Statement of Faith

The staff members of the Roberta Winter Institute are united by a belief in ecumenical Christian orthodoxy, as defined by the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and a commitment to glorifying God and destroying the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Like our parent organization, Frontier Ventures, we adhere to the statement of faith of Missio Nexus. However, we embrace a certain nuance regarding the problem of evil that informs our general approach.

The Problem of Evil

The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a God of unlimited love, knowledge and power. The co-existence of evil and such a God seems logically impossible. We in the Roberta Winter Institute are interested in explanations to the contrary.

Most Christians are familiar with the explanation that God allows evil to exist for a greater good. One greater good that has been proposed is that of free will, famously explained by Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga in his free will defense. [1] In this defense, Plantinga addresses two types of evil: moral evil such as murder, corruption or slavery, and natural evil such as violence in nature, natural disasters or virulent diseases. The first part of this defense explains that moral evil exists because of free human action. The second part argues for the possibility of a supernatural being such as Satan who also has free will and uses it to carry out natural evils. Platinga goes so far as to say that many of the things that appear to be natural evil could in fact be moral evil committed by fallen angels.

We find Plantiga’s premise to be biblically compelling and logically valid.

Our General Approach

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 God’s 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. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God established a new and decisive beachhead in his war against evil and through it he redeems and restores humanity and all of creation.

4. God desires humans to work with Him as agents in history for His purposes in defeating evil. 

5. While we cannot predict or count on human success in quelling every specific kind of evil, at minimum there is a need for a clear and public alignment of human effort with God’s purposes to defeat all evil. This kind of alignment will more fully portray to an unbelieving world the true character of God.