Interaction Between Science and Religion

On March 23, a seminar on the topic of Interaction Between Science and Religion took place in the city of TOSN2Tosno upon the initiative of the local Russian Orthodox Church. Kirill Kopeikin (St. Petersburg, Russia), Igor Savich (Concordia Foundation’s Director), O.N. Tihodeev (St. Petersburg State University), Stanislav Rasputin (a priest from Petrozavodsk) were the main speakers for this seminar.

The first speaker outlined possible ways of interaction between science and religion. With reference to various sources he proposed ways by which spiritual truth of Christianity and philosophy of evolution could be drawn closer to each other; he finished his presentation by saying, “The World is God’s psychological phenomenon.”

Igor Savich gave a brief description of the science of Creation showing the TOSN4invalidity of the Evolution Theory; he emphasized the significance of information for life sustenance of biological entities and for understanding of the way they are build up. He concluded his presentation by pointing that theo-genic evolution is not acceptable; he said, “Perfect and Almighty God made everything very good: ‘And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good (Genesis 1:31).’

Evolution supposes death and suffering (struggle for existence). Could it be that merciful and loving God planed the development of life on Earth through struggle and death of TOSN3His creation? Evolution is the most cruel and slow process of life development and existence; such method could only be thought of by a sinful man.”

In his speech at the end of the seminar Stanislav Rasputin talked about methodological difficulties of the Evolution Theory pointing out that they are absent if we accept the Doctrine of Creation.

There were a lot of questions asked of every speaker. There were no ampty seats in the hall that held 150 people.

Joint project Discipleship

A joint project with the prison ministry of St.-Petersburg was brought to a close by publishing a manual for ministers called Discipleship. This manual includes ten lessons on the following subjects: confidence, freedom, priorities, the Bible, prayer, fellowship, sharing the Gospel, God’s will, the Printsecond coming of Jesus, and review.

It will serve as a guide of sorts for those who visit prisons with the goal of sharing the Gospel with prisoners and strengthening them in Christian faith.

Why is a book like that necessary? In order to answer this question think about this:

1) Most newborn Christians walk away from God in the course of the first three months after deciding to follow Christ;

2) Most Christians have a general idea of what to do with the newborn Christians, but do they know what to do to help their new brothers and sisters to reach maturity in Christ?

This is not a simple question. When a group of six hundred pastors was asked this question during a conference held in the Philippines, only fifteen of them were able to give an answer to it.

Thus, this manual will be very helpful for Christians who work with the new converts.

Forum of Youth Ministry

Podrostky(5)Forum of Youth Ministry with support of CF was successfully completed at the end of February. Its motto was, “Interactive, God-seeking, Applicability.” This forum was mainly focus on the new projects aimed to reach-out the adolescents throughout Leningrad Region.Pщdrostky(4)

It was  also an educational forum for ministers from other cities, also. Presently we have ministers coming from Minsk, Voronezh, Moscow, Veliki Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Shugarezovo (a village in Leningrad region), Vsevolozhsk, Krasnoye Selo, Kirishi, Pavlovsk, Volkhov.

Pщdrostky(2)This event has great value for various aspects of the youth ministry. For instance, a lot of volunteers went through this training, and it is vitally important to encourage them and equip them with the needed practical resources in reaching-out to kids at risk.

Podrostky(3)

Christians values can be installed into our society through these dedicated people who work with various groups of people, for example: with orphans, with kids from difficult families, etc.!

We received special gratitude from facilitator of this Forum Olga Jusupova.

Seminar in the Siberian Region

A training seminar for church of Ingria ministers in the Siberian Region took place at the end of February. Pastors and ministers of all of the congregations throughout Siberia took part in it. One of the main topics discussed at the seminar was creation of the world through the eyes of the modern science. Igor Savich presented materials on this subjects in his lectures.Omsk_3

Using examples based on achievements of paleontology and molecular biology, genetics and computer science he showed flaws of the evolution theory. He also demonstrated that, on the other hand, achievements of the natural science confirm the concept of creation. All recent evidence prove Omsk_2conclusively that man was created in God’s image, and that means that the source of all those qualities that are characteristic of men is God Himself. It is only by this fact that we can explain the fact that man differs from all the other living creatures that fill our planet. No other creatures in our physical world have such traits like conscience, abstract thinking, an ability to create, love, and faith.Omsk_1

To conclude his lectures, Igor Savich emphasized that only perfect God could create a world full of harmony, a world that is well designed and has a certain order; though under the influence of sin this world is constantly loosing its harmony and original image. And that leads to growth of ethical entropy—distraction of ethical values set by God.

All this clearly speaks of our world being created by a Triune God and leaves no room for so cold “theistic evolution.”

Equipping the Saints seminar

There were lots of interesting discussions during the Equipping the Saints seminar that took place at StMthe St. Mary’s parish of the Lutheran Church in February. A lot of questions has been asked about sharing the Gospel: what methods to use and how to interact with people. A heated discussion about Evolution theory and faith in Christ arose at the end of the seminar.

One of the parishioners, a physicist by occupation, took a strong stand referring to experiments with a collider and to finding of Higgs boson particle. Curiously enough, he had no problem in holding on to both faith in God and the assurance that the evolution is the very thing that testifies of God’s wisdom and omnipotence. Igor Savich suggested talking this over again after reading the Splinters of the Distorting Mirror brochure.

One of the ladies was very interested in getting some literature that was published by the Foundation. She said that her sister lives in Buryatiya, and they don’t have enough literature that they could use to share the Gospel. She wrote down Concordia’s address and promised to come by and look at the Foundation’s resources.

Pastor Mikhail was very pleased with the seminar and we agreed that he’ll come to our office at his earliest opportunity to get our publications for the church usage.