The difference between treatment, prevention and eradication

We can think of doctors and pharmaceuticals as the people at the bottom of the cliff who are patching up the people who have fallen off.

We can think of those who promote a healthy lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, peace of soul and mind)  as the people at the edge of the cliff warning, "Hey, there's a cliff here!"

But working to eradicate disease is akin to removing the cliff altogether.


What in the world could microbes have to do with global evangelism?

A cluster of Escherichia coli Bacteria magnified 10,000 times.Another quote from Ralph Winter's book, Frontiers in Mission: Discovering and Surmounting Barriers to the Missio Dei, from page 227:

At this point it is quite possible that some will say, ‘What in the world could microbes have to do with the Kingdom of God or global evangelism?’ The answer is simple. Distorted microbes war against the Kingdom of God. Distorted genes make animals violent and destructive. Destructive parasites kill off many varieties of plant and animal life, and as well as, by the malarial parasite, 1.2 million people a year, most of them children, four of whom die every minute from malaria alone. All this massive damage to the purposes of the Kingdom of God amounts to noise so loud that people can’t hear what we are preaching to them.


Are disease pathogens the work of God or Satan?

In his book, Frontiers in Mission: Discovering and Surmounting Barriers to the Missio Dei, on page 179 Ralph Winter writes,

Our current theological literature, to my  knowledge, does not seriously consider disease pathogens from a theological point of view—that is, are they the work of God or Satan? Much less does this literature ask the question, Does God mandate us to eliminate pathogens?


Rick Warren - The first member of the RWI Board of Reference 

By Brian Lowther

I'm very happy to report that Rick Warren has agreed to join our Board of Reference.

One of our first major goals is to establish a board of reference of respected individuals in the Christian community who both knew Dr. Winter and his heart for the unreached peoples of the world as well as those who also have an understanding of his last major initiative, that of founding the RWI.  

We thought of Pastor Rick because, not only is he a very prominent name in the Evangelical world, but he has expressed his admiration for Dr. Winter many times over the years, culminating in his very heartfelt address at Dr. Winter's memorial service in May 2009.

Barbara Winter and I met with him briefly last Friday (March 18). "I'm the new director of the Roberta Winter Institute," I told him, "and we'd like to invite you to be on our board of reference."

Before I could finish that sentence he answered, "In a blink, absolutely without a doubt!" And then he gave me and Barb a big hug. I was caught off guard by his enthusiasm and friendliness.  

It felt like a momentous event and really put some wind in our sails.


Why we are not winning very many educated people to Christ

By Brian Lowther

What distressed Dr. Winter about those who accepted disease and suffering as if it were from God’s hand was the way it profaned the true nature of God – i.e. loving, good, powerful, etc. Dr. Winter looked to the example of Jesus, who was deeply concerned about physical deformities, disease and suffering. Jesus was decidedly not in the business of inflicting people with pain or diseases to deepen their spiritual lives. In fact, if God is in that business, why did Jesus go around relieving people of pain and sickness? You can see why Dr. Winter agonized over the fact that for centuries much of the evil, suffering and violence in the world has been attributed to God. He was convinced that this was the reason we were not winning very many educated people to Christ. And he was convinced that if this notion continued, many of those millions of rural people and uneducated people we had recently won would eventually lose their faith just as they have in Europe and much of America.