Darren Briggs's Reviews > The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium

The Powers That Be by Walter Wink
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Apr 27, 08


Walter Wink’s book reflects an “open view” of God’s ongoing role with humankind and creation. Believing that the “classical view” of God’s providence over the affairs of humankind does not explain the problem of evil in individuals, nations, institutions and other areas of social reality. Wink proposes that the Powers are inherently fixed into God’s system, whose human face is Jesus, but that God has self-limited himself (herself) by giving us freewill.

Wink believes power relationships between people, systems, institutions and structures are necessary and created for good; however he acknowledges that their authority or purposes can be perverted through the wrong choices of people. Ultimately, he says that we should resist the inducement to demonize those who do evil, believing that all Powers are salvageable or redeemable. He is particularly concerned about the invisible aspects of our institutions. “The Powers That Be are not then simply people and their institutions, as I had first thought; they also include the spirituality at the core of those institutions and structures.” Wink maintains that the Gospel must extend beyond individual liberation to the transformation of the Powers in our societies, enabling them to do good rather than evil, helping them recover and live out their unique calling from God.
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