Saturday, May 12, 2012
I was sad to hear about the passing of theologian and peace activist Walter Wink this week (May 10, 2012). The news came as a shock to me because he was only 76 years old. That is far too soon to go. I really hate death.
I never had the pleasure of meeting him but his work has had a profound effect on me, and deeply shaped my theology more than I can say. Wink really opened my eyes up to the Christus Victor understanding of the atonement through his trilogy on the powers, taking an idea that seemed foreign and strange in the writings of Paul and showing how it has profound relevance for us today as we struggle with evil and violence in our world and in our hearts. On top of that Wink really helped me to make Jesus' third way of love of enemies, which can be so hard to grasp with my backwards thinking brain. Wink has really helped to shine light on that third way, as I stumble my way towards it.
So I just really wanted to express my deep gratitude for the work of Walter Wink, and extend my prayers and sympathies for his loved ones. Walt, thank you. You were one of the greats, and the world is both brighter because of your life, and poorer with your passing. You will be missed, and I hope one day we can still meet face to face. I pray you are in a place where love truly rules now, where there are no more tears. Give Jesus a hug from me when you see him.