The Importance of Sound Bible Training
By Pastor Eduard Genrikh
President, Novosibirsk Biblical-Theological Seminary
In Russia, our prevailing desire is to train believers to be conformed to the image of God’s Son. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).
At the present time in the world, there are two value systems—humanistic or “universal”, as compared to a biblical, Christian worldview. There is a great difference in these two worldviews. The humanistic value system differs from the Christian one in that the former rejects the Christian understanding of sin and evil. Evil in the world is explained away by saying it’s simply imperfections of the social structure. Humanism exalts man, and thus substitutes the Christian ideal of Jesus Christ as God Incarnate for their ideal of man as his own god. In other words, humanism is man-centered, while Christianity is God-centered. This is today’s challenge in preparing the next generation of Christian pastors, teachers and leaders.
Historically, Christians founded schools to instruct new converts, where believers were taught the basics of faith, practical Christian living and the skills of writing and reading. The main goal of a Christian school is to teach the understanding of Holy Scripture. It is to this goal that Novosibirsk Biblical-Theological Seminary (NBTS) is committed—giving the best equipping to our students in the study of Scripture, and equipping them to preach God’s truths both to believers and unbelievers.
After 20 years of religious freedom, much has changed in Russia. The need for trained pastors, teachers and leaders in the church has become even greater. We in the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (UECB) have come to understand more than ever the importance of sound Bible training. Pastors today must be ready to answer the challenges of our times—both within our congregations as well as in secular society at large.
Our UECB leadership is helping support our seminaries and Bible institutes by recommending that every church budget includes provision for education, and that every church has regular intercessory prayer for the schools, students and faculty. In addition, we expect every professor at a UECB school to annually confirm his doctrinal agreement with our churches. A national UECB department for theological education has been established to provide practical help to our schools. May the Lord help us in this, along with your prayers and your faithful partnership! The need is great!
Editorial comment: This article was written for the grateful churches in Siberia whose faithful young men are being well trained through the prayers and material support of SGA partners.