Health and Disease

In what ways are followers of Jesus demonstrating God's loving character through caring for the sick, preventing disease, and even attempting to eradicate some diseases?

Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur - Flickr

Book Review: AIDS, Behavior, and Culture: Understanding Evidence-Based Prevention

by Jim Harries

AIDS, Behavior, and Culture presents a bold challenge to the prevailing wisdom of “the global AIDS industry” and offers an alternative framework for understanding what works in HIV prevention. Arguing for a behavior-based approach, Green and Ruark make the case that the most effective programs are those that encourage fundamental behavioral changes such as abstinence, delay of sex, faithfulness, and cessation of injection drug use.

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EditorAIDS, Africa, disease, HIVComment
Reflection: N.T. Wright and a Theology of Disease

by Beth Snodderly

One way to describe the overarching goal Ralph Winter had in mind for the Roberta Winter Institute (RWI) was “to prompt the theological world to begin working on a ‘theology of disease.’” He reflected on the types of inadequate responses to disease that are prevalent in the evangelical world and concluded that this was an obstacle to the spread of the gospel among thinking people in major unreached blocs of the world’s peoples.

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Reflection: What Does God Want Human Life to Look Like?

by Beth Snodderly

Paul Pierson’s answer to this question gives a good description of shalom: grace, health, education, safety, well-being for all people.

These qualities flow from being in right relationship with God, as seen in Jeremiah’s prophecy that tied the concept of “prosperity” (Hebrew: shalom) to God’s forgiveness for the peoples’ “… sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it” (Jer. 33:8, 9).

From this passage, it is clear that shalom is a quality that is observable.…

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Management of Limb Bone Fractures in Camaroon, Central Africa

by Ngaroua David, M.D.

English Abstract

In Camaroon, Central Africa, the practice of traditional medicine provides social and psychological benefits not available through modern medicine. However, it also poses risks due to the lack of medical training by the traditional healers. The general objective of this study was to evaluate the healthcare management of bone fractures by traditional doctors. Massage and immobilization constituted the most common forms of treatment. In the hospitals, we have noticed several cases of complications after traditional treatment of bone fractures. The author concludes that it is mandatory to put in place a legal framework for the practice of traditional medicine so as to limit the risks and to integrate the cultural benefits of traditional medicine into the health system of Cameroon.

Résumé en français

La médecine traditionnelle dans la ville de Bertoua et ses environs est très sollicitée par la population lors de la survenue des fractures. L’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) la définie comme étant «la somme totale des connaissances, compétences et pratiques qui reposent, rationnellement ou non, sur les théories, croyances et expériences propres à une culture et qui sont utilisées pour maintenir les êtres humains en santé ainsi que pour prévenir, diagnostiquer, traiter et guérir des maladies physiques et mentales». L’objectif général était d’évaluer la prise en charge des fractures par les médecins traditionnels.  La collecte de données a été faite dans ces localités suscitées pendant  quatre (4) mois. Nous avons obtenu un échantillon total de 111 parmi lesquels 19 médecins traditionnels. 59,8% des patients ont opté pour la médecine traditionnelle. Les fractures fermées (70,7%) sont majoritaire. Tous les médecins traditionnels ont reconnu avoir fait face à des complications. Les massages et immobilisations constituaient le mode de traitement les plus employés avec 84,2%. Il est donc impératif de mettre en place un cadre légal de l’exercice de cette médecine, et l’intégrer véritablement la médecine traditionnelle au système de santé camerounais.

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Malaria Eradication for Dummies

by Brian Lowther

“There is absolutely no evidence I know of in all the world of any theologically driven interest in combating disease at its origins. I have not found any work of theology, any chapter, any paragraph, nor to my knowledge any sermon urging us—whether in the pew or in professional missions—to go to battle against the many disease pathogens we now know to be eradicable.” —Ralph D. Winter, December 2001

This quote has inspired much of our effort here in the Roberta Winter Institute. It has also compelled us to search high and low to prove this notion wrong. In recent years a few initiatives addressing malaria have cropped up; some led by Christian groups.

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World Malaria Day: Why Should We Care?

by Ralph D. Winter

Thursday, April 25th was World Malaria Day 2019.

World Health Organization: After more than a decade of steady advances in fighting malaria, progress has leveled off. According to WHO’s latest World malaria report, no significant gains were made in reducing malaria cases in the period 2015 to 2017. The estimated number of malaria deaths in 2017, at 435 000, remained virtually unchanged over the previous year.

Ralph D. Winter: Some will say, “What in the world could microbes have to do with the Kingdom of God or global evangelism?” The answer is simple. Distorted microbes war against the Kingdom of God. Distorted genes make animals violent and destructive. Destructive parasites kill off many varieties of plant and animal life, as well as, by the malarial parasite, 1.2 million people a year, most of them children—four of whom die every minute from malaria alone. All this massive damage to the purposes of the Kingdom of God amounts to noise so loud that people can’t hear what we are preaching to them.

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Reflection: Believers' Opportunities and Obligations

by Ralph D. Winter

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.

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Reflection: Eradicating Diseases to Restore God's Reputation

by Ralph D. Winter

There are two significant barriers to Christian belief: the rampant suffering, violence, and evil in this world as if there is no Satan behind it, and a Bible that is thought to have feet of clay, beginning with Genesis 1. Both of these obstacles to belief can be dealt with in an unusual way: a brief scenario that attempts conjecturally to interpret Genesis 1 in such a way as not to conflict with the latest scientific views. Most of all, it highlights a strikingly new dimension in the definition of Christian mission.

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Holistic Transformational Development through Surgical Care

by Dan Poenaru, M.D.

“I have a dream…” The iconic words, spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963 resonate in the ears of all those who, like me, would like to see true transformational development be born and flourish through the church of Jesus Christ in global communities bound by poverty, sickness, injustice, and apathy. This is the dream which has led me to a more than decade-long health care career in Africa, and the dream which made me join, in 2000, BethanyKids, a small faith-based organization whose motto is “healing children in Africa, transforming lives.”

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Ralph Winter and Greg Boyd Talk about the Devil and Disease

by Ralph D. Winter and Greg Boyd

What if all disease pathogens as well as all violent forms of life are the work of Satan? What would Jesus have said about fighting germs in the name of Christ had the people of his time know about germs? How would that amplify and refocus our global mission? Christ has called us to be salt and light in a world of evil, corruption, and disease. We have a mandate to restore the glory of God among all peoples by more adequately representing His character. We misrepresent him if we talk only about getting to heaven. We must also reveal by our actions his concern for the conquest of evil and evil disease.

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Phyto-Bioactive Food Pyramid©: A Healthy Dietary Plan for Preventing Certain Common Cancers

by Richard Gunasekera

Phytochemicals play a decisive role in breast and prostate carcinogenesis by influencing their biological processes such as cell-cycle control, programmed cell death (apoptosis), inflammation, and DNA repair. Their pathogenesis includes the effects of environmental factors such as diet that may trigger the initiating of cancer in those who are predisposed genetically and epigenetically. Dietary phytochemicals can act as blocking agents by obstructing the initiation phase of carcinogenesis or they can act as suppressing agents by hindering the promotion and progression phases of carcinogenesis. My team has designed a food pyramid based on phytochemical bioactive molecules (PBAM) that will provide consumers, survivors, and cancer patients with information on bioactive foods that contain PBAM for cancer prevention.

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Beyond Caring for the Sick to Disease Eradication in God’s Name

by Brian Lowther

The Roberta Winter Institute is dedicated to investigating and discussing evidence of an intelligent evil having a destructive influence on God’s good creation and the implications that notion would have on disease eradication efforts. Disease is a major cause of underdevelopment in many countries around the world, and so this discussion is extremely pertinent to the WCIDJ.

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Evaluating Approaches to Discovering Origins of Diseases: A Conversation with a Medical Doctor

A Conversation between Mike Soderling, M.D., and Rebecca Lewis, Strategist

The whole point of getting to the root causes of disease is to prevent them from happening at all, like scurvy or death in childbirth due to unwashed hands of doctors. Most of these insights have not come from the mainstream in any generation, unfortunately. 

However, we need to be very careful about what we become convinced is the truth of a subject of interest to us. What we buy into must be proven and valid, not anecdotal.

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Genetics 101

by Richard Gunasekera, PhD

A biochemical geneticist gives a short introduction to help clarify the types of genetics involved in research into the origins (and potential cures) of disease. He writes: “When we consider genetics there are at least 2 to 3 major different types that geneticist usually refer to in genetic disease, including studying the origins of autism.

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Editordisease, genetics, cancerComment