Theologian Thursday: Walter Wink (1935-2012)

Doing a little different Theologian Thursday this week, as I found out that Walter Wink passed away last Thursday.

I haven't personally read very much by Wink, except a couple articles and excerpts here and there, but he was pretty influential in Curtis's thesis, and many of his ideas made appearances therein. I'm familiar with his redemptive activism for pacifism and homosexuality in the church, and his CV is extensive and impressive.

I think one of his most important ideas regarding nonviolence is that of "Jesus's Third Way" which is that when faced with conflict, you do not fight or merely surrender, but "take control of the power dynamic" and find "creative alternatives to violence." It also means being willing to suffer violence rather than retaliate.

You can read an excerpt about the Third Way from one of his books--The Powers that Be--HERE.

His booklet Homosexuality and the Bible is available HERE.

Probably his best-known work is the Powers trilogy, which includes Naming the Powers, Unmasking the Powers, and Engaging the Powers.  I'll be looking into picking these up soon, and I encourage you to check them out as well.

It's sad to think he will no longer be with us, contributing so much wisdom to the dialog of the church, but we can be grateful for the work he has done and the impact he has made.

I'll leave you with this great quote of his from Engaging the Powers:
"In the struggle against oppression, every new increment of violence simply extends the life of the Domination system and deepens faith in violence as redemptive."