Russian video seminary addresses religious pluralism

Shenk teaches ‘What Difference Does Jesus Make?’

Apr 28, 2014 by and

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KURSK, Russia — Trinity Video Seminary recorded a new video course taught by David Shenk, global consultant for Eastern Mennonite Missions, in March.

David Shenk lectures in front of students and videographers for “What Difference Does Jesus Make in a World of Many Religions?” at the Trinity Video Seminary in Kursk, Russia. — EMM

David Shenk lectures in front of students and videographers for “What Difference Does Jesus Make in a World of Many Religions?” at the Trinity Video Seminary in Kursk, Russia. — EMM

“What Difference Does Jesus Make in a World of Many Religions?” will be available online in several languages.

Aleksandr Spichak, academic dean at TVS, said Shenk has much to share.

“His experience could help many people, and the course we recently videotaped is so needed,” he said.

“People need to know what difference Jesus makes. If his seminars are videotaped, many people can learn what is so unique about Christianity at any time and place.”

Throughout the video course, Shenk describes the ways the gospel is heard within the context of other religious belief systems. The lectures are structured around the three questions asked by almost everyone:

  • What is the purpose of life?
  • How can I deal with my shortcomings and find forgiveness?
  • What is the meaning of death?

“Religious pluralism is an issue that the whole region of Central Asia is addressing,” Shenk said. “Each religion offers answers to each of the three ultimate questions. People will consider the gospel answers to those questions if they come to believe that the gospel is good news and that it is true.”

Shenk drew much of the course content from his book Global God: Exploring the Role of Religions in Modern Societies.

TVS first worked with Shenk three years ago when he taught a video course, “The Gospel in Lively Engagement with Islam.” The videos are now available in several languages through the Internet, and the Russian translation is being widely received across the region.

“Responses from Muslims about my understanding of Islam are generally positive,” Shenk said. “A good number of respondents state that the gospel as presented in this course merits careful consideration and discussion by Muslims.”


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