Exit Ralph Winter – the hidden people’s man

Ralph Spotted on a blog last night that Ralph Winter had died. I only met the man once back in 1981 when he organised a conference in Edinburgh where I was studying.  Ralph was a missionary and took a demographic view of the task of taking the Christian faith to the rest of the planet.  His theory was that large scale culture and linguistic groups were largely catered for because it was easy to learn languages and to print literature and use media to reach them.  But what hadn't been properly done was to map and document groups he called hidden peoples. Small cultural groupings marginalised or isolated from mainstream culture flows. Some of them in real danger of being wiped out as they assimilated with dominant populations.

So that's what Ralph did. His list of hidden peoples became a reference point. Once you have made a map then people are inclined to steer by it. I am convinced that what he did was to motivate hundreds possibly thousands of people to reprioritise their lives and resources until all the hidden people groups were ticked off the list. An intriguing blend of Christian zeal and American pragmatism.  Enough for now Ralph!

Here's several blog links about the man. Tallskinnykiwi and methodius  and john piper



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