Blessed are the peacemakers… RIP Walter Wink.

We have lost a great theologian and peacemaker with the death of Walter Wink. His works on the nature of structural sin and evil in the world (“Naming the Powers”, “Unmasking the Powers” and “Engaging the Powers”) would by themselves be a significant contribution to Christian theology and ethics. But even more significant was the witness to the third way of Jesus Christ, opposing sin and evil across the world with active non-violence and prayer.

I was fortunate enough to have lunch with Walter and his wife once. I was honoured by the graciousness they both exhibited to an inquisitive doctoral student. He listened with interest to my area of research and thoughtfully suggested some specific resources he felt would enhance my work. This world will miss him.

I strongly encourage you to read this brief message on The Third Way by Dr. Wink. Coming from a tradition that understands the Sermon on the Mount as a type of canon within the canon, Wink’s interpretation of Matthew 5:38-42 has contributed to the movement by Mennonites from a passiveness in the face of evil to a promotion of active non-violence. An obituary, Walter Wink, Presente!, can be found on the Fellowship of Reconciliation website.

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3 thoughts on “Blessed are the peacemakers… RIP Walter Wink.

    • He was often looked on with suspicion by evangelicals, but I think his challenge to see the structural nature of sin and evil is exactly what evangelicals need to hear. The strong emphasis on personal/individual sin has tended to blind evangelicals to structural sin, especially the structural sin inherent in our own social context. In the same way that Wink helped Mennonites see that the gospel required an active nonviolent opposition to sin and evil, he can help evangelicals see that the sinfulness of social structures need to be approached with the same seriousness given to individual sin.

      • That is what I am getting into right now and I agree with you. Also, seems that his trilogy on spiritual warfare, in that same frame you mentioned, is quite the series. Will be looking at those as my next few purchases – many thanks

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