In his brief essay "Basic (recent) Insights," originally written in September 2002, Ralph Winter listed some of his early tentative observations as he sought an overall understanding of the story of life on this planet and the apparent contradictions to that development. He hoped this understanding would challenge the common perspective that God is the author of disease and suffering. Some of these thoughts are secular hypotheses. Others are distinctly Biblical and/or theological convictions. They are by no means all equally credible or substantial. Yet he collected them because he felt that they all seemed to contribute in some way to a single integrated understanding of earth history, divine initiative, the diabolical factors, and the meaning of all this for our mission in this life.