Dance or Die

The Shaping of Estonian Baptist Identity Under Communism

By Toivo Pilli

Foreword by Ian M. Randall

Dance or Die

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781606085998
  • Pages: 312
  • Publication Date: 4/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $38.00
Web Price: $30.40
Web Price: $30.40

Dance or Die

The Shaping of Estonian Baptist Identity Under Communism

By Toivo Pilli

Foreword by Ian M. Randall

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781606085998
  • Pages: 312
  • Publication Date: 4/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $38.00
Web Price: $30.40

About-

This book focuses on the changes in the identity of Estonian Evangelical Christian-Baptists (ECB) during the Soviet years, 1945-1991. The author analyzed the influences that affected the life and self-understanding of the ECB churches in this most northernmost of the three Baltic countries. External pressures from the Soviet atheistic state and the internal dynamics of Estonian ECB churches are both considered and analyzed. Comparisons are drawn, which show both the similarities with the wider Evangelical world and uniqueness of a local Baptist identity. The book, based on extensive use of archive and other primary source materials, makes an especial contribution to the important emerging field of the study of Evangelicals in Eastern Europe.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"All Christian traditions have been shaped by context and re-shaped many times by new contexts. The genius of Toivo Pilli's Dance or Die story of the Estonian Evangelicals, worth reading as a deeply insightful and sensitive story in itself, is how it causes the reader to re-frame thinking about Evangelical history as a whole, especially the Soviet and Eastern European Evangelical story, which is not yet incorporated into the global Evangelical story. External factors, such as the Soviet war on Christianity that resulted in millions of martyrs, forced even the Estonian Evangelicals to dance and to die, both options changed things. Internal factors shaped the dance the rest of us need to learn. It meant consent to be remolded by the best of the distinctive emphases and practices that four Estonian evangelical traditions had learned between 1945 and 1991. Dr Pilli's four dance steps were called Unity out of Diversity, Word and Spirit Tension, Common Goal for Evangelism and Mission, and Bear Fruit through Ethical Testing. Praise God for the winsome way Pilli helps us watch the dance from many angles."
-Walter Sawatsky is Professor of Church History and Mission, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana, USA

"This is an important piece of work and I am glad it is going to reach a wider audience. Toivo Pilli documents and reflects on the history of Baptist and other Evangelical churches during the Soviet occupation of Estonia and the impact external forces had on shaping their understanding and practice of church. He makes wide use of scarce primary resources as well as his personal knowledge, and will be a model for subsequent histories of churches in the former Soviet regime. It is a witness to the grace of God in persecution.
-Derek Tidball is former Principal of London School of Theology, UK

Contributors-

Toivo Pilli
Ian M. Randall

Bio(s)-

Toivo Pilli is Lecturer in Estonian Church History, Baptist Theological Seminary, Tartu Estonia.

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