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Abstract
!
ntclligcnt cvil is at work in this world, distorting
Gods original purposcs. All ol lilc nccds to bc
oricntcd to thc war against cvil that is thc thcmc
ol human history, ghting a battlc that bcgan with thc
Cambrian pcriod. 8usincss and mission must go to
gcthcr in rcscuing pcoplcs lrom thc kingdom ol dark
ncss, including social and physical rcsults ol intclligcnt
cvil, and in bringing translormation that rcprcscnts thc
advancc ol Gods kingdom.
Premises
1. Mission rcprcscnts morc than mission agcncics at
work. !t includcs all ol lilc lor all ol Gods pcoplc who
havc bccn givcn thc mission to dcstroy thc works ol
thc cvil onc (1 John 3:8) and rcstorc Gods glory.
2. 8usincss, lor lollowcrs ol Christ, is a major mcch
anism through which individual mcmbcrs ol thc
8ody ol Christ participatc both in thc provision ol
thc csscntials ol socicty and in thc conqucst ol cvil.
3. Four Tcological/Missional Foundational Prcmiscs:
1) God is thc Lord ol history, but wc arc lockcd in
a cosmic strugglc.
2) God rcvcals himscll, but an intclligcnt cvil powcr
distorts both gcncral and spccial rcvclation and all ol
Gods handiwork. God did not crcatc or intcnd cvil,
but Hc crcatcd spirit and human bcings with lrcc will
who chosc to usc thcir lrcc will to rcbcl against Him.
3) God dcsircs humans to work with Him as
agcnts in history lor His purposcs in dclcating cvil.
4) n thc basis ol Jcsus lilc, dcath, and rcsurrcc
tion, God dclcats cvil and rcdccms and rcstorcs
humanity and crcation.
4. A spirit (Hicbcrt: middlc) world ol lrcc, intclligcnt
bcings cxists, in addition to humans, contrary to thc
worldvicw ol Vcstcrn culturc which arosc out ol thc
nlightcnmcnts rcjcction ol all nonmatcrial rcality.
5. Tc widcly acknowlcdgcd cvidcncc rcgarding thc
agc ol thc carth and dcvclopmcnt ol lilc, lrom palc
ontology, gcology and othcr scicnccs, can bc takcn
scriously lor thc purposcs ol this papcr.
Distortions of Gods Good Purposes
Somcthing is wrong in this world. Naturc, rcd in
tooth and claw, is a pattcrn actcd out at all lcvcls ol
lilc, lrom microprcdators (discasc causcd by microbcs)
to macroprcdators (social discascs causcd by humans
such as war and slavcry). !ntclligcnt cvil is at work in
this world, distorting Gods original good purposcs.
istortions ol human social rclations, distortions
ol naturc (natural disastcrs), distortions by dis
cascthcsc arc thc catcgorics rcprcscntcd by thrcc ol
thc horscs ol thc apocalypsc (war, laminc, and plaguc),
all lcading to dcath (Rcv. 6: 38).
1
!n addition, thc
dcscription ol thc last (palc) horsc includcs dcath
by wild animals, which was not in Gods original plan
(Gcncsis 1:30).
2
!t is also cxcludcd lrom His nal plan
whcn wolvcs will lic down with thc lambs, lions will
cat straw likc an ox, and childrcn will play ncar snakcs
without bcing harmcd (!saiah 11:69).
3

!l God is allpowcrlul and allloving, and has such
wondcrlul plans lor thc plancts luturc, why docs Hc
pcrmit thc obvious cvil wc scc now in naturc and in
mans inhumanity to man:
Vhy has God allowcd sadistic pcoplc throughout his
tory to torturc othcrs in unimaginably horriblc ways:
Te Warfare Missiology
of Ralph D. Winter
Beth Snodderly
An unpublishcd papcr. Uscd with pcrmission.
o Tnv V~vv~vv Missioiocv ov R~ivn . Vix:vv
!s God plcascd whcn a tsunami wipcs out hundrcds ol
thousands ol pcoplc without warning:
!s God gloricd by what grcatly troublcd arwin, that
a particular kind ol wasp lays its cggs insidc a catcrpil
lar so that whcn thc cggs hatch, thc larvac cat thcir
way out ol thc catcrpillar whilc it is still living:
o discascs such as canccr, A!S, malaria, and small
pox, that litcrally cat pcoplc alivc, originatc lrom or
ganisms dcsigncd by a pcrlcct and good Crcator:
Vhat wcnt wrong:
Tc crcation waits in cagcr cxpcctation lor thc sons
ol God to bc rcvcalcd. Vc know that thc wholc
crcation has bccn groaning as in thc pains ol childbirth
right up to thc prcscnt timc (Romans 8:2022).
4
Origins of Evil
Ralph Vintcr has proposcd a story about thc origins
ol cvil on this planct, dcvclopcd and documcntcd bricl
ly hcrc. (Scc thc nd Notcs lor morc dctail.) Tis story
rmly attributcs thc sourcc ol this cvil to spirit bcings
(Satan in particular and his many dcmonic lollowcrs),
who chosc to usc thcir Godgivcn gilt ol lrcc will to
rcbcl against God.
5
Tc story placcs rcsponsibility lor ovcrcoming that
cvil on thc shouldcrs ol humansspccically thosc
who arc lollowcrs ol Christwho wcrc crcatcd in thc
cxpcctation that thcy would choosc to usc thcir gilt ol
lrcc will to say, thy Kingdom comc, thy will bc donc
and to participatc with God in dclcating thc cvil onc
and rcstoring crcation to its intcndcd statc ol display
ing thc glory ol God.
Undcr a burdcn ol cvil that God did not intcnd lor
it, crcation groans as it waits lor thc 8ody ol Christ
to lulll its purposc to work with God to dclcat cvil
and its rcsulting distortions. avid Nc commcntcd
rcccntly in Christianity Today, as Christians wc cannot
bc honcst about rcality without sccing thc world as a
strugglc bctwccn good and cvil (2005: 76). Tc lrcc
will ol humankind aligning itscll with Gods will is ap
parcntly Gods plan lor ovcrcoming thc cvil rcsults ol
choiccs madc by lrcc spirit bcings.
6
Te Story Begins
!n thc bcginning God crcatcd thc hcavcns and thc
carth (Gcncsis 1:1).
Tc biblical account ol crcation nccds to bc considcrcd
within its original sctting. !n thc Ncar astcrn world at
thc timc Gcncsis was writtcn, crcation storics wcrc lull ol
titanic strugglcs bctwccn good and cvil spiritual lorccs that
prcccdcd thc crcation ol thc world and ol humans. Vc can
assumc that thc pcoplc God chosc to work through alrcady
kncw ol thcsc myths and ol thc cxistcncc ol good and cvil
spirits.
7
Tc dicrcncc in thc biblical account lrom thcsc
surrcalistic myths is thc pcrspcctivc that at thc bcginning ol
timc a good God intclligcntly crcatcd a good world.
Rcccnt scicntic thinking has lcd to thc 8ig 8ang
thcory ol thc origin ol thc univcrsc. According to this
modcrn scicntic crcation myth, as historian avid
Christian calls it,
thirtccn billion ycars ago thcrc was nothing. Tcrc
wasnt cvcn cmptincss. Timc did not cxist, nor did spacc.
!n this nothing, thcrc occurrcd an cxplosion, and within
a split sccond, somcthing did cxist (2004: 497).
Vcllknown physicist Stcphcn Hawking statcs, al
most cvcryonc now bclicvcs that thc univcrsc, and timc
itscll, had a bcginning at thc big bang (Hawking and
Pcnrosc, 1995: 20). Trough lorccs ol cxtrcmc hcat and
gravity, gradually thc simplcst atoms ol hclium and
hydrogcn luscd in a varicty ol combinations and othcr
clcmcnts and objccts camc into cxistcncc.
Development of Life
From this scicntic pcrspcctivc, lilc bcgan rclativcly
latc in thc timclinc and cvolvcd gradually. !n this slow
dcvclopmcnt, thc rst lilc lorms wcrc anacrobic and
livcd in thc occan. Scicntist Andrcw Parkcr spcculatcs
that thc carth may havc bccn going through a galac
tic dust cloud that blockcd sunlight lrom thc carth,
making lilc rcquiring oxygcn impossiblc lor millions
ol ycars (2003: 292294). Comcts and mctcoritcs lrom
outcr spacc would havc brought somc ol thc organic
and tracc clcmcnts nccdcd lor lilc to bcgin and dcvclop
on this planct (Fortcy 1998: 49).
Ralph Vintcr spcculatcs that lilc lorms wcrc bcing
crcatcd by spirit bcings whom God was instructing
and who wcrc lcarning to think Gods thoughts altcr
Him. !n this hc cchocs J. R. R. Tolkicns account ol thc
crcation ol carth in Te Silmarillion in which thc music
ol thc Ainur rcccts what thcy arc lcarning ol thc
thoughts ol !luvatar and cvcntually thcy bring thcsc
thoughts into rcality (1977: 312).
Beth Snodderly +
Might thcsc spcculations havc thcir roots in primor
dial rcality: !s it possiblc that Gods scrvants workcd
with Him in Crcation, lcarning how to sculpt thc raw
matcrials ol thc univcrsc into living crcaturcs: Strangc,
wcird lilc lorms and thc slow dcvclopmcnt ol lilc (ac
cording to thc rccord ol thc rocks) all lcnd crcdibility
to thc spcculation that pcrhaps God dclibcratcly chosc
not to usc His omniscicncc and omnipotcncc to crcatc
all lilc lorms instantly, but instcad sharcd crcation with
bcings who wcrc lcarning as thcy wcnt along.
Free Will
From a thcological point ol vicw, God crcatcd spiritual
bcings with lrcc will with thc objcct ol rccciving thcir
lrccly choscn lovc. 8ut this cntailcd a risk. Vith thc
powcr to choosc, thcrc could bc no guarantcc that thc
lrcc bcings would makc choiccs that would also bc
Gods choiccs.
8

G.K. Chcstcrton suggcsts God was writing a play:
God had writtcn, not so much a pocm, but rathcr a
play, a play hc had planncd as pcrlcct, but which had
ncccssarily bccn lclt to human actors and stagcmanag
crs, |and othcr bcings with lrcc will|, who had sincc
madc a grcat mcss ol it (Chcstcrton 1908).
Vithin thc paramctcrs ol thc guidclincs lor this play,
it sccms that God has placcd somc limitations on him
scll according to what lrcc agcnts lrccly choosc. 8oyd
statcs, Unlcss wc arm that God takcs gcnuinc risks,
wc will not bc ablc to acknowlcdgc that thc world is a
war zonc whilc also holding that this war is not Gods
will (2001: 86).
Cambrian Explosion:
Te Fall of Satan?
Continuing with thc scicntic crcation myth, at a
particular point in timc, according to thc cvidcncc lrom
thc lossil rccord, thcrc was a suddcn prolilcration ol lilc
on this planct: complctc with prcdators and dclcnsc
mcchanisms (Fortcy 1998: 92, 93, Parkcr 2003: 259).
Parkcr statcs that an cxtcrnal lorcc has to bc takcn into
account to cxplain thc Cambrian cxplosion, in which
thcrc was thc suddcn dcvclopmcnt (in thc blink ol
an cyc in gcological tcrms) ol hard body parts in all
biological catcgorics ol lilc (2003: 36). Parkcrs rc
scarch lcd him to thc conclusion that it was thc suddcn
appcarancc ol vision in onc cvolving crcaturc at thc
bcginning ol thc Cambrian pcriod that lcd to sclcctivc
prcssurcs lor all thc various phyla to also dcvclop cycs,
thcn hard parts to stab with, limbs to pcrlorm thcir
acts ol murdcr (bccausc thcy saw potcntial lood and
wantcd it!), and hard body parts lor dclcnsc mccha
nisms (Parkcr 2003: 276).
8ut what causcd thc suddcn dcvclopmcnt ol cycs
and thc simultancous onsct ol violcncc in 35 phyla, all
within a rclativcly short pcriod ol timc: Tc scicntic
crcation myth claims it was cvolutionary chancc along
with sclcctivc cvolutionary prcssurcs.
Ralph Vintcr asks, rcgarding thc suddcn appcarancc
ol violcnt lorms ol lilc, could this bc whcn thc lall ol
Satan occurrcd:
Going still lurthcr, wc could spcculatc that Lucilcr,
whosc namc mcans morning star, lightbcaring
(Vcbstcrs Tird Ncw !ntcrnational ictionary), may
havc bccn rcsponsiblc lor thc dcvclopmcnt ol cycsight,
that hc bccamc proud ol his accomplishmcnt, rcbcllcd
against God (in Lukc 10:18 Jcsus says, ! saw Satan
lall likc lightning lrom hcavcn), and bcgan turning his
crcativc knowlcdgc into distortions ol Gods crcation.
Tc carly Church Fathcrs bclicvcd a story vcry similar
to thc onc dcscribcd by Ralph Vintcr: thc participa
tion ol angcls in crcation, Satans original placc ol
authority, tcrritorial rcsponsibilitics ol angcls and cvil
spirits, and thc cntrancc ol cvil into crcation with thc
choiccs madc by Satan/Lucilcr and his lollowcrs (8oyd
2001: 294, 295).
Alvin Plantinga, considcrcd thc dcan ol Christian
philosophcrs (8cvcrlcy 2005: 83), writcs in a chaptcr in
Christian Faith and the Problem of Evil,
Satan is a mighty nonhuman lrcc crcaturc who rc
bcllcd against thc Lord long bclorc human bcings wcrc
on thc sccnc, and much ol thc natural cvil thc world
displays is duc to thc actions ol Satan and his cohorts
(\an !nwagcn 2004: 15).
9
Te Reality of the Spirit World
Tis pcrspcctivc on thc rcality ol thc world ol spir
its sounds lorcign to Vcstcrn thinkcrs and bclicvcrs
bccausc ol thc philosophical inucncc ol thc nlight
cnmcnt that insists that all rcality must lollow obscrv
ablc laws. 8ut this rclativcly bricl 300ycar matcrialist
: Tnv V~vv~vv Missioiocv ov R~ivn . Vix:vv
worldvicw is in thc minority within thc contcxt ol past
and nonVcstcrn worldvicws. !n a kcy articlc in thc
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Reader,
Paul Hicbcrt points out thc aw ol thc cxcludcd
middlc (rclcrring to thc spirit rcalm) in Vcstcrn
thinking (1999: 414).
10
Harmonizing Science and Scripture
Givcn thc rcality ol an activc spirit world, Ralph Vin
tcrs spcculativc story harmonizcs scicntic cvidcncc
and biblical tcaching. To summarizc thc argumcnt
constructcd up to this point, wc can look at Vintcrs
papcr in IJFM 21:4 that lists his pcrsonal Prccarious
Pcrspcctivcs (2005a: 53), thc rst thrcc ol which statc:
#1. vidcncc is mounting that lilc has bccn dcvclop
ing on this planct ovcr a vcry long timc.
#2. Suddcnly in thc Cambrian Pcriod wc nd in thc
world ol animals thc rst appcarancc ol prcdatory
lilc lorms.
#3. Naturc has bccn pcrvasivcly distortcd into vio
lcncc by Satan.
Tc third Pcrspcctivc gocs on to statc that thcsc
violcnt lorms ol lilc arc again and again blottcd out by
dcvastations (2005a: 53).
xpanding a chart lrom Scientic American, March
2002, Vintcr has shown a 600millionycar timclinc
that includcs 45 major astcroidal impacts that would
havc dcstroycd much ol lilc on this planct at many
dicrcnt timcs in history. (Scc chart includcd with
this papcr.) nc ol thc two largcst ol thcsc, causing a
100milcwidc cratcr in Yucatan, Mcxico, is bclicvcd to
havc causcd thc cxtinction ol thc dinosaurs 60 million
ycars ago. Altcr that a ncw bcginning lcaturcd largc
mammals and hominids (prchuman crcaturcs) as
dominant lilc lorms on thc planct (Vintcr 2005a: 51).
Vintcrs cxpandcd chart postulatcs a local astcroidal
dcvastation in thc Ncar ast prior to 6000 8C. Tc
litcrary, rcalistic dcscription in Gcncsis 1:219 ts
vcry wcll with Vintcrs hypothcsis that thc biblical
writcr was dcscribing thc rccrcation ol a local arca
lrom thc pcrspcctivc ol an obscrvcr on arth watching
thc gradual scttling ol dust, making light visiblc oncc
again, making plant lilc possiblc, thcn cvcntually mak
ing it possiblc lor thc individual hcavcnly bodics that
arc thc sourcc ol thc light to bccomc visiblc, as night
and day arc clcarly distinguishcd.
11
Vintcr and othcrs such as 8rucc K. Valtkc (2001) bc
licvc it may bc a disscrvicc to thc 8iblc to intcrprct thc
Gcncsis Crcation account as thc bcginning ol cvcry
thing, but rathcr scc it as thc rccord ol a ncw bcgin
ning lollowing thc dcvastation rclcrrcd to in Gcncsis
1:2 as tohu wabohu (lormlcss and void).
Vintcrs Prccarious Pcrspcctivcs #7 and #8 summa
rizc this thinking:
#7. Tc idca that thc old carth prcccdcd thc young
carth and prcccdcd Gcncsis 1:1.
#8. Tc cvcnts ol Gcncsis, thc astcroidal dcvasta
tion dcscribcd in 1:1, and thc ood mcntioncd latcr,
arc dcvastations and ncw bcginnings, rccrcation,
rcplcnishmcnt (Vintcr 2005a: 53).
!n his prcsumption that thc Gcncsis crcation account
dcscribcs a rccrcation ol thc world, Vintcr agrccs
with ric Saucr, quotcd by 8oyd:
Gcncsis 1 is not so much an account ol crcation as it
is an account ol Gods rcstoration ol a world that had
through a prcvious conict bccomc lormlcss, lutilc,
cmpty and cngullcd by chaosthc world ol Gcn 1:2
(1997:104).
8oyd cxplains that thc Hcbrcw words lor lormlcss
and cmpty (tohu wabohu),
arc usually pcjorativc tcrms in Scripturc, dcnoting
somcthing donc wrong, laid wastc or judgcd. Tis
thcory postulatcs a prchumanoid world ol indcnitc
duration about which wc know nothing morc than that
it somchow bccamc a battlccld bctwccn good and
cvil and was conscqucntly madc into a total wastcland
(1997:104).
12
War against an Intelligent Enemy
Tis battlccld is thc warlarc contcxt in which humans
wcrc crcatcd. Vc arc in a war against an intclligcnt
cncmy. Humans arc madc in thc imagc ol God and
placcd on carth so that thcy might gradually vanquish
this chaos (8oyd 1997: 107).
Tis vicw climinatcs thc dichotomy bctwccn thc cul
tural and cvangclistic mandatcs by sccing thcm both as
part ol a wartimc mandatc, although Ralph Vintcr,
13

Arthur Glasscr and Nancy Pcarccy spcak ol thcsc as
scparatc mandatcs (Vintcr 2005a: 46, 2005c, Glasscr
2003: 38 and Pcarccy 2004: 47). !nstcad it would bc
Beth Snodderly
appropriatc to vicw thc cultural mandatc as bcing
lrom thc start, part ol an inclusivc wartimc mandatc
sincc cvil had alrcady bccn at work in thc univcrsc and
on this planct bclorc humans wcrc crcatcd and told to
subduc it (Gcncsis 1:28not just to takc carc ol it
as Glasscr dcscribcs it |2003: 38|). Humans wcrc crc
atcd to join a war that was alrcady taking placc. Vintcr
suggcsts that thc cultural and cvangclistic mandatcs
nccd to bc mcrgcd into a singlc Military Mandatc,
which in this lilc is all wc should bc conccrncd about
(2005a: 46). 8oyd summarizcs this pcrspcctivc: Vc
arc corulcrs with God ovcr thc carth and cowarriors
with God against thc lorccs ol chaos (1997: 106).
Tis intcrprctation ol Gcncsis 1 implics that Gods plan to
strikc back at thc cncmy was to ovcrcomc thc lrcc choiccs
ol cvil agcnts with thc lrcc choiccs ol good agcnts. Pcr
haps in Gods lrcc will univcrsc Hc nccdcd morc crcaturcs
to choosc His way, to ask Him to act and to takc action
to annihilatc vil. !l vil is ol nitc amount, il it can bc
ovcrcomc (annihilatcd) by lrccly choscn acts ol lovc and
scllsacricc, thcn cvcntually somc spccic act ol lovc or
sacricc could bc cxpcctcd to annihilatc thc bit ol cvil that
rcprcscnts thc tipping point, putting thc majority ol lrcc
choiccs in this world on thc sidc ol Gods will, thus clcaring
thc way lor Him to ushcr in His Kingdom. Vas Jcsus sac
ricial dcath that tipping point: !s God waiting lor thc
timc whcn Hc has cnough ol thc lrcc choiccs ol humans
and spirit bcings on His sidc to win thc battlc at thc cnd ol
thc agc, as dcscribcd in thc last book ol thc 8iblc:
8ut at thc bcginning ol human history, humans chosc
to join thc lallcn spirit bcings in rcbcllion against God
and cvcntually things got so bad that dcmons wcrc
polluting thc human gcnc pool (Gcncsis 6, scc 8oyd
2001:166). Tc Flood that lollowcd was onc ol scvcral
lrcsh starts in Gods war with cvil (Vintcr 2005a: 51).
Ralph Vintcrs spcculation that cvil spirits havc
tampcrcd with NA to distort Gods intcntions lor
animals or to crcatc organisms whosc solc purposc is
to causc discasc, has biblical support in this Gcncsis
6 account ol thc sons ol God having childrcn with
thc daughtcrs ol mcn. Could this bc a mythological or
prcscicntic rccognition ol thc spirit world tampcring
with thc NA ol humans: !s similar tampcring thc
causc ol violcncc in thc animal world: Ralph Vintcr
spcculatcs on thcsc qucstions:
Humans havc concludcd that cock ghts and contrivcd
animalvcrsusanimal shows arc illcgal. How much
lcss likcly should wc supposc God to havc crcatcd thc
ncarly univcrsal, vicious, animalvcrsusanimal world ol
naturc: !ndccd, carnivorous animals originally wcrc hcr
bivorous (as is implicd in Gcncsis 1:28, 29). ocs thc
vil nc and his assistants havc sucicnt knowlcdgc to
tinkcr with thc NA ol Gods crcatcd ordcr and distort
naturc to bccomc rcd in tooth and claw: (2005a: 38).
Obstacles to Opposing Evil
Such cvidcnccs ol cvil arc thc rcsult ol Gods dccision
to givc lrcc choicc to His scrvants, both spirit bcings
and humans. 8ut thc cvidcnccs ol cvil arc not Gods
will, although thcy arc oltcn mistakcnly attributcd to
Him. Vintcr has statcd: !l bclicvcrs havc all kinds ol
misundcrstandings that prcvcnt thcm lrom dcstroy
ing thc works ol thc cvil ! want dcspcratcly to hclp
rcmovc thosc misundcrstandings (2004).
Scvcral obstaclcs kccp Vcstcrn bclicvcrs lrom rccogniz
ing thc nccd to opposc cvil in its many lorms. nc ol
thcsc obstaclcs is thc lailurc to rccognizc thc rcality ol
thc spirit world and thc cvil intcntions ol somc ol thosc
spirits to distort thc physical world. 8oyd, Hicbcrt and
othcrs havc cxplaincd that Vcstcrn thought about thc
noncxistcncc ol thc spirit world, thc lcgacy ol thc n
lightcnmcnt, is in thc minority and stands in contrast to
thc rcst ol thc world and throughout history.
14
Anothcr obstaclc to opposing cvil is thc conlusion
causcd by Augustinian thinking which assumcd Gods
omnipotcncc mcant God was in dircct control ol
cvcrything and had His purposcs in pcrmitting cvil. !n
City of God, Augustinc argucd that God pcrmits cvil so
wc will dcsirc thc luturc blcsscd lilc.
vcn baptizcd inlants, who arc ccrtainly unsurpasscd
in innoccncc, arc somctimcs so tormcntcd, that God,
who pcrmits it, tcachcs us hcrcby to bcwail thc calami
tics ol this lilc, and to dcsirc thc lclicity ol thc lilc to
comc (City of God 22.22, in Gcislcr 1982: 192).
Tc conccpt ol ghting back against atrocitics, such as
thc tormcnt cxpcricnccd by innoccnt babics, is missing
in Augustincs thcology. A logical conscqucncc ol his
blucprint worldvicw, as 8oyd calls it (2001:2), is pas
sivity. !l God has prcordaincd all cvil lor somc mystcri
ous purposc, why pray, why act: Vhy not sadly wait it
out until onc is ablc to cntcr thc happicr lilc to comc:
15
!n contrast, thc authors ol thc Ncw Tcstamcnt and thc ar
ly Church lathcrs prior to Augustinc cxpcctcd cvil and wcrc
Tnv V~vv~vv Missioiocv ov R~ivn . Vix:vv
prcparcd to ght it. Tcy had no problcm with thc conccpt
that a good God had allowcd lrccdom ol choicc and was
bound by His own dccision to ght a rcal war against cvil
that Christs lollowcrs must join (8oyd 2001: 24, 49).
Gods Foreknowledge and Free Will:
a Paradox?
Sincc God is omniscicnt, docsnt Hc alrcady know cv
crything that is going to happcn in this war against cvil:
!l so, whcrc is truc lrccdom ol choicc and why do thc
actions ol bclicvcrs mattcr: Apparcntly not knowing how
clsc to rcconcilc truc lrccdom ol choicc and thc rcality
ol sucring with Gods attributcs ol bcing allloving and
allpowcrlul, 8oyd and othcr pcn \icw thcologians
havc suggcstcd that God docsnt rcally know cvcrything
that will happcn in this lrccchoicc univcrsc Hc has crc
atcda vicw Vintcr docs not acccpt. Tcy claim God
only knows thc possibilitics. Tcy solvc thc problcm ol
showing that wc arc in a rcal war with rcal casualtics, in
which thc lrcc choiccs ol participants havc rcal consc
qucnccs, but thcy lcavc thc door opcn lor a dishonoring
vicw ol Gods omniscicncc. (8oyd admits that his vicw ol
Gods lorcknowlcdgc is not csscntial to undcrstanding thc
warlarc worldvicw that postulatcs that Gods sclllimita
tions lcavc lrcc choicc to crcaturcs to potcntially usc thcir
lrccdom lor cvil purposcs |8oyd 2001: 86, 87|).
8ut Gods omniscicncc (lorcknowlcdgc) and lrccdom ol
choicc do not havc to bc considcrcd mutually cxclusivc, as
C. S. Lcwis pointcd out whcn hc claboratcd on implica
tions ol thc spacctimc thcory ol rclativity: God stands
outsidc timc and vicws past, prcscnt, luturc all in onc
ctcrnal momcnt (1952: 145, 146). Modcrn physics backs
Lcwis cxplanation. God is outsidc and abovc thc Timc
linc bccausc timc is part ol crcation (8cckman 1999: 26).
Tc pcn \icw actually bccomcs nonscnsc in light ol thc
spacctimc thcory ol rclativity. !t cannot bc said that God
docsnt know thc luturc, whcn in lact, lrom Gods allcn
compassing, rclativc point ol vicw, thc luturc is alrcady
happcning.
16
From Gods pcrspcctivc, all timcs arc now.
As C.S. Lcwis said, in a scnsc, |God| docs not know your
action till you havc donc it: but thcn thc momcnt at which
you havc donc it is alrcady Now lor Him (1952: 145, 146).
Two Biblical Perspectives on the
Source of Negative Events
Tc intcllcctual obstaclc ol undcrstanding how a good
God pcrmits cvil to happcn is complicatcd by thc
way thc 8iblc dcscribcs somc ncgativc cvcnts that arc
somctimcs rclcrrcd to as bcing scnt by God. Vintcr
points out that thc 8iblc has two ways ol cxplaining
things and thcsc two pcrspcctivcs arc madc clcar in thc
Rosctta Stonc ol Scripturc in which thc samc cvcnt
is dcscribcd in oppositc ways (2005c):
1. Sccond Samucl 24:1: Tc pcrspcctivc ol thc sovcr
cignty ol God (allowing cvil to takc placc)
2. First Chroniclcs 21:1: Tc pcrspcctivc ol Satans
initiativc
8oth pcrspcctivcs arc truc. astcrn logic is nccdcd hcrc
that docsnt scc an cithcror dichotomy, but is comlort
ablc with bothand.
Consequences of Attributing Evil
to God
Vhcn bclicvcrs lail to ovcrcomc intcllcctual obstaclcs
and instcad attributc cvil to God, assuring othcrs that
God has His mystcrious purposcs, dishonor and
humiliation arc brought to God. Tis happcncd rcccntly
in an LA Times cditorial which callcd crcation, Un
intclligcnt csign. Morc rcccntly, lcttcrs to thc cditor
in Time magazinc havc ridiculcd bclicl in a bcncvolcnt
intclligcncc bcing bchind thc distortions and cruclty
that arc cvidcnt in naturc. Not all ol naturc as wc know
it is as God intcndcd it to bc and wc dont rcprcscnt
God wcll among nonbclicvcrs il wc claim that all !n
tclligcnt csign is lrom God. Tcrc would also appcar
to bc dclibcratc cvil intclligcnt dcsign. Tis is somcthing
bclicvcrs nccd to communicatc to unbclicvcrs to prcvcnt
Gods rcputation and glory lrom bcing distortcd.
Anothcr conscqucncc ol attributing cvil to God is pas
sivity in thc lacc ol cvil, as with thc pastors in Jonathan
dwards day who bclicvcd it was intcrlcring with
divinc providcncc to usc small pox vaccincs (Clark
1995: 16, 17).
Te Kingdom Strikes Back
!l bclicvcrs think somcthing is Gods will thcy wont
ght against it. !l thcy lail to rccognizc cvil as opposi
tion to Gods will, thcy wont usc or cncouragc busincss
to bc part ol striking back at it. !l thcrc is no Satan
in thc picturc, Gods pcoplc dont rcalizc thcy nccd to
ght back against thc cvils thcy scc displaycd in thc
world. Tc biblical rccord scts thc dircction lor bclicv
crs to lollow in thc ght against cvil. Vintcrs articlc in
Beth Snodderly
thc Perspectives Rcadcr, Tc Kingdom Strikcs 8ack,
dcscribcs thc history ol thc battlc against thc cvil intcl
ligcncc that is distorting our world.
Tc 8iblc shows thc gradual but irrcsistiblc powcr ol
God rcconqucring and rcdccming His lallcn crcation,
giving His own Son at thc ccntcr ol thc 4000ycar
pcriod bcginning with 2000 8C: Tc Son ol God
appcarcd lor this purposc, that Hc might dcstroy thc
works ol thc dcvil (1 John 3:8) (Vintcr 1999: 196).
Jesus Acts of War against Evil
From thc vcry rst, Jcsus acts ol ministry madc it
clcar that Hc had comc to wagc war against cvil. His
cncountcrs with dcmons always rcsultcd in glory lor
God. vcn thc cvil inucnccs on naturc had to obcy
Him whcn Hc rcbukcd thc storm (Mark 4: 39) with
thc samc authority Hc uscd in casting out cvil spirits
(Mark 5:8). !l it is by thc ngcr ol God that ! cast out
thc dcmons, Jcsus said, thcn thc kingdom ol God has
comc to you (Lukc 11:20).
!l thc carth is to bccomc thc domain in which God is
king (thc kingdom ol God), thcn it must ccasc bcing
thc domain in which Satan is king. Tis is what Jcsus
camc to accomplish. Hc camc to dcstroy thc works ol
thc dcvil (1 John 3:8) (8oyd 2001:36).
Jcsus dcath is sccn as thc climax ol a cosmic battlc in
an cxposition ol John 12: 2036 (Kovac 1995: 233).
Now shall thc rulcr ol this world bc drivcn out, (vs.
31) Jcsus said, in thc contcxt ol discussing His dcath.
Jcsus passcd His mission on to His lollowcrs, tcaching
thcm to pray that Gods will would bc donc on carth
as it is in hcavcn (Matthcw 6:10) and tclling thcm
thc gatcs ol hcll would not prcvail against thc Church.
(Tis implics aggrcssion by thc Church toward thc
gatcs, not thc gatcs pursuing a passivc/protcctcd
Church!) 8iblical tcaching indicatcs God intcnds thc
Kingdom to continuc advancing in Jcsus abscncc on
carth. Jcsus did what Hc saw thc Fathcr doing ( John
5:19) and Hc told His lollowcrs thcy would do cvcn
grcatcr things than Hc had bccn doing ( John 14:12).
Believers Acts of War against Evil
!n His dccision to work through thc 8ody ol Christ to
cxpand Jcsus ministry ol pushing back thc powcrs ol
darkncss, God has choscn to usc thc loolish and wcak
things ol thc world to ovcrthrow thc wisc and strong in
thc world who rcsist Him (1 Corinthians 1:1830). Ro
mans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 givc bricl thcologics ol
thc 8ody ol Christ.
17
Vhcn Christs 8ody, thc Church,
is lunctioning as it should, it dcmonstratcs thc naturc ol
God: what works Hc wants to scc accomplishcd, what
Hc is conccrncd about, His rightcousncss, justicc, mcrcy,
and powcr ovcr cvil. Sincc thc Son ol God appcarcd
to dcstroy thc dcvils work (1 John 3:8), this is also thc
mission ol His 8ody. !n thc articlc, Tc Kingdom
Strikcs 8ack, Ralph Vintcr dcscribcs vc cpochs ol
church history in which, almost in spitc ol thc bchavior
ol many rcprcscntativcs ol thc Church, thc Kingdom
has gradually advanccd around thc world (1999: 195).
Tis advancc is occurring cvcn in thc contcxt ol thc
wccds and thc good sccd growing sidc by sidc. Tc two
conicting kingdoms will cach continuc to grow until
Christ rcturns. (Tis pcrspcctivc is a distinctivc ol ast
crn rthodox thcology |Campolo 1992: 45|).
Vintcrs Prccarious Pcrspcctivc #4 dcscribcs what it
mcans lor thc Kingdom to advancc.
vangclicals rightly strcss a rcconciliationolman
aspcct and a promisc ol hcavcn. 8ut, in addition, thcy
havc not cmphasizcd, as clcarly as thc 8iblc docs, Gods
glorication (that is, thc rccstablishmcnt, thc rcstora
tion ol that glory) (2005a: 49).
Vhat is thc bclicvcrs rcsponsibility in rcstoring Gods
glory and advancing thc Kingdom:
Prayer and Action
Praycr and action nccd to go togcthcr in dclcating cvil
and rcstoring Gods glory. Vintcr likcs to point out
that wc dont ask God to paint thc back lcncc, wc gct
out thcrc and do it oursclvcs. Anothcr Vintcr illustra
tion: !l you saw a mountain lion attacking a child, you
wouldnt stop to pray, youd do somcthing about it (just
as onald McGavran uscd to shoot tigcrs to protcct
villagcrs in !ndia). 8ut il invisiblc lions (ic., gcrms)
wcrc attacking a child, you would appropriatcly ask lor
Gods intcrvcntion (2005d).
A gcncral principlc might bc: cvils you can scc, takc
action, with cvils you cant scc, ask God to takc action.
Until rcccntly in history, pcoplc couldnt scc thc micro
organisms (invisiblc lions) attacking pcoplc, animals
and crops. Now that scicncc has madc it possiblc to scc
and do somcthing about thcsc microprcdators, what is
thc rcsponsibility ol thc 8ody ol Christ:
6 Tnv V~vv~vv Missioiocv ov R~ivn . Vix:vv
Ncwbigin quotcs Schwcitzcr as saying, vcry ac
tion lor thc Kingdom is a praycr lor thc coming ol
thc Kingdom (Ncwbigin 2003: 38). 8oyd points out
that Vatcr Vink and othcrs havc shown that combat
ing cvil powcrs is not just a mattcr ol praycr but also
a mattcr ol social activism (8oyd 1997:60). Vintcr
would add, and ol scicntic activism.
!n lact, praycr itscll may bc activism. Jcsus said what
is looscd on carth will bc looscd in hcavcn (Matthcw
16:19). Could it bc that Gods sclllimitcd ability to
act on carth will bc looscd to somc cxtcnt whcn a lrcc
agcnt chooscs to ask Him and chooscs to work with
Him to accomplish His purposcs:
Overthrowing the Kingdom of
Disease and Death
To lollow Jcsus is to do battlc with thc cvcrprcs
cnt princc ol darkncss (8oyd 1997: 280). Knowing
that wars and discascs ol social, natural and physical
varictics, and thc rcsulting sucring, arc not Gods
will, and that God will somc day bring an cnd to thcsc
things (Rcv. 20:4) givcs thc 8ody ol Christ somc
strong hints about thc work thcy should bc cngagcd in.
Mcdical missionary Robcrt Hughcs, in Shillong, !ndia
lrom 193969, wrotc in his journal, this kingdom ol
discasc, dcath, ignorancc, prcjudicc, lcar, malnutrition
and abjcct povcrty was most surcly a kingdom which
ought to bc ovcrthrown by thc kingdom ol our God
(Rccs 2003).
vcrthrowing thc kingdom ol discasc, dcath, ct al,
mcans cngaging in Kingdom warlarc. Fighting dis
casc is an intcgral part ol that warlarc. Tc similari
tics bctwccn war and discasc arc brought out in two
books writtcn about discasc. Tc author ol At War
Within uscs war imagcry to dcscribc discascs ol thc
immunc systcm. For instancc, in thc prcliminary phasc
ol A!S, thc virus is doing cvcrything it can to brcak
loosc lrom thc lymph nodc cnvironmcnt whcrc it is
trappcd and to dcstroy thc host, but it is kcpt in chcck
by thc immunc systcm (Clark 1995: 151). !n Plagues
and Peoples, Villiam McNcill coins thc tcrm, macro
parasitism, using discasc imagcry to dcscribc warlikc
raiding and othcr social prcdatory bchavior.
18
iscasc and war arc kccping wholc groups ol pcoplc
in bondagc to sucring and cvil. Maps lrom MARC
publications (Mycrs 1996) and lrom intcrnct sourccs
show thc noncoincidcntal ovcrlap ol arcas ol thc
world that havc thc lcast inucncc lrom thc 8iblc with
thosc arcas whcrc thcrc is thc most sucring, discasc,
war and povcrty. 8arrctt and Johnson havc shown in
a chart in World Christian Trends that thc absolutc
poor comprisc 18 ol thc worlds population whilc
Tc Rich makc up 54 ol thc world (2001: 34). Tc
MARC maps show that main consumcrs ol thc carths
natural rcsourccs livc in thosc arcas ol thc world with
thc most cxposurc to thc 8iblc.
Vhat rcsponsibility docs thc kingdom bclicvcr havc lor
using thosc rcsourccs, in thc light ol thc distribution ol
cvil and Gods plan to dclcat it: !n his addrcss to a largc
gathcring ol Korcan young pcoplc at a missions conlcr
cncc, Vintcr challcngcd thcm on this vcry issuc.
vcry bclicvcr has a missionary call. Sccond Corin
thians 5:15 says, Hc dicd lor all, that thosc who livc
should no longcr livc lor thcmsclvcs but lor him who
dicd lor thcm and was raiscd again.Lct Jcsus takc ovcr
your lilc and bc conccrncd about His conccrns. Vhat is
it Hcs wanting to do: iscasc is pulling pcoplc down
all thc timc, distorting human and animal lilc. iscasc
is a work ol Satan, which thc Son ol God camc to
dcstroy (Vintcr 2005b).
Business in Wartime: Rebelling
against the Natural Order
Vhat is thc rcsponsibility ol thc 8ody ol Christ:
Tis could bc answcrcd by anothcr qucstion: within
thc bclicvcrs sphcrc ol inucncc, what is ocnsivc to
God: Jcsus taught His lollowcrs to bind that and loosc
Gods powcr in Gods namc. 8clicvcrs can unhumili
atc God and givc Him a channcl to work through.
Tcy can ovcrcomc thc cncmys cvil choiccs with good
choiccs that ccho Gods will. Ronald Sidcr statcd in an
intcrvicw with Christianity Today, Tcrcs now a ncw
kingdom community ol Jcsus disciplcs, and cm
bracing Jcsus mcans bcginning to livc as a part ol
his ncw community whcrc cvcrything is bcing trans
lormcd (2005: 72).
!n thc cnd, thc 8ody ol Christ must conduct lilcs
busincss in thc light ol thc missionary wartimc man
datc. Martin Luthcr (and latcr thc Puritans) saw work
(or vocation) as a holy calling (\cith 1999: 4) but
omittcd thc aspcct ol war against cvil. Tc cmphasis
on using Godgivcn gilts and talcnts in cvcryday lilc
Beth Snodderly
rcccts thc assumption ol a cultural mandatc givcn in
a pcacclul world that just nccdcd to bc takcn carc ol,
in which only what God wantcd to happcn would hap
pcn. 8ut obviously things happcn in this world that
arc not Gods will. Hc is not willing that any should
pcrish, but that all should comc to rcpcntancc, yct wc
clcarly scc pcoplc rcbclling and dying without rcpcn
tancc all around us. His will isnt ruling this world yct.
Followcrs ol Christ arc living undcr a wartimc, not a
pcacctimc mandatc (Vintcr 2005c). 8arnhousc points
out that thcrc is now morc than onc will in thc uni
vcrsc (1965: 37). So what docs God cxpcct ol thc 8ody
ol Christ in this contcxt ol conict:
rdinary Christians working in busincss, industry, poli
tics, lactory work, and so on, arc thc Churchs lront
linc troops in hcr cngagcmcnt with thc world, wrotc
Lcsslic Ncwbigin. !maginc how our churchcs would bc
translormcd il wc truly rcgardcd laypcoplc as lrontlinc
troops in thc spiritual battlc. Arc wc taking scrioiusly
our duty to support thcm in thcir warlarc: Ncwbigin
askcd. (Quotcd lrom http://www.dccpsight.org/articlcs/
gohccnb.htm) (Pcarccy 2004: 67).
How can action bc takcn through busincss and work
that will contributc toward thc dclcat ol cvil:
Vhich vocations arc nccdcd lor thc lunctioning ol a
Kingdom socicty that is at war:
Vhich arc not nccdcd and should bc avoidcd:
Vhat limitations docs busincss havc in combating
cvils that thc markctplacc cithcr isnt awarc ol or isnt
willing to lund:
Vhat critcria can hclp a pcrson cngagc in busincss in a
way that contributcs to thc missio dei?
Examples:
Manner of life: how believers conduct themselves
at work (in a lcgitimatc busincss, not a noncsscntial
luxury) can bc thcir mcans ol cngaging in missional
warlarc. Yamamori has statcd, thcrc is an appalling
lack ol busincss cthics in China (2001: 99). Tc opcn
ing ol this country lor Vcstcrn busincss is an unprcc
cdcntcd opportunity lor Christians to inucncc China
proloundly by cxcrcising kingdom valucs (2001: 101).
Types of businesses that sustain life so others can be
on thc lront lincs contributc to thc war cort. 8c
licvcrs involvcd in jobs such as lood production and
distribution, transportation, or production ol ncccssary
tcchnology can considcr thcir work to bc a mcaning
lul contribution to thc Kingdom. (Tis is not mcant
to bc a complctc list, by any mcans, ol valuablc busi
ncsscs that sustain lilc and advancc thc Kingdom.)
Politics: believers can participate in overcoming the
discasc ol war and othcr social ills. avid 8ornstcin
has rcscarchcd social cntrcprcncurs around thc world
who havc had a prolound ccct on thcir socictics.
Social cntrcprcncurs advancc systcmic changc: thcy
shilt bchavior pattcrns and pcrccptions (2004: 2). An
cxamplc ol cntrcprcncurship hclping to ovcrcomc po
litical discasc is lound in a Kingdom busincss opcrat
ing a noodlc lactory in North Korca. Tc noodlcs arc
sold in othcr countrics, gcncrating incomc to providc
basic sustcnancc lor starving workcrs in a country
dcvastatcd by sinlul political structurcs.
Agriculture: Kingdom social entrepreneurs are
nccdcd to lcad corts in ovcrcoming discascs ol
naturc such as laminc and malnutrition. Joshua
Fugimoto, an 80 ycar old agricultural missionary,
spcnt ycars in 8angladcsh cxpcrimcnting with ways
to grow vcgctablcs in a climatc with long droughts
lollowcd by monsoon rains. Groups ol bclicvcrs lol
lowing his agricultural principlcs arc now producing
nutritious crops scvcral timcs a ycar, instcad ol only
onc poor crop pcr ycar, giving lamilics thc strcngth
nccdcd to combat thc cvils ol discasc and povcrty.
Community Development: godly people can lead
thc way in combating social discascs such as poor
cducation or pollution, including contaminatcd
watcr. Yamamori and ldrcd dcscribc a numbcr ol
cntrcprcncurs who dclibcratcly sct out to cngagc in
busincss with Kingdom purposcs in mind. Unlor
tunatcly, in thc authors rcvicw ol thcsc casc studics,
thcir list ol Scriptural principlcs
19
lor Kingdom busi
ncss docs not includc thc aspcct ol thc war against
cvil that all bclicvcrs arc cngagcd in whcthcr thcy
rcalizc it or not (2003: 253).
Scientifc investigation: kingdom workers are
nccdcd to uncovcr thc origins ol discasc lor thc
purposc cradicating it lor thc glory ol God. Ralph
Vintcr is pcssimistic about thc rolc ol busincss in
this arca, howcvcr. Hc writcs, Unlortunatcly, ! dont
scc busincss ol any grcat hclp in this. ! dont scc
any signicant cort aimcd spccically at thc
dclcat ol thc works ol Satan (2005c: 7).
8 Tnv V~vv~vv Missioiocv ov R~ivn . Vix:vv
Business and Mission Partnering
in Wartime
To bring about translormation and thc rcglorication
ol God, thc 8ody ol Christ nccds to rcbcl against thc
natural ordcr that still lics in thc powcr ol thc cvil
onc and join God in dclcating thc works ol thc dcvil
through lcgitimatc vocations and busincsscs. Var, lam
inc and discasc arc thc arcas ol inucncc ol thrcc ol thc
lour horscmcn ol thc apocalypscall lcading to dcath.
Combating thcsc in Jcsus namc combats thc lorccs ol
darkncss that scck to kill and dcstroy.
8ut Vintcr points out that busincss is powcrlcss to
accomplish things lor which pcoplc do not lccl a
nccd. So oltcn missions (with an s), with thc nan
cial backing ol bclicvcrs, must do what busincss alonc
cannot dcal with bccausc thc ncccssary action is an
unlclt and unlundcd nccd (2005d).
Mission is somcthing all Gods pcoplc participatc
innot just crosscultural workcrs. ur mission is to
dclcat cvil and rcstorc Gods glory. Tc busincss ol lilc
is to participatc mcaninglully in this mission and to
pray by our actions, Your Kingdom comc, Your will bc
donc on carth as it is in hcavcn (Matthcw 6:10).
Endnotes
1. Rcvclation 6:38: Vhcn thc Lamb opcncd thc sccond scal, !
hcad thc sccond living crcaturc say, Comc! Tcn anothcr
horsc camc out, a cry rcd onc. !ts ridcr was givcn powcr to
takc pcacc lrom thc carth and to makc mcn slay cach othcr.
To him was givcn a largc sword.
Vhcn thc Lamb opcncd thc third scal, ! hcard thc third liv
ing crcaturc say, Comc! ! lookcd, and thcrc bclorc mc was a
black horsc! !ts ridcr was holding a pair ol scalcs in his hand.
Tcn ! hcard what soundcd likc a voicc among thc lour liv
ing crcaturcs, saying, A quart ol whcat lor a days wagcs, and
thrcc quarts ol barlcy lor a days wagcs, and do not damagc
thc oil and thc winc!
Vhcn thc Lamb opcncd thc lourth scal, ! hcard thc voicc ol
thc lourth living crcaturc say, Comc! ! lookcd, and thcrc
bclorc mc was a palc horsc! !ts ridcr was namcd cath, and
Hadcs was lollowing closc bchind him. Tcy wcrc givcn
powcr ovcr a lourth ol thc carth to kill by sword, laminc and
plaguc, and by thc wild bcasts ol thc carth.
2. Gcncsis 1:30: And to all thc bcasts ol thc carth and all thc
birds ol thc air and all thc crcaturcs that movc on thc
groundcvcrything that has thc brcath ol lilc in it! givc
cvcry grccn plant lor lood.
3. !saiah 11:69: Tc woll will livc with thc lamb, thc lcopard will
lic down with thc goat, thc call and thc lion and thc ycarling
togcthcr, and a littlc child will lcad thcm. Tc cow will lccd
with thc bcar, thcir young will lic down togcthcr, and thc
lion will cat straw likc thc ox. Tc inlant will play ncar thc
holc ol thc cobra, and thc young child put his hand into thc
vipcrs ncst. Tcy will ncithcr harm or dcstroy on all my holy
mountain, lor thc carth will bc lull ol thc knowlcdgc ol thc
Lord as thc watcrs covcr thc sca.
4. Romans 8:2022: For thc crcation was subjcctcd to lrustra
tion, not by its own choicc, but by thc will ol thc onc who
subjcctcd it, in hopc that thc crcation itscll will bc libcratcd
lrom its bondagc to dccay and brought into thc glorious
lrccdom ol thc childrcn ol God. Vc know that thc wholc
crcation has bccn groaning as in thc pains ol childbirth right
up to thc prcscnt timc.
5. A numbcr ol scholars (and litcrary giants), as wcll as thc post
apostolic lathcrs, agrcc that Gods good crcation has bccn
dclibcratcly distortcd by cvil intclligcnt bcings. 8oyd says:
!n apocalyptic tradition, undcr thc lcadcrship ol Satan, |his|
angcls work to aict thc world with carthquakcs, lamincs,
hailstorms, discascs, tcmptations and many othcr things that
arc not part ol Gods dcsign lor His crcation (1997: 206).
8oyd 2001:24:
! arguc that ultimatcly thcrc is no such thing as natural
cvil. All cvil ultimatcly dcrivcs lrom thc wills ol lrcc agcnts.
Vhat cannot bc attributcd to thc volition ol human agcnts
should bc attributcd, dircctly or indircctly, to thc volition ol
lallcn angcls.
McLaughlin 2004, 237, quotcd in Vintcr 2005: 48:
According to Scripturc, thc univcrsc was originally good and
thc glory ol God is still cvidcnt in it (Romans 1:20). 8ut
somcthing clscsomcthing lrightlully wickcdis cvidcnt
in it as wcll. l thcir own lrcc will, Satan and othcr spiritual
bcings rcbcllcd against God in thc primordial past and
now abusc thcir Godgivcn authority ovcr ccrtain aspccts
ol crcation. Satan, who holds thc powcr ol dcath (Hcbrcws
2:14), cxcrciscs a pcrvasivc, structural, diabolic inucncc to
thc point that thc cntirc crcation is in bondagc to dccay.
Tc painriddcn, bloodthirsty, sinistcr and hostilc charactcr
ol naturc should bc attributcd to Satan and his army, not
to God. Jcsus carthly ministry rccctcd thc bclicl that thc
world had bccn scizcd by a hostilc, sinistcr lord. Jcsus camc
to takc it back.
Campolo 1992: 38:
Sincc Satans lall, hc and his lollowcrs havc bccn at work
pcrvcrting and polluting all that God crcatcd. 8clorc Adam
and vc wcrc cvcr crcatcd, Satan workcd to crcatc havoc
throughout crcation. nc ol thc conscqucnccs ol Satans
work is that thc cvolutionary proccss has gonc haywirc. Tat
Beth Snodderly
is why wc havc mosquitocs, gcrms, viruscs, ctc. God did not
crcatc thcsc cvils. Tcy cvolvcd bccausc Satan pcrvcrtcd thc
dcvclopmcntal lorccs at work in naturc.
Tolkcin 1977: 12:
Tc \alar |good spirit bcings| cndcavourcd cvcr, dcspitc ol
Mclkor, to rulc thc arth and to prcparc it lor thc coming
ol thc Firstborn, and thcy built lands and Mclkor dcstroycd
thcm, vallcys thcy dclvcd and Mclkor raiscd thcm up, moun
tains thcy carvcd and Mclkor thrcw thcm down, scas thcy
hollowcd and Mclkor spillcd thcm, and naught might havc
pcacc or comc to lasting growth, lor as surcly as thc \alar
bcgan a labour so would Mclkor undo it or corrupt it. And
yct thcir labour was not all in vain, and though nowhcrc and
in no work was thcir will and purposc wholly lulllcd, and
all things wcrc in huc and shapc othcr than thc \alar had at
rst intcndcd, slowly noncthclcss thc arth was lashioncd
and madc rm.
6. 8oyd 1997:19:
Tc church as thc body ol Christ has bccn callcd to bc a dcci
sivc mcans by which this nal ovcrthrow is to bc carricd out.
7. !n thc 8abylonian crcation myth, Tiamat wagcs war against
thc asscmbly ol thc gods who call in Marduk as thcir cham
pion. Altcr dclcating Tiamat and hcr ally Kingu, Marduk
crcatcs thc world lrom thc body ol Tiamat and uscs thc
blood ol Kingu mixcd with carth to crcatc man (Smart &
Hccht 1993: 6). Tc Grccks cnvisioncd bloody and passion
atc wars among thc gods, lcading to monstrous supcrnatural
ospring who hatcd and plottcd against cach othcr (Smart
& Hccht 1993: 9).
Tc truth to which all thcsc mythologics point, and indccd
thc truth to which thc mythological warlarc dimcnsions
ol thc ld Tcstamcnt point is thc truth that Gods good
crcation has in lact bccn scizcd by hostilc, cvil, cosmic lorccs
that arc sccking to dcstroy Gods bcncccnt plan lor thc
cosmos. God wagcs war against thcsc lorccs, howcvcr, and
through thc pcrson ol Jcsus Christ has now sccurcd thc
ovcrthrow ol this cvil cosmic army (8oyd 1997:19).
8. Six thcscs lorm thc corc ol 8oyds position rcgarding thc risk
God took whcn Hc chosc to crcatc a univcrsc in which bc
ings would havc thc potcntial to choosc to rcspond to Him
with lovc.
1) 8cings posscss thc capacity to lovc only il thcy havc
sclldctcrmining lrccdom (angcls and humans posscss
sclldctcrmining lrccdom)
2) Lovc cntails risk. Gods lrcc crcaturcs might not choosc
as Hc wants thcm to choosc.
3) Lovc, and thus lrccdom, cntails that wc arc to somc cx
tcnt morally rcsponsiblc lor onc anothcr. Vc could not
havc thc capacity to lovc unlcss wc also posscsscd thc
powcr to inucncc onc anothcr lor bcttcr or lor worsc.
4) Tc powcr to inucncc lor thc worsc must bc roughly
proportionatc to our powcr to inucncc lor thc bcttcr.
5) Frccdom must bc, within limits, irrcvocablc. Tis thcsis,
il acccptcd, cxplains why God cannot always prcvcnt
cvil dccds Hc would othcrwisc prcvcnt. To somc cxtcnt
God placcs an irrcvocablc limitation on himscll with
His dccision to crcatc bcings who havc thc capacity to
lovc and who arc thcrclorc lrcc.
6) Tis limitation is not innitc, lor our capacity to lrccly
choosc lovc is not cndlcss. Angcls and humans arc
nitc bcings who thus posscss only a nitc capacity to
cmbracc or thwart Gods purposcs lor our livcs (8oyd
2001: 23).
9. thcrs havc writtcn along thcsc lincs as wcll.
om 8runo Vcll, quotcd by Plantinga (\an !nwagcn 2004:
15): So thc lallcn angcls which havc powcr ovcr thc univcrsc
and ovcr this planct in particular, bcing motivatcd by an
intcnsc angclic hatrcd ol God and ol all crcaturcs, havc actcd
upon thc lorccs ol mattcr, actuating thcm in lalsc propor
tions so lar as lay in thcir powcr, and lrom thc vcry outsct
ol cvolution, thus producing a dccpsct disordcr in thc vcry
hcart ol thc univcrsc which manilcsts itscll today in thc vari
ous physical cvils which wc nd in naturc, and among thcm
thc violcncc, thc savagcry, and thc sucring ol animal lilc.
Also scc Notc 5.
10. n thc rcal cxistcncc ol spirits, 8oyd writcs (1997: 12):
From a crosscultural pcrspcctivc, thc insight that thc cosmos
is tccming with spiritual bcings whosc bchavior can and
docs bcnct or harm us is simply common scnsc. !t is wc
modcrn Vcstcrncrs who arc thc oddballs lor thinking that
thc only lrcc agcnts who inucncc othcr pcoplc and things
arc humans.
11. Tc litcrary structurc ol thc Gcncsis Crcation account is sccn
in thc parallclism bctwccn thc rst and sccond scts ol thrcc
crcation days.
ay 1: Light
ay 2: Air and watcr scparatcd
ay 3: ry land scparatcd lrom watcr, vcgctation appcars

ay 4: Spccic lights in thc sky bccomc visiblc
ay 5: Crcaturcs bcgin to livc in thc air and watcr
ay 6: Crcaturcs bcgin to livc on dry land: animals, humans
crcatcd and givcn grccn plants to cat.
o Tnv V~vv~vv Missioiocv ov R~ivn . Vix:vv
12. onald G. 8arnhousc also argucs lor a Grcat !ntcrval,
bctwccn thc rst two vcrscs ol Gcncsis, listing translations
ol thc Hcbrcw word, tohu, that includc: without lorm, void,
wastc, dcsolatc, cmpty, wrcck, ruin. !n lact, 8arnhousc calls
attcntion to a Frcnch cxprcssion, tohubohu, cquivalcnt to
thc nglish, topsyturvy, which is a dircct translitcration
lrom thc Hcbrcw ol Gcncsis 1:2. !n 8arnhouscs opinion,
onc ol thc commoncst crrors in 8iblical intcrprctation is
thc thought that thc rst vcrsc ol Gcncsis and thc sccond
vcrsc arc closcly conncctcd in timc. Tis crror lcads many
rcadcrs to bclicvc that God had originally crcatcd thc carth
in chaotic lorm. Yct thcrc is no doubt that bctwccn thc
two thcrc is a grcat gull xcd (1965: 9). To concludc his
argumcnt, 8arnhousc quotcs lrom !saiah 45:18 in which
it is statcd cxplicitly that God did not crcatc thc world in
tohuchaos, thc samc Hcbrcw word as in Gcncsis 1:2.
Tis catcgorical statcmcnt is sucicnt to provc bcyond any
shadow ol doubt that thc rst and sccond vcrscs |ol Gcncsis|
arc scparatcd by an intcrval (1965: 16). Vintcr docs not
subscribc to this thcory, duc to grammatical and linguistic
dicultics with sccing a grcat gap in thc middlc ol a singlc
scntcncc. !nstcad, his vicw is that prior to Gcncsis 1:1 thcrc
was a crcation wc know nothing about cxccpt that it cndcd
in thc tohuwabohu out ol which God brought ordcr in thc
Gcncsis 1 account. Tc rst vcrsc summarizcs thc particulars
in thc rcst ol thc chaptcr.
8oyd considcrs that Gcncsis 1 is not so much an account ol
crcation as it is an account ol Gods rcstoration ol a world
that had through a prcvious conict bccomc lormlcss, lutilc,
cmpty and cngullcd by chaosthc world ol Gcn 1:2 (thc
gap thcory) or rcstoration thcory (1997: 104). Latcr 8oyd
says, crcatcd bcings rcbcllcd against God bclorc thc crcation
ol Gcncsis 1 took placc, and this crcation was acctcd by
thcir rcbcllion. !n my vicw, Gcn 1:2 onward most probably
conccrns thc rccrcation ol this prcscnt cosmos, not thc
crcation cx nihilo ol all things (1997: 326). xccpt lor thc
placcmcnt ol thc rcbcllion and dcstruction bclorc instcad ol
altcr Gcncsis 1:1, Vintcr would basically agrcc with 8oyd.
13. 8usincss as a cultural mandatc is out ol datc. Vc arc undcr a
military mandatc bccausc ol thc Fall (Vintcr 2005c).
14. Scc nd Notc 10 and Hicbcrt 1999: 414.
15. 8oyd rcccts, in contrast with any vicw that would suggcst
that discasc and dcmonization somchow scrvc a divinc pur
posc, Jcsus ncvcr trcatcd such phcnomcnon as anything othcr
than thc work ol thc cncmy. Hc consistcntly trcatcd discascd
and dcmonizcd pcoplc as casualtics ol war. Furthcrmorc,
rathcr than acccpting thcir circumstanccs as mystcriously t
ting into Gods sovcrcign plan, Jcsus rcvoltcd against thcm as
somcthing that God did not will and somcthing that ought
to bc vanquishcd by Gods powcr.
!t is curious that thc cvil onc to whom thc 8iblc dircctly or
indircctly attributcs all cvil has playcd a rathcr insignicant
rolc in thc thcodicy ol thc church altcr Augustinc. Tis, !
contcnd, is dircctly conncctcd to thc lact that thc church
gcncrally acccptcd thc blucprint worldvicw that Augustinc
cspouscd. !l wc assumc that thcrc is a spccic divinc rcason
lor cvcry particular cvcnt that transpircs, including thc activ
ity ol Satan, thcn thc ultimatc cxplanation lor cvil cannot
bc lound in Satan. !t must rathcr bc lound in thc rcason
that God had lor ordaining or allowing him to carry out his
spccic activity. Tc Ncw Tcstamcnt, ! submit, docs not sharc
this assumption (2001: 36,37).
16. A dctailcd scicntic cxplanation ol how thc spacctimc
thcory ol rclativity accts thc pcn \icw ol God was givcn
in a tcrm papcr by a VC!U studcnt with a Ph.. in ngi
nccring (8cckman 1999).
17. Romans 12:38: For by thc gracc givcn mc ! say to cvcry
onc ol you: o not think ol yourscll morc highly than you
ought, but rathcr think ol yourscll with sobcr judgmcnt in
accordancc with thc mcasurc ol laith God has givcn you. Just
as cach ol us has onc body with many mcmbcrs, and thcsc
mcmbcrs do not all havc thc samc lunction, so in Christ wc
who arc many lorm onc body, and cach mcmbcr bclongs
to all thc othcrs. Vc havc dicrcnt gilts, according to thc
gracc givcn us. !l a mans gilt is prophcsying, lct him usc it
in proportion to his laith. il it is scrving, lct him scrvc, il it is
tcaching, lct him tcach, il it is cncouraging, lct him cncour
agc, il it is contributing to thc nccds ol othcrs, lct him givc
gcncrously, il it is lcadcrship, lct him govcrn diligcntly, il it is
showing mcrcy, lct him do it chccrlully.
1 Corinthians 12: 122031: Tc body is a unit, though it
is madc up ol many parts, and though all its parts arc many,
thcy lorm onc body. So it is with Christ. For wc wcrc all bap
tizcd by onc Spirit into onc bodywhcthcr Jcws or Grccks,
slavc or lrccand wc wcrc all givcn thc onc Spirit to drink.
Now thc body is not madc up ol onc part but ol many. !l thc
loot should say, 8ccausc ! am not a hand, ! do not bclong
to thc body, it would not lor that rcason ccasc to bc part ol
thc body. 8ut in lact God has arrangcd thc parts in thc
body, cvcry onc ol thcm, just as hc wantcd thcm to bc. !l thcy
wcrc all onc part, whcrc would thc body bc: As it is, thcrc arc
many parts, but onc body.
Tc cyc cannot say to thc hand, ! dont nccd you! And thc
hcad cannot say to thc lcct, ! dont nccd you! 8ut God has
combincd thc mcmbcrs ol thc body and has givcn grcatcr
honor to thc parts that lackcd it, so that thcrc should bc no
division in thc body, but that its parts should havc cqual con
ccrn lor cach othcr. !l onc part sucrs, cvcry part sucrs with
it, il onc part is honorcd, cvcry part rcjoiccs with it.
Now you arc thc body ol Christ, and cach onc ol you is a
part ol it. And in thc church God has appointcd rst ol all
apostlcs, sccond prophcts, third tcachcrs, thcn workcrs ol
miraclcs, also thosc having gilts ol hcaling, thosc ablc to hclp
Beth Snodderly +
othcrs, thosc with gilts ol administration, and thosc spcaking
in dicrcnt kinds ol tongucs. Arc all apostlcs: Arc all proph
cts: Arc all tcachcrs: o all work miraclcs: o all havc gilts
ol hcaling: o all spcak in tongucs: o all intcrprct: 8ut
cagcrly dcsirc thc grcatcr gilts.
18. arly in civilizcd history, succcsslul raidcrs bccamc conqucrors,
i.c., lcarncd how to rob agriculturalists in such a way as to takc
lrom thcm somc but not all ol thc harvcst. 8y trial and crror a
balancc could and did arisc, whcrcby cultivators could survivc
such prcdation by producing morc grain and othcr crops than
wcrc nccdcd lor thcir own maintcnancc. Such surpluscs may bc
vicwcd as thc antibodics appropriatc to human macroparasitism.
A succcsslul govcrnmcnt immunizcs thosc who pay rcnt and
taxcs against catastrophic raids and lorcign invasion in thc samc
way that a lowgradc inlcction can immunizc its host against
lcthally disastrous discasc invasion. (McNcill 1976: 54).
19. A numbcr ol ccntral tcachings in Scripturc undcrpin king
dom busincss. ! call thcsc thc Fivc Pillars: (1) thc naturc ol
vocation and calling, (2) thc biblical thcology ol work, (3)
thc lordship and sovcrcignty ol Jcsus Christ, (4) thc pricst
hood ol all bclicvcrs, and (5) incarnational ministry (Yama
mori and ldrcd 2003: 253).
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