On December 17, 1982, Ralph and Roberta Winter received a note from Hans Schnabel, the Director of CharisLife Ministries, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. He opens with warm greetings in Christ our Lord. He says they know each other just indirectly though folks like Morris Watkins, John Barrett, Gary Randall, and Ralph Mahoney, yet it seems as though they are “close” in Christ. He asks the Winters to permit him to share with them the enclosed set of their brand new “Holiness & Harvest” Study Course, a joint project of CharisLife and World Map. “With your kind permission (somewhat after the fact), we used one of your short ‘Missions in the Bible’ articles as well as excerpts from Roberta’s excellent Jericho book [entitled Once More Around Jericho] (see Lesson # 2 under ‘Harvest’!).”
Schnabel mentions that as they can tell from the approach, this Course is fully devoted to “World Evangelization.” It is currently being “pilot marketed.” The hope is to offer it nationwide in 1983. Do the Winters have any thoughts on this? While the H & H Course now refers takers to World Map mainly, those at CharisLife plan to broaden that referral to include the “Center for World Mission,” “All Nations” and other full Gospel agencies. CharisLife staff are strong believers in Acts 1:8! They deem it the absolute pre-requisite to any and all ministry! “Could you agree—in the light of the ‘pitiful’ alternatives Church History records? We hope you will take a little time to look at this Course and to give us your comments.” He signs after writing “In Christ.”
Photo collage time again! This is a series of Ralph and Roberta Winter’s growing family between the years 1954 and 1966. One daughter, then two daughters, then three daughters, and lastly four daughters! The final photo is a family portrait from around 1970.
Dr. Ralph Winter had many secretaries over the years that he worked at Fuller Theological Seminary and the U.S. Center for World Mission. One is described by Glenn Schwartz in a memorandum he wrote to the faculty and staff of Fuller’s School of World Mission (SWM) on February 6, 1979. He mentions that he has had a visit from Judi Kunkel, who informed him that she will be departing the Seminary’s employ in a few weeks. Judi started working at SWM for the first time in 1974 as Ralph Winter’s secretary. For two years she was this writer’s secretary in the SWM main office. In 1977 she took the role of admissions coordinator and served in that office until this date. Schwartz states, “Judi brought to us unique cross cultural skills from her missionary experience in Bolivia. She also took many courses in the SWM thereby becoming thoroughly familiar with our program.” Judi plans to work with a Pasadena based organization known as Adventure with the Bible. She is enthusiastic about her new ministry and everyone at SWM prays the Lord’s special blessing on her as she transitions out. She is welcome to continue in the fellowship of the SWM family. The SWM is sorry to lose Judi from the team and asks for prayers that the Lord will guide those who will be finding her replacement.
Dr. Ralph Winter wrote an article entitled “In Pursuit of the Full Gospel” on October 26, 2004. He starts off by asking what is inadequate about the statement, “The over-arching vision within the Frontier Mission Fellowship (FMF) group of projects is to see all unreached peoples reached with the gospel and the kingdom to come among them. In evangelical terms we can know when a group is reached when there is an indigenous church planting movement among them.” Winter says that this well describes the perspective when the FMF was founded, but now things are both simpler and more complex. While the priority is still to reach people groups with no access to Christ, merely witnessing a church planting movement among them has never been all God desires accomplish. The Kingdom coming among them is helpful but woefully unspecific. In his current thinking, Winter speaks of four levels of strategy and purpose.
Level 1—Seeing people “saved”
Level 2—Winning them to the Lordship of Christ as members of His family
Level 3—Glorifying God
Level 4—“Distinguishing evil from God and fighting ‘the works of the Devil’ as a means of glorifying God, that is, understanding the lordship of Christ as involving us in an all-out war against evil, disease, corruption, a war in which we can expect suffering, hardship and death.”
Winter writes that his point of view has changed regarding the shift away from a focus on man vs. God, a polarization that enabled religion to be commercialized during the Reformation and before and after. Religious functionaries in many societies would sell a service that for the fee allows an improved relationship with God or the gods. Yet the New Testament presents two sides, the god of this world and God with man working together to destroy the works of the Devil to reclaim the full glory of God. The “salvation of man” emphasizes a balanced view of the serious division between Satan and God, a dichotomy in which man was created to be on God’s side.
Winter goes on to admit that Satan has corrupted man and acquired his help in opposing God such that man could be on either side of the battle. Much of the conflict between man and man is explained by an absence of a clear understanding of the greater war between Satan and man and Satan and God. Winter believes the nations of man would be immediately and dramatically unified if the great enemy Satan is suddenly exposed. He states, “If humans could wake up to the fact that their far greater enemy is rampant in the form of disease germs they might well rally around that common enemy rather than fight each other.” In war times the fighting is not for status, position, and fame but due to the far greater looming common enemy. Logically, Satan strategically influences humans by leading them blindly to downplay and ridicule or at least misconstrue his very existence, meaning the existence of an intermediate being with awesome power who wickedly opposes God and man. If human beings concentrate fully on their own waywardness toward God, this tactic easily monopolizes their consciousness and minimizes their awareness of the larger battle. Most theologizing concerns “getting man right with God” but Winter is confident it should be restoring full glory to God by differentiating His works from Satan’s. Otherwise, Satan’s final achievement is the human delusion that evil is from God due to His “mysterious purposes.”