On April 25 and 26, 2013 the Roberta Winter Institute co-sponsored the fourth Annual Ralph D. Winter Lectureship. We invited pastor and theologian Greg Boyd of Woodland Hills Church and reknew.org to be our keynote speaker and to sit on three discussion panels. You can watch videos of the entire event below.


Our theme was taken from one of Boyd's most popular books, "Is God to Blame?: Moving Beyond Simple Answers to the Problem of Evil." To paraphrase Ralph Winter, in regard to disease, suffering, violence in nature, etc., we have become so used to these things that we have drifted into supposing that this is the way God created things. And, a God who created violence, cruelty and suffering, is not so appealing to the people we’re trying to win to Christ, his son. 

Throughout the lectureship, Boyd explored this dilemma through the lens of the "Warfare Worldview." In his words, the Warfare Worldview is the conviction that the good and evil, fortunate or unfortunate, aspects of life are to be interpreted largely as a result of good and evil, friendly or hostile spirits warring against each other and against us.” [1]

164 people attended the event and thousands more have watched the videos online.

Photo Gallery

Panel Discussion Participants

  • Bob Blincoe, U.S. Director of Frontiers
  • Brad Cole, Neurologist and Assistant Professor Basic Sciences Division of Anatomy, Loma Linda University and GodsCharacter.com
  • Richard Gunasekera, Distinguished Professor & Director Biological Sciences, Graduate Studies & Laboratories, University of Houston System in Sugar Land, University of Houston-Victoria
  • Stan Guthrie, editor at large for Christianity Today magazine
  • Charles Kraft, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Intercultural Communication, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Brian Lowther, Director, Roberta Winter Institute
  • Dennis Okholm, Professor of Theology, Department of Theology and Philosophy, Azusa Pacific University
  • Gerald Winslow, Professor of Christian Ethics, VP for Spiritual Life, Loma Linda University
  • Allen Yeh, Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies and Missiology, Biola University
  • Moderator Darrell Dorr, U.S. Center for World Mission


  1. Questions to Consider, compiled by Brian Lowther
  2. God at War, Perspectives article based on Boyd’s book by the same name
  3. Is God to Blame? Article from Mission Frontiers by Greg Boyd 
  4. What is the Warfare Worldview, by Greg Boyd 
  5. A WarTorn Creationby Greg Boyd
  6. Ralph D. Winter’s Warfare Worldview, Compiled by Beth Snodderly
  7. The Unfinished Epic, by Ralph D. Winter
  8. Greg Boyd’s summary of Ralph Winter’s restoration theory 
  9. God, the Bible and Spiritual Warfare: A Review Article, by D.A. Carson, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 


After the lectureship, panelist Stan Guthrie wrote a review article of the event at breakpoint.org. Additionally David Shive, a mission mobilizer from the U.S. Center for World Mission, wrote some reflections of his own


The views expressed in these videos are those of the speakers and not necessarily of the Roberta Winter Institute. All videos were shot and edited by Kevin Renel.

Boyd shares his own personal journey from nihilism, agnosticism, and despair into, ultimately, trust in Christ and a warfare worldview of God and reality.

Lecture 1: Boyd discusses the importance of waking up to the war and outlines his Warfare Worldview which emphasizes that holding on to God’s beauty in the midst of evil is all-important. His reason: if you associate evil with God’s character you will push him away precisely when you need him the most.

Panel Discussion 1: Here Boyd interacts with Charles Kraft, Brad Cole and Brian Lowther

Lecture 2: Boyd wraps up his teaching about the Warfare Worldview in the Old Testament and then moves into the New Testament. Boyd focuses on the Early Church and what they thought about cosmic warfare, and Jesus' warfare program, which was to preach and demonstrate the kingdom, confronting spiritual evil and darkness wherever it appeared.

Panel Discussion 2: Boyd interacts with panelists Bob Blincoe, Gerald Winslow and Allen Yeh.

Lecture 3: Boyd explains the six theses of his "Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy" and explores lessons from the book of Job in light of the virtually infinite complexity of a war-torn creation. This complexity explains why we can’t know why any particular good or evil happens the way it does; but we can know the character of God.

Panel Discussion 3: Boyd interacts with panelists Richard Gunasekera, Stan Guthrie and Dennis Okholm.