I posted some videos of my trips to several cities in Ukraine in the summer of 2007. These are on a travel log at YouTube, which you can watch below. When I first posted these, I did it for my own reference and enrichment, since I thought virtually no one would watch them. Now though, I’ve had thousands of viewers and many of the comments are arguments from Ukrainian and Polish nationalists over the correct spelling and pronunciation of the cities; which church has the religious monopoly in the region; and which country had its land stolen first.
You can scroll through all 23 videos here:
Just two examples of the responses I have been getting:
I would like to bring your attention the name Kyiv should be used instead of Russified Kiev.
Whenever you arrive to Kyiv Boryspil International, you will never miss four big shining letters KYIV on the top of the airport building. When you drive further towards the city, you will be greeted by the board Kyiv welcomes you on the side of the speedway. You may think these changes occurred after the Orange Revolution. Let me reassure you that this was already the case in earlier nineties and long time before it.
“KYIV” spelling is the only official Ukrainian spelling, used by the Ukrainian government, So that makes it OFFICIAL and correct. The fact is that the majority of foreign governments, embassies, and numerous academic and business organizations use “KYIV” not “KIEV.” The US Embassy uses “KYIV.”
The fact the Ukrainian Parliament, Verkhovna Rada, through many of its Commissions allows only one spelling, Kyiv. Probably, the most important argument is the Constitution of Ukraine, which clearly states that The capital of Ukraine is the City of Kyiv. In fact, it can be argued that those who persistently use Kiev instead of Kyiv could be accused of Russian Nationalism and clinging to Russian communism.
There is also the debate over whether it is Lvov, Lviv or Lwów:
I hope that one day someone will be decide about American and British territories. Maybe you should describe what means expulsion from own home/house and what means suffer in Russian Siberian gulags and in German Auschwitz camp like it was in my family.
Americans should leave own cities and give them to Eskimos and Indians. In New York should live only the Dutch because they established Manhattan. Berlin should be Polish; Paris and London Italian because were established by Romans; Russian Nowgorod by Swedes.
Polish and Hungarian roots go deeper in one region of Ukraine than Ukrainian roots. Kievan Rus conquered these region which belonged to us (Poles and Hungarian) from beginning. Before Christianization of Poland it was Polish tribes lands — western Slavic, not eastern — so not Ukrainian.
If you will decide about Poland again give this ugly German Wrocław/Breslau to Germany, which by the way was destroyed by Russians, and give us our Lwów. Nobody asked Americans and British for Wrocław.
Polish government never acknowledge that Lwów is not a polish city. It is the only one big Polish city which wasn’t destroyed by Germans and Russians communist during WW2. The oldest monument in Lwów is from Polish times, because Ruthenian Lviv was had mainly wooden buildings.
Americans and British had no right to sold us to Russian communist after how we fought for freedom so many allied counties and nobody help to us. People in eastern Europe hate when Americans and other western countries decide about our land. Serbia likes Russians because of Kosovo independence.
My response: In English, there is no “yi” dipthong. Kyiv is the foreign transliteration of the Ukrainian spelling. However, both the Russian and Ukrainian spellings are in the Cyrillic alphabet. Kiev is the English transliteration according to common spelling rules. “Kyiv” simply has not caught on in the West. Very few people recognize it over “Kiev.”
A Google search for Kyiv “yyilds” 4 million web pages, while Kiev yields 40 million.
I can’t pretend to have any expertise in these conflicts that go back over many centuries. I can only give the honest point of view of the “ugly American.”
The American author and satirist Mark Twain wrote: “There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle after cycle, by force and bloodshed.”
Of course, “hyi” is using hyperbole to prove a point. No nation has come into existence without displacing another nation at some point.
What I write “hyir” is also a satire. If “wyi” take your principle to the logical conclusion, then every ethnic nationality that ever conquered or colonized a “pyis” of land ought to give it up to the prior tenant. Then that nation should give up its claim to the prior one. And all the way back to Adam.
If “thyiz” nations don’t exist today in pure blood we ought to honor them by changing the names of all our “cityiz.”
Chicago ought to be returned to the French and be called: Chicagou. The French then ought to give it up to the Chippeway Indians as Shiggaugo. Then the Crees ought to have it and it should be revert to: Shiggaugo-ong.
And so on.
Many cities in Russia and the former USSR have been renamed to reflect their pre-Revolutionary names, St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky), etc. Americans don’t have a problem with changing names of foreign countries as many times as they request. We think it’s strange that we’ve been “America” for over 400 years and only added “The United States of America” in 1776. We are the “New” World, yet Europeans still can’t decide what to call themselves.
Often our spelling and pronunciation of names is different from the nationalist spelling. Wien becomes Vienna; Mumbai becomes Bombay; Rocia becomes Russia; Ookraine becomes Ukraine. But we don’t usually spell foreign place names contrary to our spelling rules or else we simply mispronounce them depending on their spelling.
Unless they are English or Irish — but that’s a different story.
Your comments are welcome!
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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