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Business and Mission in Wartime:

A Closer Look at the Missiology of Ralph D. Winter

by Beth Snodderly

William Carey International University April 11, 2005 Revised September 3, 2005

Abstract Premises Distortions of Gods Good Purposes Origins of Evil The Story Begins Development of Life Free Will Cambrian Explosion: The Fall of Satan? The Reality of the Spirit World Harmonizing Science and Scripture War against an Intelligent Enemy Obstacles to Opposing Evil Gods Foreknowledge and Free Will: a Paradox? Two Biblical Perspectives on the Source of Negative Events Consequences of Attributing Evil to God The Kingdom Strikes Back Jesus Acts of War against Evil Believers Acts of War against Evil Prayer and Action Overthrowing the Kingdom of Disease and Death Business in Wartime: Rebelling against the Natural Order Business and Mission: Partnering in Wartime for Transformation 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 9 10 10 10 11 11 12 12 13 14 15

3 End Notes Bibliography 16 20

Abstract: Intelligent evil is at work in this world, distorting Gods original purposes. All of life needs to be oriented to the war against evil that is the theme of human history, fighting a battle that began with the Cambrian period. Business and mission must go together in rescuing peoples from the kingdom of darkness, including social and physical results of intelligent evil, and in bringing transformation that represents the advance of God's kingdom.

Premises: 1. Mission represents more than mission agencies at work. It includes all of life for all of Gods people who have been given the mission to destroy the works of the evil one (1 John 3:8) and restore Gods glory. 2. Business, for followers of Christ, is a major mechanism through which individual members of the Body of Christ participate both in the provision of the essentials of society and in the conquest of evil. 3. Four Theological/Missional Foundational Premises: 1) God is the Lord of history, but we are locked in a cosmic struggle. 2) God reveals himself, but an intelligent evil power distorts both general and special revelation and all of Gods handiwork. God did not create or intend evil, but He created spirit and human beings with free will who chose to use their free will to rebel against Him. 3) God desires humans to work with Him as agents in history for His purposes in defeating evil. 4) On the basis of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, God defeats evil and redeems and restores humanity and creation. 4. A spirit (Hiebert: middle) world of free, intelligent beings exists, in addition to humans, contrary to the worldview of Western culture which arose out of the Enlightenments rejection of all non-material reality.

4 5. The widely acknowledged evidence regarding the age of the earth and development of life, from paleontology, geology and other sciences, can be taken seriously for the purposes of this paper.

Distortions of Gods Good Purposes Something is wrong in this world. Nature, red in tooth and claw, is a pattern acted out at all levels of life, from micropredators (disease caused by microbes) to macropredators (social diseases caused by humans such as war and slavery). Intelligent evil is at work in this world, distorting Gods original good purposes. Distortions of human social relations, distortions of nature (natural disasters), distortions by disease: these are the categories represented by three of the horses of the apocalypse (war, famine, and plague), all leading to death (Rev. 6: 3-8).1 In addition, the description of the last (pale) horse includes death by wild animals, which was not in Gods original plan (Genesis 1:30). 2 It is also excluded from His final plan when wolves will lie down with the lambs, lions will eat straw like an ox, and children will play near snakes without being harmed (Isaiah 11:6-9). 3 If God is all-powerful and all-loving, and has such wonderful plans for the planets future, why does He permit the obvious evil we see now in nature and in mans inhumanity to man? Why has God allowed sadistic people throughout history to torture others in unimaginably horrible ways? Is God pleased when a tsunami wipes out hundreds of thousands of people without warning? Is God glorified by what greatly troubled Darwin, that a particular kind of wasp lays its eggs inside a caterpillar so that when the eggs hatch, the larvae eat their way out of the caterpillar while it is still living? Do diseases such as cancer, AIDS, malaria, and small pox, that literally eat people alive, originate from organisms designed by a perfect and good Creator? What went wrong? The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time (Romans 8:20-22. 4

5 Origins of Evil Ralph Winter has proposed a story about the origins of evil on this planet, developed and documented briefly here. (See the End Notes for more detail.) This story firmly attributes the source of this evil to spirit beings (Satan in particular and his many demonic followers), who chose to use their God-given gift of free will to rebel against God. 5 The story places responsibility for overcoming that evil on the shoulders of humansspecifically those who are followers of Christwho were created in the expectation that they would choose to use their gift of free will to say, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done and to participate with God in defeating the evil one and restoring creation to its intended state of displaying the glory of God. Under a burden of evil that God did not intend for it, creation groans as it waits for the Body of Christ to fulfill its purpose to work with God to defeat evil and its resulting distortions. David Neff commented recently in Christianity Today, as Christians we cannot be honest about reality without seeing the world as a struggle between good and evil (2005: 76). The free will of humankind aligning itself with Gods will is apparently Gods plan for overcoming the evil results of choices made by free spirit beings. 6 The Story Begins In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The biblical account of creation needs to be considered within its original setting. In the Near Eastern world at the time Genesis was written, creation stories were full of titanic struggles between good and evil spiritual forces that preceded the creation of the world and of humans. We can assume that the people God chose to work through already knew of these myths and of the existence of good and evil spirits. 7 The difference in the biblical account from these surrealistic myths is the perspective that at the beginning of time a good God intelligently created a good world. Recent scientific thinking has led to the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe. According to this modern scientific creation myth, as historian David Christian calls it, thirteen billion years ago there was nothing. There wasnt even emptiness. Time did not exist, nor did space. In this nothing, there occurred an explosion, and within a split second, something did exist (2004: 497). Well-known physicist Stephen Hawking states, almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang (Hawking and Penrose, 1995: 20). Through forces of extreme heat and gravity, gradually the simplest atoms of helium and hydrogen fused in a variety of combinations and other elements and objects came into existence.

Development of Life From this scientific perspective, life began relatively late in the timeline and evolved gradually. In this slow development, the first life forms were anaerobic and lived in the ocean. Scientist Andrew Parker speculates that the earth may have been going

6 through a galactic dust cloud that blocked sunlight from the earth, making life requiring oxygen impossible for millions of years (2003: 292-294). Comets and meteorites from outer space would have brought some of the organic and trace elements needed for life to begin and develop on this planet (Fortey 1998: 49). Ralph Winter speculates that life forms were being created by spirit beings whom God was instructing who were learning to think Gods thoughts after Him. In this he echoes J. R. R. Tolkiens account of the creation of earth in The Silmarillion in which the music of the Ainur reflects what they are learning of the thoughts of Iluvatar and eventually they bring these thoughts into reality (1977: 3-12). Might these speculations have their roots in primordial reality? Is it possible that Gods servants worked with Him in Creation, learning how to sculpt the raw materials of the universe into living creatures? Strange, weird life forms and the slow development of life (according to the record of the rocks) all lend credibility to the speculation that perhaps God deliberately chose not to use His omniscience and omnipotence to create all life forms instantly, but instead shared creation with beings who were learning as they went along.

Free Will From a theological point of view, God created spiritual beings with free will with the object of receiving their freely chosen love. But this entailed a risk. With the power to choose, there could be no guarantee that the free beings would make choices that would also be Gods choices. 8 G.K. Chesterton suggests God was writing a play:
God had written, not so much a poem, but rather a play; a play he had planned as perfect, but which had necessarily been left to human actors and stage-managers, [and other beings with free will], who had since made a great mess of it (Chesterton 1908).

Within the parameters of the guidelines for this play, it seems that God has placed some limitations on himself according to what free agents freely choose. Boyd states, Unless we affirm that God takes genuine risks, we will not be able to acknowledge that the world is a war zone while also holding that this war is not Gods will (2001: 86). Cambrian Explosion: The Fall of Satan? Continuing with the scientific creation myth, at a particular point in time, according to the evidence from the fossil record, there was a sudden proliferation of life on this planet: complete with predators and defense mechanisms (Fortey 1998: 92, 93; Parker 2003: 259). Parker states that an external force has to be taken into account to explain the Cambrian explosion, in which there was the sudden development (in the blink of an eye in geological terms) of hard body parts in all biological categories of life (2003: 36). Parkers research led him to the conclusion that it was the sudden appearance of vision in

7 one evolving creature at the beginning of the Cambrian period that led to selective pressures for all the various phyla to also develop eyes, then hard parts to stab with, limbs to perform their acts of murder (because they saw potential food and wanted it!), and hard body parts for defense mechanisms (Parker 2003: 276). But what caused the sudden development of eyes and the simultaneous onset of violence in 35 phyla, all within a relatively short period of time? The scientific creation myth claims it was evolutionary chance along with selective evolutionary pressures. Ralph Winter asks, regarding the sudden appearance of violent forms of life, could this be when the fall of Satan occurred? Going still further, we could speculate that Lucifer, whose name means morning star, light-bearing (Websters Third New International Dictionary), may have been responsible for the development of eyesight, that he became proud of his accomplishment, rebelled against God (in Luke 10:18 Jesus says, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven), and began turning his creative knowledge into distortions of Gods creation. The early Church Fathers believed a story very similar to the one described by Ralph Winter: the participation of angels in creation, Satans original place of authority, territorial responsibilities of angels and evil spirits, and the entrance of evil into creation with the choices made by Satan/Lucifer and his followers (Boyd 2001: 294, 295). Alvin Plantinga, considered the dean of Christian philosophers (Beverley 2005: 83), writes in a chapter in Christian Faith and the Problem of Evil,
Satan is a mighty non-human free creature who rebelled against the Lord long before human beings were on the scene; and much of the natural evil the world displays is due to the actions of Satan and his cohorts (Van Inwagen 2004: 15) 9

The Reality of the Spirit World This perspective on the reality of the world of spirits sounds foreign to western thinkers and believers because of the philosophical influence of the Enlightenment that insists that all reality must follow observable laws. But this relatively brief 300-year materialist worldview is in the minority within the context of past and non-western worldviews. In a key article in the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Reader, Paul Hiebert points out the flaw of the excluded middle (referring to the spirit realm) in western thinking (1999: 414). 10

Harmonizing Science and Scripture Given the reality of an active spirit world, Ralph Winters speculative story harmonizes scientific evidence and biblical teaching. To summarize the argument constructed up to this point, we can look at Winters paper in IJFM 21:4 that lists his personal Precarious Perspectives (2005a: 53), the first three of which state:
#1. Evidence is mounting that life has been developing on this planet over a very long time.

#2. Suddenly in the Cambrian Period we find in the world of animals the first appearance of predatory life forms. #3. Nature has been pervasively distorted into violence by Satan.

The third Perspective goes on to state that these violent forms of life are again and again blotted out by devastations (2005a: 53). Expanding a chart from Scientific American, March 2002, Winter has shown a 600 million year timeline that includes 45 major asteroidal impacts that would have destroyed much of life on this planet at many different times in history. (See chart included with this paper.) One of the two largest of these, causing a 100-mile-wide crater in Yucatan, Mexico, is believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 60 million years ago. After that a new beginning featured large mammals and hominids (pre-human creatures) as dominant life forms on the planet (Winter 2005a: 51). Winters expanded chart postulates a local asteroidal devastation in the Near East prior to 6000 BC. The literary, realistic description in Genesis 1:2-19 fits very well with Winters hypothesis that the biblical writer was describing the re-creation of a local area from the perspective of an observer on earth watching the gradual settling of dust, making light visible once again, making plant life possible, then eventually making it possible for the individual heavenly bodies that are the source of the light to become visible, as night and day are clearly distinguished. 11 Winter and others such as Bruce K. Waltke (2001) believe it may be a disservice to the Bible to interpret the Genesis Creation account as the beginning of everything, but rather see it as the record of a new beginning following the devastation referred to in Genesis 1:2 as tohu wabohu. Winters Precarious Perspectives #7 and #8 summarize this thinking:
#7. The idea that the old earth preceded the young earth and preceded Genesis 1:1. #8. The events of Genesis, the asteroidal devastation described in 1:1, and the flood mentioned later, are devastations and new beginnings, re-creation, replenishment (Winter 2005a: 53).

In his presumption that the Genesis creation account describes a re-creation of the world, Winter agrees with Eric Sauer, quoted by Boyd:
Genesis 1 is not so much an account of creation as it is an account of Gods restoration of a world that had through a previous conflict become formless, futile, empty and engulfed by chaosthe world of Gen 1:2 (1997:104).

Boyd explains that the Hebrew words for formless and empty (tohu wabohu),
are usually pejorative terms in Scripture, denoting something done wrong, laid waste or judged. This theory postulates a prehumanoid world of indefinite duration about which we know nothing more than that it somehow became a battlefield between good and evil and was consequently made into a total wasteland (1997:104). 12

9 War against an Intelligent Enemy This battlefield is the warfare context in which humans were created. We are in a war against an intelligent enemy. Humans are made in the image of God and placed on earth so that they might gradually vanquish this chaos (Boyd 1997: 107). This view eliminates the dichotomy between the cultural and evangelistic mandates by seeing them both as part of a wartime mandate, although Ralph Winter,13 Arthur Glasser and Nancy Pearcey speak of these as separate mandates (Winter 2005a: 46, 2005c; Glasser 2003: 38 and Pearcey 2004: 47). Instead it would be appropriate to view the cultural mandate as being from the start, part of an inclusive wartime mandate since evil had already been at work in the universe and on this planet before humans were created and told to subdue it (Genesis 1:28not just to take care of it as Glasser describes it [2003: 38]). Humans were created to join a war that was already taking place. Winter suggests that the cultural and evangelistic mandates need to be merged into a single Military Mandate, which in this life is all we should be concerned about (2005a: 46). Boyd summarizes this perspective: We are co-rulers with God over the earth and co-warriors with God against the forces of chaos (1997: 106). This interpretation of Genesis 1 implies that Gods plan to strike back at the enemy was to overcome the free choices of evil agents with the free choices of good agents. Perhaps in Gods free will universe He needed more creatures to choose His way, to ask Him to act and to take action to annihilate Evil. If Evil is of finite amount, if it can be overcome (annihilated) by freely chosen acts of love and self-sacrifice, then eventually some specific act of love or sacrifice could be expected to annihilate the bit of evil that represents the tipping point, putting the majority of free choices in this world on the side of Gods will, thus clearing the way for Him to usher in His Kingdom. Was Jesus sacrificial death that tipping point? Is God waiting for the time when He has enough of the free choices of humans and spirit beings on His side to win the battle at the end of the age, as described in the last book of the Bible? But at the beginning of human history, humans chose to join the fallen spirit beings in rebellion against God and eventually things got so bad that demons were polluting the human gene pool (Genesis 6; see Boyd 2001:166). The Flood that followed was one of several fresh starts in Gods war with evil (Winter 2005a: 51). Ralph Winters speculation that evil spirits have tampered with DNA to distort Gods intentions for animals or to create organisms whose sole purpose is to cause disease, has biblical support in this Genesis 6 account of the sons of God having children with the daughters of men. Could this be a mythological or pre-scientific recognition of the spirit world tampering with the DNA of humans? Is similar tampering the cause of violence in the animal world? Ralph Winter speculates on these questions:
Humans have concluded that cock fights and contrived animal-versus-animal shows are illegal. How much less likely should we suppose God to have created the nearly universal, vicious, animalversus-animal world of nature? Indeed, carnivorous animals originally were herbivorous (as is implied in Genesis 1:28, 29). Does the Evil One and his assistants have sufficient knowledge to tinker with the DNA of Gods created order and distort nature to become red in tooth and claw? (2005a: 38).

10 Obstacles to Opposing Evil Such evidences of evil are the result of Gods decision to give free choice to His servants, both spirit beings and humans. But the evidences of evil are not Gods will, although they are often mistakenly attributed to Him. Winter has stated: If believers have all kinds of misunderstandings that prevent them from destroying the works of the Devil I want desperately to help remove those misunderstandings (2004). Several obstacles keep Western believers from recognizing the need to oppose evil in its many forms. One of these obstacles is the failure to recognize the reality of the spirit world and the evil intentions of some of those spirits to distort the physical world. Boyd, Hiebert and others have explained that Western thought about the non-existence of the spirit world, the legacy of the Enlightenment, is in the minority and stands in contrast to the rest of the world and throughout history. 14 Another obstacle to opposing evil is the confusion caused by Augustinian thinking which assumed Gods omnipotence meant God was in direct control of everything and had His purposes in permitting evil. In City of God, Augustine argued that God permits evil so we will desire the future blessed life.
Even baptized infants, who are certainly unsurpassed in innocence, are sometimes so tormented, that God, who permits it, teaches us hereby to bewail the calamities of this life, and to desire the felicity of the life to come. City of God 22.22 (Geisler 1982: 192).

The concept of fighting back against atrocities, such as the torment experienced by innocent babies, is missing in Augustines theology. A logical consequence of his blueprint worldview, as Boyd calls it (2001:2), is passivity. If God has pre-ordained all evil for some mysterious purpose, why pray, why act? Why not sadly wait it out until one is able to enter the happier life to come? 15 In contrast, the authors of the New Testament and the Early Church fathers prior to Augustine expected evil and were prepared to fight it. They had no problem with the concept that a good God had allowed freedom of choice and was bound by His own decision to fight a real war against evil that Christs followers must join (Boyd 2001: 24, 49).

Gods Foreknowledge and Free Will: a Paradox? Since God is omniscient, doesnt He already know everything that is going to happen in this war against evil? If so, where is true freedom of choice and why do the actions of believers matter? Apparently not knowing how else to reconcile true freedom of choice and the reality of suffering, with Gods attributes of being all-loving and allpowerful, Boyd and other Open View theologians have suggested that God doesnt really know everything that will happen in this free-choice universe He has createda view Winter does not accept. They claim God only knows the possibilities. They solve the problem of showing that we are in a real war with real casualties, in which the free choices of participants have real consequences, but they leave the door open for a dishonoring view of Gods omniscience. (Boyd admits that his view of Gods

11 foreknowledge is not essential to understanding the warfare worldview that postulates that Gods self-limitations leave free choice to creatures to potentially use their freedom for evil purposes [Boyd 2001: 86, 87]). But Gods omniscience (foreknowledge) and freedom of choice do not have to be considered mutually exclusive, as C. S. Lewis pointed out when he elaborated on implications of the space-time theory of relativity: God stands outside time and views past, present, future all in one eternal moment (1952: 145, 146). Modern physics backs Lewis explanation. God is outside and above the Time-line because time is part of creation (Beckman 1999: 26). The Open View actually becomes nonsense in light of the space-time theory of relativity. It cannot be said that God doesnt know the future, when in fact, from Gods all-encompassing, relative point of view, the future is already happening. 16 From Gods perspective, all times are now. As C.S. Lewis said, in a sense, [God] does not know your action till you have done it: but then the moment at which you have done it is already Now for Him (1952: 145, 146). Two Biblical Perspectives on the Source of Negative Events The intellectual obstacle of understanding how a good God permits evil to happen is complicated by the way the Bible describes some negative events that are sometimes referred to as being sent by God. Winter points out that the Bible has two ways of explaining things and these two perspectives are made clear in the Rosetta Stone of Scripture in which the same event is described in opposite ways (2005c): 1. Second Samuel 24:1: The perspective of the sovereignty of God (allowing evil to take place) 2. First Chronicles 21:1: The perspective of Satans initiative Both perspectives are true. Eastern logic is needed here that doesnt see an eitheror dichotomy, but is comfortable with both-and.

Consequences of Attributing Evil to God When believers fail to overcome intellectual obstacles and instead attribute evil to God, assuring others that God has His mysterious purposes, dishonor and humiliation are brought to God. This happened recently in an LA Times editorial which called creation, Unintelligent Design. More recently, letters to the editor in Time magazine have ridiculed belief in a benevolent intelligence being behind the distortions and cruelty that are evident in nature. Not all of nature as we know it is as God intended it to be and we dont represent God well among non-believers if we claim that all Intelligent Design is from God. There would also appear to be deliberate evil intelligent design. This is something believers need to communicate to unbelievers to prevent Gods reputation and glory from being distorted. Another consequence of attributing evil to God is passivity in the face of evil, as with the pastors in Jonathan Edwards day who believed it was interfering with divine providence to use small pox vaccines (Clark 1995: 16, 17).


The Kingdom Strikes Back If believers think something is Gods will they wont fight against it. If they fail to recognize evil as opposition to Gods will, they wont use or encourage business to be part of striking back at it. If there is no Satan in the picture, Gods people dont realize they need to fight back against the evils they see displayed in the world. The biblical record sets the direction for believers to follow in the fight against evil. Winters article in the Perspectives Reader, The Kingdom Strikes Back, describes the history of the battle against the evil intelligence that is distorting our world.
The Bible shows the gradual but irresistible power of God reconquering and redeeming His fallen creation; giving His own Son at the center of the 4000 year period beginning with 2000 BC. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) (Winter 1999: 196).

Jesus Acts of War against Evil From the very first, Jesus acts of ministry made it clear that He had come to wage war against evil. His encounters with demons always resulted in glory for God. Even the evil influences on nature had to obey Him when He rebuked the storm (Mark 4: 39) with the same authority He used in casting out evil spirits (Mark 5:8). If it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, Jesus said, then the kingdom of God has come to you (Luke 11:20).
If the earth is to become the domain in which God is king (the kingdom of God), then it must cease being the domain in which Satan is king. This is what Jesus came to accomplish. He came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) (Boyd 2001:36).

Jesus death is seen as the climax of a cosmic battle in an exposition of John 12: 20-36 (Kovac 1995: 233). Now shall the ruler of this world be driven out, (vs. 31) Jesus said, in the context of discussing His death. Jesus passed His mission on to His followers, teaching them to pray that Gods will would be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10) and telling them the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. (This implies aggression by the Church toward the gates, not the gates pursuing a passive/protected Church!) Biblical teaching indicates God intends the Kingdom to continue advancing in Jesus absence on earth. Jesus did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19) and He told His followers they would do even greater things than He had been doing (John 14:12).

Believers Acts of War against Evil In His decision to work through the Body of Christ to expand Jesus ministry of pushing back the powers of darkness, God has chosen to use the foolish and weak things

13 of the world to overthrow the wise and strong in the world who resist Him (1 Corinthians 1:18-30). Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 give brief theologies of the Body of Christ. 17 When Christs Body, the Church, is functioning as it should, it demonstrates the nature of God: what works He wants to see accomplished, what He is concerned about, His righteousness, justice, mercy, and power over evil. Since the Son of God appeared to destroy the devils work (1 John 3:8), this is also the mission of His Body. In the article, The Kingdom Strikes Back, Ralph Winter describes five epochs of church history in which, almost in spite of the behavior of many representatives of the Church, the Kingdom has gradually advanced around the world (1999: 195). This advance is occurring even in the context of the weeds and the good seed growing side by side. The two conflicting kingdoms will each continue to grow until Christ returns. (This perspective is a distinctive of Eastern Orthodox theology [Campolo 1992: 45]). Winter s Precarious Perspective #4 describes what it means for the Kingdom to advance.
Evangelicals rightly stress a reconciliation-of-man aspect and a promise of heaven. But, in addition, they have not emphasized, as clearly as the Bible does, Gods glorification (that is, the reestablishment, the restoration of that glory) (2005a: 49).

What is the believers responsibility in restoring Gods glory and advancing the Kingdom?

Prayer and Action Prayer and action need to go together in defeating evil and restoring Gods glory. Winter likes to point out that we dont ask God to paint the back fence; we get out there and do it ourselves. Another Winter illustration: If you saw a mountain lion attacking a child, you wouldnt stop to pray, youd do something about it (just as Donald McGavran used to shoot tigers to protect villagers in India). But if invisible lions (ie. germs) were attacking a child, you would appropriately ask for Gods intervention (2005d). A general principle might be: evils you can see, take action; with evils you cant see, ask God to take action. Until recently in history, people couldnt see the microorganisms (invisible lions) attacking people, animals and crops. Now that science has made it possible to see and do something about these micro-predators, what is the responsibility of the Body of Christ? Newbigin quotes Schweitzer as saying, Every action for the Kingdom is a prayer for the coming of the Kingdom (Newbigin 2003: 38). Boyd points out that Water Wink and others have shown that combating evil powers is not just a matter of prayer but also a matter of social activism (Boyd 1997:60). Winter would add, and of scientific activism. In fact, prayer itself may be activism. Jesus said what is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19). Could it be that Gods self-limited ability to act on earth will be loosed to some extent when a free agent chooses to ask Him and chooses to work with Him to accomplish His purposes?

14 Overthrowing the Kingdom of Disease and Death To follow Jesus is to do battle with the ever-present prince of darkness (Boyd 1997: 280). Knowing that wars and diseases of social, natural and physical varieties, and the resulting suffering, are not Gods will, and that God will some day bring an end to these things (Rev. 20:4) gives the Body of Christ some strong hints about the work they should be engaged in. Medical missionary Robert Hughes, in Shillong, India from 1939-69, wrote in his journal, this kingdom of disease, death, ignorance, prejudice, fear, malnutrition and abject poverty was most surely a kingdom which ought to be overthrown by the kingdom of our God (Rees 2003). Overthrowing the kingdom of disease, death, et al, means engaging in Kingdom warfare. Fighting disease is an integral part of that warfare. The similarities between war and disease are brought out in two books written about disease. The author of At War Within uses war imagery to describe diseases of the immune system. For instance, in the preliminary phase of AIDS, the virus is doing everything it can to break loose from the lymph node environment where it is trapped and to destroy the host, but it is kept in check by the immune system (Clark 1995: 151). In Plagues and Peoples, William McNeill coins the term, macroparasitism, using disease imagery to describe warlike raiding and other social predatory behavior. 18 Disease and war are keeping whole groups of people in bondage to suffering and evil. Maps from MARC publications (Myers 1996) and from internet sources show the non-coincidental overlap of areas of the world that have the least influence from the Bible with those areas where there is the most suffering, disease, war and poverty. Barrett and Johnson have shown in a chart in World Christian Trends that the absolute poor comprise 18% of the worlds population while The Rich make up 54% of the world (2001: 34). The MARC maps show that main consumers of the earths natural resources live in those areas of the world with the most exposure to the Bible. What responsibility does the kingdom believer have for using those resources, in the light of the distribution of evil and Gods plan to defeat it? In his address to a large gathering of Korean young people at a missions conference, Winter challenged them on this very issue. Every believer has a missionary call. Second Corinthians 5:15 says, He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. Let Jesus take over your life and be concerned about His concerns. What is it Hes wanting to do? Disease is pulling people down all the time, distorting human and animal life. Disease is a work of Satan, which the Son of God came to destroy (Winter 2005b). Business in Wartime: Rebelling against the Natural Order What is the responsibility of the Body of Christ? This could be answered by another question: within the believers sphere of influence, what is offensive to God? Jesus taught His followers to bind that and loose Gods power in Gods name. Believers can un-humiliate God and give Him a channel to work through. They can overcome the

15 enemys evil choices with good choices that echo Gods will. Ronald Sider stated in an interview with Christianity Today, Theres now a new kingdom community of Jesus disciples, and embracing Jesus means beginning to live as a part of his new community where everything is being transformed (2005: 72). In the end, the Body of Christ must conduct lifes business in the light of the missionary wartime mandate. Martin Luther (and later the Puritans) saw work (or vocation) as a holy calling (Veith 1999: 4) but omitted the aspect of war against evil. The emphasis on using God-given gifts and talents in everyday life reflects the assumption of a cultural mandate given in a peaceful world that just needed to be taken care of, in which only what God wanted to happen would happen. But obviously things happen in this world that are not Gods will. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, yet we clearly see people rebelling and dying without repentance all around us. His will isnt ruling this world yet. Followers of Christ are living under a wartime, not a peacetime mandate (Winter 2005c). Barnhouse points out that there is now more than one will in the universe (1965: 37). So what does God expect of the Body of Christ in this context of conflict?
Ordinary Christians working in business, industry, politics, factory work, and so on, are the Churchs front-line troops in her engagement with the world, wrote Lesslie Newbigin. Imagine how our churches would be transformed if we truly regarded laypeople as frontline troops in the spiritual battle. Are we taking serioiusly our duty to support them in their warfare? Newbigin asked. (Quoted from http://www.deepsight.org/articles/goheenb.htm) (Pearcey 2004: 67).

How can action be taken through business and work that will contribute toward the defeat of evil? Which vocations are needed for the functioning of a Kingdom society that is at war? Which are not needed and should be avoided? What limitations does business have in combating evils that the marketplace either isnt aware of or isnt willing to fund? What criteria can help a person engage in business in a way that contributes to the missio dei? Examples: Manner of life: how believers conduct themselves at work (in a legitimate business, not a non-essential luxury) can be their means of engaging in missional warfare. Yamamori has stated, there is an appalling lack of business ethics in China (2001: 99). The opening of this country for western business is an unprecedented opportunity for Christians to influence China profoundly by exercising kingdom values (2001: 101). Types of businesses that sustain life so others can be on the front lines contribute to the war effort. Believers involved in jobs such as food production and distribution, transportation, or production of necessary technology can consider their work to be a meaningful contribution to the Kingdom. (This is not meant to be a complete list, by any means, of valuable businesses that sustain life and advance the Kingdom.) Politics: believers can participate in overcoming the disease of war and other social ills. David Bornstein has researched social entrepreneurs around the world who have had a profound effect on their societies. Social entrepreneurs advance systemic

16 change: they shift behavior patterns and perceptions (2004: 2). An example of entrepreneurship helping to overcome political disease is found in a Kingdom business operating a noodle factory in North Korea. The noodles are sold in other countries, generating income to provide basic sustenance for starving workers in a country devastated by sinful political structures. Agriculture: Kingdom social entrepreneurs are needed to lead efforts in overcoming diseases of nature such as famine and malnutrition. Joshua Fugimoto, an 80+ year old agricultural missionary, spent years in Bangladesh experimenting with ways to grow vegetables in a climate with long droughts followed by monsoon rains. Groups of believers following his agricultural principles are now producing nutritious crops several times a year, instead of only one poor crop per year, giving families the strength needed to combat the evils of disease and poverty. Community Development: godly people can lead the way in combating social diseases such as poor education or pollution, including contaminated water. Yamamori and Eldred describe a number of entrepreneurs who deliberately set out to engage in business with Kingdom purposes in mind. Unfortunately, in the authors review of these case studies, their list of Scriptural principles 19 for Kingdom business does not include the aspect of the war against evil that all believers are engaged in whether they realize it or not (2003: 253). Scientific investigation: kingdom workers are needed to uncover the origins of disease for the purpose eradicating it for the glory of God. Ralph Winter is pessimistic about the role of business in this area, however. He writes, Unfortunately, I dont see business of any great help in this. I dont see any significant effort aimed specifically at the defeat of the works of Satan (2005e: 7). Business and Mission Partnering in Wartime To bring about transformation and the reglorification of God, The Body of Christ needs to rebel against the natural order that still lies in the power of the evil one and join God in defeating the works of the devil through legitimate vocations and businesses. War, famine and disease are the areas of influence of three of the four horsemen of the apocalypseall leading to death. Combating these in Jesus name combats the forces of darkness that seek to kill and destroy. But Winter points out that business is powerless to accomplish things for which people do not feel a need. So often missions (with an s), with the financial backing of believers, must do what business alone cannot deal with because the necessary action is an unfelt and unfunded need (2005d). Mission is something all Gods people participate innot just cross-cultural workers. Our mission is to defeat evil and restore Gods glory. The business of life is to participate meaningfully in this mission and to pray by our actions, Your Kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).


End Notes
1. Revelation 6:3-8: When the Lamb opened the second seal, I head the second living creature say, Come! Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, Come! I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, A quart of wheat for a days wages, and three quarts of barley for a days wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine! When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, Come! I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. 2. Genesis 1:30: And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the groundeverything that has the breath of life in itI give every green plant for food. 3. Isaiah 11:6-9: The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the vipers nest. They will neither harm or destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 4. Romans 8:20-22: For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 5. A number of scholars (and literary giants), as well as the post-apostolic fathers, agree that Gods good creation has been deliberately distorted by evil intelligent beings. Boyd says: In apocalyptic tradition, under the leadership of Satan, [his] angels work to afflict the world with earthquakes, famines, hailstorms, diseases, temptations and many other things that are not part of Gods design for His creation (1997: 206). Boyd 2001:24: I argue that ultimately there is no such thing as natural evil. All evil ultimately derives from the wills of free agents. What cannot be attributed to the volition of human agents should be attributed, directly or indirectly, to the volition of fallen angels. McLaughlin 2004, 237, quoted in Winter 2005: 48: According to Scripture, the universe was originally good and the glory of God is still evident in it (Romans 1:20). But something elsesomething frightfully wickedis evident in it as well. Of their own free will, Satan and other spiritual beings rebelled against God in the primordial past and now abuse their God-given authority over certain aspects of creation. Satan, who holds the power of death (Hebrews 2:14), exercises a pervasive, structural, diabolic influence to the point that the entire creation is in bondage to decay. The pain-ridden, bloodthirsty, sinister and hostile character of nature should be attributed to Satan and his army, not to God. Jesus earthly ministry reflected the belief that the world had been seized by a hostile, sinister lord. Jesus came to take it back. Campolo 1992: 38: Since Satans fall, he and his followers have been at work perverting and polluting all that God created. Before Adam and Eve were ever created, Satan worked to create havoc throughout creation. One of the consequences of Satans work is that the evolutionary process has gone haywire. That is why we have mosquitoes, germs, viruses, etc. God did not create these evils. They evolved because Satan perverted the developmental forces at work in nature. Tolkein 1977: 12:

The Valar [good spirit beings] endeavoured ever, despite of Melkor, to rule the Earth and to prepare it for the coming of the Firstborn; and they built lands and Melkor destroyed them; valleys they delved and Melkor raised them up; mountains they carved and Melkor threw them down; seas they hollowed and Melkor spilled them; and naught might have peace or come to lasting growth, for as surely as the Valar began a labour so would Melkor undo it or corrupt it. And yet their labour was not all in vain; and though nowhere and in no work was their will and purpose wholly fulfilled, and all things were in hue and shape other than the Valar had at first intended, slowly nonetheless the Earth was fashioned and made firm.

6. Boyd 1997:19: The church as the body of Christ has been called to be a decisive means by which this final overthrow is to be carried out. 7. In the Babylonian creation myth, Tiamat wages war against the assembly of the gods who call in Marduk as their champion. After defeating Tiamat and her ally Kingu, Marduk creates the world from the body of Tiamat and uses the blood of Kingu mixed with earth to create man (Smart & Hecht 1993: 6). The Greeks envisioned bloody and passionate wars among the gods, leading to monstrous supernatural offspring who hated and plotted against each other (Smart & Hecht 1993: 9). The truth to which all these mythologies point, and indeed the truth to which the mythological warfare dimensions of the Old Testament point is the truth that Gods good creation has in fact been seized by hostile, evil, cosmic forces that are seeking to destroy Gods beneficent plan for the cosmos. God wages war against these forces, however, and through the person of Jesus Christ has now secured the overthrow of this evil cosmic army (Boyd 1997:19). 8. Six theses form the core of Boyds position regarding the risk God took when He chose to create a universe in which beings would have the potential to choose to respond to Him with love. 1. Beings possess the capacity to love only if they have self-determining freedom (angels and humans possess selfdetermining freedom) 2. Love entails risk. Gods free creatures might not choose as He wants them to choose. 3. Love, and thus freedom, entails that we are to some extent morally responsible for one another. We could not have the capacity to love unless we also possessed the power to influence one another for better or for worse. 4. The power to influence for the worse must be roughly proportionate to our power to influence for the better. 5. Freedom must be, within limits, irrevocable. This thesis, if accepted, explains why God cannot always prevent evil deeds He would otherwise prevent. To some extent God places an irrevocable limitation on himself with His decision to create beings who have the capacity to love and who are therefore free. 6. This limitation is not infinite, for our capacity to freely choose love is not endless. Angels and humans are finite beings who thus possess only a finite capacity to embrace or thwart Gods purposes for our lives (Boyd 2001: 23). 9. Others have written along these lines as well. Dom Bruno Well, quoted by Plantinga (Van Inwagen 2004: 15): So the fallen angels which have power over the universe and over this planet in particular, being motivated by an intense angelic hatred of God and of all creatures, have acted upon the forces of matter, actuating them in false proportions so far as lay in their power, and from the very outset of evolution, thus producing a deep-set disorder in the very heart of the universe which manifests itself today in the various physical evils which we find in nature, and among them the violence, the savagery, and the suffering of animal life. Also see Note 5. 10. On the real existence of spirits, Boyd writes (1997: 12): From a cross-cultural perspective, the insight that the cosmos is teeming with spiritual beings whose behavior can and does benefit or harm us is simply common sense. It is we modern Westerners who are the oddballs for thinking that the only free agents who influence other people and things are humans. 11. The literary structure of the Genesis Creation account is seen in the parallelism between the first and second sets of three creation days. Day 1: Light Day 2: Air and water separated Day 3: Dry land separated from water; vegetation appears

Day 4: Specific lights in the sky become visible Day 5: Creatures begin to live in the air and water Day 6: Creatures begin to live on dry land: animals, humans created and given green plants to eat. 12. Donald G. Barnhouse also argues for a Great Interval, between the first two verses of Genesis, listing translations of the Hebrew word, tohu, that include: without form, void, waste, desolate, empty, wreck, ruin. In fact, Barnhouse calls attention to a French expression, tohu-bohu, equivalent to the English, topsy-turvy, which is a direct transliteration from the Hebrew of Genesis 1:2. In Barnhouses opinion, one of the commonest errors in Biblical interpretation is the thought that the first verse of Genesis and the second verse are closely connected in time. This error leads many readers to believe that God had originally created the earth in chaotic form. Yet there is no doubt that between the two there is a great gulf fixed (1965: 9). To conclude his argument, Barnhouse quotes from Isaiah 45:18 in which it is stated explicitly that God did not create the world in tohuchaos, the same Hebrew word as in Genesis 1:2. This categorical statement is sufficient to prove beyond any shadow of doubt that the first and second verses [of Genesis] are separated by an interval (1965: 16). Winter does not subscribe to this theory, due to grammatical and linguistic difficulties with seeing a great gap in the middle of a single sentence. Instead, his view is that prior to Genesis 1:1 there was a creation we know nothing about except that it ended in the tohu-wabohu out of which God brought order in the Genesis 1 account. The first verse summarizes the particulars in the rest of the chapter. Boyd considers that Genesis 1 is not so much an account of creation as it is an account of Gods restoration of a world that had through a previous conflict become formless, futile, empty and engulfed by chaosthe world of Gen 1:2 (the gap theory) or restoration theory (1997: 104). Later Boyd says, created beings rebelled against God before the creation of Genesis 1 took place, and this creation was affected by their rebellion. In my view, Gen 1:2 onward most probably concerns the re-creation of this present cosmos, not the creation ex nihilo of all things (1997: 326). Except for the placement of the rebellion and destruction before instead of after Genesis 1:1, Winter would basically agree with Boyd.

13. Business as a cultural mandate is out of date. We are under a military mandate because of the Fall (Winter 2005c). 14. See End Note 10 and Hiebert 1999: 414. 15. Boyd reflects, in contrast with any view that would suggest that disease and demonization somehow serve a divine purpose, Jesus never treated such phenomenon as anything other than the work of the enemy. He consistently treated diseased and demonized people as casualties of war. Furthermore, rather than accepting their circumstances as mysteriously fitting into Gods sovereign plan, Jesus revolted against them as something that God did not will and something that ought to be vanquished by Gods power. It is curious that the evil one to whom the Bible directly or indirectly attributes all evil has played a rather insignificant role in the theodicy of the church after Augustine. This, I contend, is directly connected to the fact that the church generally accepted the blueprint worldview that Augustine espoused. If we assume that there is a specific divine reason for every particular event that transpires, including the activity of Satan, then the ultimate explanation for evil cannot be found in Satan. It must rather be found in the reason that God had for ordaining or allowing him to carry out his specific activity. The New Testament, I submit, does not share this assumption (2001: 36,37). 16. A detailed scientific explanation of how the space-time theory of relativity affects the Open View of God was given in a term paper by a WCIU student with a Ph.D. in Engineering (Beckman 1999). 17. Romans 12:3-8: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a mans gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. if it is serving, let him serve, if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians 12: 12-20-31: The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one bodywhether Jews or Greeks, slave or freeand we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, I dont need you! And the head cannot say to the feet, I dont need you! But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts. 18. Early in civilized history, successful raiders became conquerors, i.e., learned how to rob agriculturalists in such a way as to take from them some but not all of the harvest. By trial and error a balance could and did arise, whereby cultivators could survive such predation by producing more grain and other crops than were needed for their own maintenance. Such surpluses may be viewed as the antibodies appropriate to human macroparasitism. A successful government immunizes those who pay rent and taxes against catastrophic raids and foreign invasion in the same way that a low-grade infection can immunize its host against lethally disastrous disease invasion. (McNeill 1976: 54). 19. A number of central teachings in Scripture underpin kingdom business. I call these the Five Pillars: (1) the nature of vocation and calling; (2) the biblical theology of work; (3) the lordship and sovereignty of Jesus Christ; (4) the priesthood of all believers; and (5) incarnational ministry (Yamamori and Eldred 2003: 253).

Barnhouse, D.G. 1965 The Great Interval. In his The Invisible War. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.


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