Saturday, May 13, 2017

Faith in Russian schools

By Gina Adams

The updated 4th edition of the ground-breaking book “Surprised by Faith” by Dr. Don Bierle is the basis of material for a curriculum made available in Russia’s public secondary schools. The extra-biblical evidence for the Christian faith can now be taught to thousands of Russian high school students by their own trained teachers. Meanwhile, biblical or Christian teaching in America’s public schools is almost non-existent. Dr. Bierle says that Christianity in America has become a tradition of its truth rather than a demonstration of its truth. The result, he says, is a Christian populace unable to defend their beliefs against a growing array of skeptics.

“Because of the new and aggressive atheists, the prevailing culture of secular humanism and naturalism, the immigration of many who adhere to unfamiliar religions, and an inexplicable bias against Christian faith and practice, now more than ever, Christian believers must defend their faith.” says Bierle, a research scientist and academic dean with over 30 years of teaching experience. “But they no longer know how or have never learned. They find their attempts at communicating their faith to be both ineffective and frustrating. For them and the younger victims of the prevailing secular culture, ‘Surprised by Faith’ has been antidotal. Indeed, the relevance of this third edition for our culture is greater than ever.”

After more than two decades in print and one-third million distribution, “Surprised by Faith” has been translated into 16 world languages. The newly-revised 4th edition, releasing this month from Aneko Press, has some of the most current manuscript numbers of any apologetic resource available. For example, the manuscript numbers for Homer’s Iliad have been updated from 643 to 1,757; and Caesar’s Gallic Wars from 10 to 150. Meanwhile, the New Testament manuscript numbers continue to overwhelm every other ancient writing with 5,795 Greek and 24,406 total manuscripts. Additionally, a new section regarding the principles of faith has been added to chapter four. Dr. Bierle hopes the new information in “Surprised by Faith” will help this generation learn that Christianity is grounded in unmitigated facts.

“The flight from confidence in absolutes and a growing biblical illiteracy has left many floundering for any sense of purpose and meaning in their lives,” says Bierle. “Fear has filled people’s hearts as they contemplate the future. It is my prayer that this 4th edition will similarly be used by God in the years ahead, to be an oasis for an often disillusioned and spiritually thirsty society.”

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