Four Spiritual Laws and Dostoyevsky

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Crabtownboy, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    Last night I had my evening meal with a Ph.D. student from Estonia and a young Russian who had just been awarded his Ph.D in theology. We were talking about taking the message of Christ to others and the four spiritual laws brochure and approach was mentioned.

    "That has good results in some places," one of the men said, "but not so much in Moscow. After all it is hard to use such simplistic literature in Moscow where even the taxi drivers read Dostoevsky."
     
  2. Thinkingstuff

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    Yes, I can see that with Russians. BTW I love Dostoevsky. In reading his book Crime and Punishment I began to feel a sympathy or empathetic for the main character which made me feel disturbed about myself. Russians are interesting with regard to their complexities.
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    Crime and Punishment is one of the best books I have read. I had trouble wading my way through some of Dostoesky's other books. I have often wondered how many notebooks he filled before beginning writing books like The Brothers Karamazov or The Idiot. I have not read his The House of the Dead but intend to do so before too long.

    I have never been able to put it into words, but when I read the great Russian writings it always seems there is something dark just under the surface.

    I have been very impressed with the Russian Baptists I have met here.
     
    #3 Crabtownboy, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2010
  4. Thinkingstuff

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    I think 99.99% of them play chess. It would be interesting to discuss theology with them.
     
  5. preachinjesus

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    As a society we've lost the ability to read great novels.

    It is a great social travesty.
     
  6. Crabtownboy

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    How do you believe this tragedy came about in our society?


    ThinkingStuff, Yes I think you are right about chess playing. It is their national sport from what I can see. Except for Bobby Fischer we have not had anyone who could really stand up to them in chess. Sadly Fischer's life was tragic IMHO.
     
  7. rbell

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    I keep remembering the Scripture about using the "foolish things of the world to confound the wise."

    'Tis a shame when our world simply gets too "smart" for the Gospel...

    So much of the world--seemingly entie continents--have succumbed to this condition.
     
  8. Crabtownboy

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    Are you trying to say something about Dostoevsky's writings in your post?
     
  9. Robert Snow

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    I don't think he is saying they are "too smart" for the Gospel, just that they require the Gospel to be preached, explained and lived, instead of just a simplistic presentation.
     
  10. Aaron

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    1) I don't believe it. (And in case there's any confusion, I'm saying it's a lie.)
    2) ditto rbell.
     
  11. Joseph M. Smith

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    And Tolstoy and Pushkin as well. But if they truly read Tolstoy, how can they avoid hearing the Gospel?

    The issue of "too smart for the Gospel" is raised in the last Albert Mohler blog entry, in which he tries to say that the organization BioLogos is committing theological suicide by arguing that holding to inerrancy and rejecting any form of evolution makes Christians look foolish to today's world. Mohler believes that many if not all previous revisionist approaches start with the premise that we need to accommodate to cultural and intellectual patterns. However, it seems to me that we do have to pay attention to truth wherever it comes from, and if not revise at least reinterpret our faith in light of new truths.

    http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/11...ogical-responsibility-the-biologos-conundrum/
     
  12. Deacon

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    It doesn't help a bit that Russian writters are so long winded.

    Rob
     
  13. rbell

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    No...I am saying that as a society becomes more "enlightened," it is easy to view the Gospel as too "simplistic;" the Bible as "primitive." All I was saying is that I am reminded of the Scripture regarding God using the "foolish things of this world."
     
  14. Crabtownboy

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    I agree. Tolstoy presents the gospel in his writings.

    Likewise Christ and Christian themes are explored by Dostoevsky.

    In Dostoevsky's The Idiot the parallels between the main character, Myshkin, and Christ have often been written about.

    In The Brothers Karamazov Dostoevsky also explores a very religious topic:

    The gospel is both simple and so complex that it will never fully be studied nor understood. For instance Christ's words "It is finished." is at one and the same time simple and yet so deep, complex and profound that they will never be completely understood. All that had gone on, all that was necessary, all they imply will never be fully understood ... IMHO.
     
  15. rbell

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    Oh, I agree with your assessment of the richness and depth of the Gospel.

    But a highly secular culture that thinks of themselves as "enlightened" may dismiss offhand the message of the Gospel as "simple." They're wrong, of course...but convinced nonetheless. That was what reminded me of the Scripture I mentioned.
     
  16. Crabtownboy

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    I feel you have given an excellent analysis of why the Christian must be able to speak intelligently on many topics and be knowledgeable of the writings and thinking of the authors in the past. When people like those you mentioned bring up ideas of both Christian and non-Christian thinkers and writers we must be able to discuss their points rationally and intelligently. Then they will begin to see that the gospel message is both simple in some ways it is also very profound, complex and deep. If we show anger or intolerance we are immediately put in the simple/non-intelligent pigeon-hole and we have lost all opportunity to convince them of the validity of the message of the gospel.
     

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