Today is the birthday of the late theologian Walter Wink, best known for his work on illuminating the biblical concept of the powers . In honor of the occasion, we offer this introductory guide to Walter Wink’s theology of the powers …
We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and we offer a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve included excerpts of most the books via Google Books. At the end of the guide, we’ve included a video interview in which Walter Wink overviews his theology of the powers .
“Angels, Spirits, principalities, powers, gods, Satan—these, along with all other spiritual realities, are the unmentionables of our culture. The dominant materialistic worldview has absolutely no place for them. … [But] materialism itself is terminably ill, and, let us hope, in process of replacement by a worldview capable of honoring the lasting values of modern science without succumbing to reductionism. … [Therefore] we find ourselves returning to the ancient traditions, searching for wisdom wherever it may be found. We do not capitulate to the past and its superstitions, but bring all the gifts our race has acquired along the way as aids in recovering the lost language of our souls. … In Naming the Powers I developed the thesis … that the New Testament’s “principalities and powers” is a generic category referring to the determining forces of physical, psychic, and social existence. … In the present volume we will be focusing on just seven of the Powers mentioned in Scripture. Their selection out of all the others dealt with in Naming the Powers is partly arbitrary: they happen to be ones about which I felt I had something to say. But they are also representative, and open the way to comprehending the rest. They are: Satan, demons, angels of churches, angels of nations, gods, elements, and angels of nature.”
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