By Jay Rogers
Published December 1, 1992
I HAVE WATCHED THE EARTH-SHAKING changes in the Soviet Union unfold with great interest in the past three years. This vast country has become completely open to the gospel; freedom of the press and freedom to openly evangelize has grown tremendously.
In the summer of 1991, I helped to establish Predvestnik: the Russian language version of The Forerunner. Thousands of copies of Predvestnik are now being ordered by Christian youth leaders in the former Soviet Union. Alexey Salapatov, Predvestnik’s managing editor has received a stack of letters in response to the first five issues; all of them positive. People have never seen a newspaper like this before. Some have written to tell of dramatic conversions after having read the articles in Predvestnik.
In November, I made my fourth trip to the former Soviet Union. My purpose was to establish a publishing center which will be made available to Christian missionaries desiring to translate and print materials in the former Soviet Union. The Forerunner has established a base for this organization. This venture will provide an important source of spiritual nourishment for Russian Christians who still do not have enough literature.
Think about it: What would you do without your library of Christian books? Yet this is exactly the situation that the Russian Christians are in today; besides only a handful of books, there is virtually nothing to teach the Russian people about biblical Christianity.
Whole libraries of books were destroyed by the communists when they took power. New books teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ were banned and only a few dissident writers were brave enough to publish their own works. Many of these writers were sent to prison or institutionalized as madmen; some were even killed by the KGB. The opportunity to establish this publishing house was literally won by the blood of martyrs.
The Russian people are avid readers and admire their philosophers, poets, writers and novelists much in the same way we glamorize our Hollywood movie stars in America. Yet there has been little in the way of Christian literature printed in this country since communism has fallen. This is partly because the former USSR spans eleven time zones and is plagued by the lack of adequate transportation, distribution systems, supplies, etc.
While I was in Moscow and Kiev in November, I wanted to get a sense of what the needs are for Christian materials. In speaking with Russians and Ukrainians during a period of one week, I asked:
- What are some of the publishing needs of the former USSR?
- What kinds of Christian publications are already available?
- What topics for books most need to be translated into Russian?
Everyone agreed that the needs for publishing Christian materials in the former USSR are very great. There are less than one dozen evangelical Christian publications to reach 300 million people. Most of these are published infrequently, however, as often as the editors can afford to print a new issue.
I found that Predvestnik is of great help to new Christians and unconverted people who have many questions about the Christian faith. It is the only Christian youth publication in the former USSR. There is only one other evangelical publication that is published periodically. If Predvestnik were to be published bimonthly, it would be the only 16-page Christian newspaper in the former Soviet Union that is published on a frequent basis.
When asked: “Are there many evangelical Christian books available in Russian?” most said: “Yes.” But some estimated that there are not many titles available throughout the whole country. This number does not include short booklets, tracts and workbooks. Interviewees most often mentioned Josh McDowell, Watchman Nee, Reinhardt Bonnke, Billy Graham, David Wilkerson, as authors that they recognized.
The topics for needed translation were almost universally agreed upon. They ranged from: Bible study materials, inspirational books, the family and relationships, history of the church, Christian biographies, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Creation Science, Bible exegesis, commentaries, a concordance, a Bible encyclopedia, and a good modern translation of the Bible with study notes.
Two of the most popular books were The Cross and the Switchblade (Wilkerson) and Evidence That Demands a Verdict (McDowell). The Slavic Gospel Association has translated at least a dozen books, such as Mere Christianity (Lewis) and How Should We Then Live? (Schaeffer). Although each one of these books has made a tremendous impact, it is only a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed.
For more information write: The Forerunner, P.O. Box 1799, Gainesville, FL 32602
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR
Your comments are welcome!
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)