CRISIS OF SOTERIOLOGY: DANGER AND OPPORTUNITY FOR WESTERN EVANGELICAL EVANGELISM IN EASTERN ORTHODOX RUSSIA
AbstractAmerican Evangelicals have invaded Russia with the good news of the Gospel for almost all of the 1990’s. Often lost among the reports of successes are the growing crises in communication between Evangelicals and the Russian Orthodox Church – a church which has been in existence for over a thousand years. One central crisis is that the two confessions understand soteriology in very different ways. Although only a small fraction of Russians are active in Orthodox churches, the identity and tenets of Orthodoxy have had at least some influence on almost all Russians. And, in spite of the fact that many Russians have been reached for Christ by Evangelicals with no regard for Russian Orthodoxy, deep and lasting change to Russian religious thought is not likely to take place unless Evangelicals understand Russian Orthodoxy and communicate through word and deed in a way that will not be rejected outright by the Russian culture.