Walter Wink was a professor of biblical interpretation at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York and author of many books, including The Powers That Be, When the Powers Fall, and most recently The Human Being. He died in 2012.
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From the Archives: Nov-Dec 2001
[After 9/11] Many of us feel a deep desire for revenge and violent retribution. We know how natural that is. We want to strike back at the perpetrators. And it is true: We do need to find and punish them. But we must not let that need be overwhelmed by sheer rage. We need to counter those who want to bomb indiscriminately, to “take them out” with missiles, or even to use everything in our arsenal. ...
Can we together agree that retribution is not the way of Jesus? Can we remain steadfast in nonviolence, despite the skepticism of those who embrace violence as a way of fighting violence? Can we repudiate belief in redemptive violence? Christians must behave as Christians no matter how much our society and churches ridicule nonviolence as idealistic and ineffective. If we cannot be faithful in such a crisis as we presently face, when will we?
Finally, we must cling to God by blind faith in such a time as this. To the question, Where is God in all this? we can answer, Where God always is: nearer than breathing and closer than hands or feet. But just as the clouds of dust and smoke and falling debris blotted out the sun on Sept. 11, so horror of this dimension blots out the light of God. In such a time, we cannot perhaps feel God’s presence, but it is there, and we have to cling to it even as we scream at the silence of God.
From the Archives: April 1992
The Myth of Redemptive Violence
All Christianity has to give, and all it needs to give, is the myth of the human Jesus.
The Bonhoeffer Assumption
Theres a trap that Id call the Bonhoeffer assumption. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was studying at Union Seminary in New York.
The Silence of God
Many of us feel a deep desire for revenge and violent retribution. We know how natural that is. We want to strike back at the perpetrators.
A Time to Weep
A Nonviolence Roadmap
A Brazen Faith
Studying the text to be transformed
A World Overturned
We are starved for the Word of God
Road Signs and Squeaky Wheels
We read scripture to be transformed. We are not interested just in adding to our knowledge, or even to our being.
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