The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium by Walter Wink
The Powers That Be reclaims the divine realm as central to human existence by offering new ways of understanding our world in theological terms. Walter Wink reformulates ancient concepts, such as God and the devil, heaven and hell, angels and demons, principalities and powers, in light of our modern experience. He helps us see heaven and hell, sin and salvation, and the powers that shape our lives as tangible parts of our day-to-day experience, rather than as mysterious phantoms. Based on his reading of the Bible and analysis of the world around him, Wink creates a whole new language for talking about and to God. Equipped with this fresh world view, we can embark on a new relationship with God and our world into the next millennium.
Praying is rattling God’s cage and waking God up and setting God free and giving this famished God water and this starved God food and cutting the ropes off God’s hands and the manacles off God’s feet and washing the caked sweat from God’s eyes and then watching God swell with life and vitality and energy and following God wherever God goes.
Once a religion attains sufficient power in a society that the state looks to it for support, that religion must also, of necessity, join in the repression of the state’s enemies.
As twentieth-century mystic Simone Weil put it, the false God changes suffering into violence, the true God changes violence into suffering.
Jesus simply declared people forgiven, confident that he spoke the mind of God (Mark 2: 1–12). Why, then, is a sacrificial victim necessary to make forgiveness possible? Doesn’t the death of Jesus reveal that all such sacrifices are unnecessary?
If Jesus had never lived, we would not have been able to invent him.
Violent revolution fails because it is not revolutionary enough. It changes the rulers but not the rules, the ends but not the means. Most of the old repressive values and delusional assumptions remain intact. What Jesus envisioned was a world transformed, where both people and Powers are in harmony with the Ultimate and committed to the general welfare—what some prefer to call the “kindom” of God.
Looking back over Jesus’ ministry, what emerges with bracing clarity is the comprehensive nature of his vision. He was not intent on putting a new patch on an old garment, or new wine in old skins (Mark 2: 21–22).
Domination depends on ranking. Without such distinctions, how can one know whom to dominate?
Once children have been indoctrinated into the expectations of a dominator society, they may never outgrow the need to locate all evil outside themselves. Even as adults they tend to scapegoat others (the Commies, the Americans, the gays, the straights, the blacks, the whites, the liberals, the conservatives) for all that is wrong in the world.