Fresh Skins for New Wine: On the Structure of the First Russian Baptist Congregations in South Russia

Johannes DYCK

Abstract


The article deals with the structure of Russian Baptist Churches at their beginnings. In the first part, it analyzes the Pietistic roots of the personal faith of the first Stundists. Their new faith was based on the rational perception of the Scriptures and produced a new kind of spiritual experience. This experience of faith, in turn, produced a new fellowship of faith. However, the common Pietistic pattern of fellowship needed a basis that usually was found in existing Protestant churches. Unfortunately, the Russian Orthodox Church was not able to recognize the significance of this new movement, and rejected it. To survive, the new movement needed a stable church structure. The second part of the article shows the way to such a structure and how it corresponded to the hermeneutics of the first Russian Baptists. In this way, the church structure of the Russian Baptists combines both—new faith with new fellowship in the form of a church. The significance of Baptist structures was acknowledged even by secular experts.

Keywords


First Russian Baptists; Baptist structures; First Stundists

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References


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