania, Spain
- November South East Asia, South Asia
- 19-25 November Burkina Faso, Malawi, Spain
- 26 November- 2 December Liberia, Ghana, Macedonia, Benin, Zimbabwe
- 10-16 December Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia
- Please pray for the writers and editorial team working on the Central and Eastern European Bible Commentary, a multi-year Commentary project which will provide a contextual evangelical reading of the Bible to help pastors, preachers and lay leaders in Central and Eastern Europe apply biblical truth, in a relevant yet faithful way to different aspects of life.
- Pray for Ethiopian Scholar Anwar Berhe and his wife and daughter as Anwar continues to study for his PhD at Melbourne School of Theology and manages a chronic illness.
- Pray for Egyptian Scholar George Bishai and his family as George studies at Moore College.
- Pray too for Vuyani Sindo (whose scholarship has been funded by donations in Australia) as he studies at Stellenbosch University in South Africa..
Langham Australia CEO Gillean Smiley writes…
A Langham Scholar from Asia was sharing with me last week that the biggest threat she saw to the Church in her region was a growing sense of complacency, even apathy, when it came to reliance on the Word of God as the sole authority for theology and doctrine. She saw this as stemming from massive growth in the number of believers, without sufficient trained pastors and teachers to help them grow in maturity. It is sadly ironic that the Church today still needs to be reminded of the Reformation principles we have been celebrating in this Anniversary year. I am inspired to redouble our efforts to see preachers equipped to teach the Scriptures faithfully, clearly and relevantly, so our newly converted brothers and sisters can grow in their understanding of His Word, and of Him who we have believed.