Posts filed under Links

Links for Today (December 12, 2016)

By Beth Snodderly

Subversive Kingdom

The printed title of Ed Stetzer’s 2012 book whimsically conveys his main point—God’s Kingdom is upside down and backwards to the world’s expectations.

Succinct truths like these are punctuated throughout the book:

  • “If you are a follower of Jesus, you have been made a citizen of this kingdom” (p. 8).
  • “We are God’s ‘store window’ on earth where he shows off his kingdom (p. 186).
  • “The kingdom’s work is done in small ways by people living as agents of the King” (p. 227).

The Devil Under a Microscope

From the book, Hope Rises from the Land, written in 1955 by Ralph Almon Felton:

  • “They come from many miles to see the devil. Even African pastors, deacons, and deaconesses come to the laboratory of Alice Strangway to see for themselves real ovilulu (evil spirits). They watch the moving microfiliaria that causes so much blindness in Angola. How could there be a worse devil! What a collection of devils to be seen through one microscope! Rickets, pellagra, anemias, goiter, scurvy, diarrhea, and many more.”
  • “Here are the red and blue stained parasites of malaria.”           
  • “Three of my six babies left us because of these,” one mother sighs.

Read more about this book here.

Awakening the Christian Imagination

In his 2013 book, Evil and the Justice of God, N.T. Wright wrote:

"The Christian imagination … needs to be awakened, enlivened and pointed in the right direction. … Christians need to sense permission, from God and from one another, to exercise their imaginations in thinking ahead into God’s new world and into such fresh forms of worship and service as will model and embody aspects of it. We need to have this imagination energized, fed and nourished, so that it is lively and inventive, not sluggishly going around the small circles of a few ideas learned long ago." (p. 126)

And, speaking of imagination...

Why Imagination Matters

Over at, Greg Boyd talks about the flesh being “shaped by Satan’s web of deception that deeply infects our imaginations. … We need to imagine truth and savor it; only then can the flesh that holds us in bondage be broken. We need to see pictures of grace in our minds and savor them ….”

Could a Holy Spirit-fueled imagination help us envision creative ways to join together to fight such things as disease in Jesus’ name?

Links for Today (November 7, 2016)

By Beth Snodderly

Breaking the fever: The End Is in Sight for One of Humanity’s Deadliest Plagues

The Economist reported in October 10, 2015: “Since 2000, malaria deaths around the world have fallen by nearly half. The steepest drop has come in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of fatalities occur. Malaria still kills around 450,000 people each year—most of them children in Africa. But the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that better control prevented the deaths of 3.9m African children between 2001 and 2013. … Previous efforts to rid the world of malaria failed because the political will and funds dried up before the disease was conquered. This time it is vital that efforts to stamp out malaria do not become victims of their own success.”

Church Involvement in Fighting World Problems

Ralph D. Winter wrote in 2008: “We have greater opportunities and greater obligations than ever in history. Yet the chasm between our unemployed resources and an effective challenge to big world problems is very great. It is apparent that organized believers are largely missing in the conduct of the Kingdom of God, in bringing His will into the dark and suffering places in our world. … Getting people reconciled to God AND to His Kingdom business must go together. Otherwise our absence at the front lines of major global problems means we are misrepresenting God’s will and misusing the wisdom and resources He has given us to act out and speak out His love and glorify His Name among all peoples.”

A Positive Exception to Ralph Winter’s Concern about the Absence of the Church in World Problems

In 2008 billionaire Ted Turner announced he was partnering with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the United Methodist Church to raise funds to stop deaths from global malaria.

In January, 2016, the ELCA announced it had reached its $15 million goal of funds raised to combat malaria through its relief and development arm. “Thank you for naming suffering as contrary to God’s will and working to correct injustice,” an ECLA blog stated in announcing the successful conclusion of the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

Posted on November 7, 2016 and filed under Links, Blog.

Links for Today (September 28, 2016)

By Beth Snodderly

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s $3 billion effort aims to rid world of major diseases by end of century

The founder of Facebook and his wife, among the 10 wealthiest couples in the world, announced they are funding an effort to get scientists to collaborate on eliminating major diseases. They are emphasizing the power of collaboration and openness.This is the type of initiative Ralph Winter wanted to see believers get behind to demonstrate that disease is not God's will. Maybe some will!

Jesus’ Demonstrations of God’s Will

“Jesus demonstrated the nature of the life of God, the shalom spoken of by the Old Testament prophets, by overcoming evil with good in his acts of ministry. The appearing of the Son of God resulted in characteristics that are the opposite of those associated with the darkness and hatred of the devil. The ultimate purpose of Jesus’ appearing was to glorify God by bringing life to the children of God, replacing death that is a work of the devil in the present age. The author of the Gospel of John selected six ‘signs’ that represent the ways in which Jesus demonstrated God’s will for the world.”

Alcohol Addiction and Deaths

EXCERPT from a 2014 WHO report: “The net effect of harmful use of alcohol is approximately 3.3 million deaths each year*. … Harmful use of alcohol accounts for 5.9% of all deaths worldwide. … Harmful use of alcohol can also have serious social and economic consequences for individuals other than the drinker and for society at large. Despite the large health, social, and economic burden associated with harmful use of alcohol, it has remained a relatively low priority in public policy, including in public health policy.”

            * In comparison, malaria deaths are under .5 million/year.

Beth Snodderly is the RWI's Theologian in Residence and Chair of the Board.

Posted on September 28, 2016 and filed under Blog, Links.

Links for Today (September 20, 2016)

By Beth Snodderly

Malaria and Genetic Engineering

“New gene-editing technology gives scientists the ability to wipe out the carriers of malaria and the Zika virus. But should they use it?” Ralph Winter used to talk about gene splicing and changing tigers to be non-carnivorous, but I don't think he thought through the implications of genetic engineering the way this article does.

The New Testament and the Warfare Worldview

Greg Boyd talks about the theme of “God striving to establish his sovereign will (his Kingdom) on earth over and against forces that oppose him. … Contrary to any view that suggests disease somehow serves a divine purpose, Jesus never treated such phenomenon as anything other than the work of the enemy.”

Cruelty in the Name of Jesus?

Roger Olson reports on a new book, Is Modern Unbelief Rooted in Christianity? that claims “modern unbelief was brought about not by modern science or irreligious philosophy [‘the Enlightenment’] but by the cruel depictions of God, and resulting cruel treatments of sincere people who simply disagreed with them, by Luther, Calvin, and other magisterial reformers and their followers. And it was brought about, at least in its beginnings, by Christian shaped (or at least Jesus-shaped) consciences reacting against those cruelties.” Read more about the crucial difference it makes to faithfully or unfaithfully represent God’s character to the world.

Beth Snodderly is the RWI's Theologian in Residence and Chair of the Board.

Posted on September 20, 2016 and filed under Links, Blog.