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When the Powers Fall: Reconciliation in the…
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When the Powers Fall: Reconciliation in the Healing of Nations (udgave 1998)

af Walter Wink (Forfatter)

Serier: The Powers (4)

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Repressive authoritarian regimes are falling and fragile new democracies are emerging around the globe. How are long-standing conflicts and deep divisions to be healed and enemies reconciled without breeding further injustices?To answer this question, Walter Wink here applies his compelling analysis of "the Powers," as they appear in the New Testament, to the global scene. Surveying the wrenching religious and ethical dilemmas involved in transitions from despotism to democracy, Wink neatly summarizes key concepts from his Fortress Press trilogy on the Powers, including sections on "Jesus against Domination" and "Nonviolence." He then shows how central concepts in the teaching of Jesus can clarify true and false ideas of forgiveness and reconciliation and apology – without sacrificing justice. The personal, political, and geopolitical pertinence of Wink's ideas shines in his discussion of specific situations in Africa and Latin America.And what of the churches? "Jesus" proclamation of God's domination – free order," Wink claims, "providesa framework for dealing with the role of the churches in helping nations move from autocracy to democracy. Far more is at stake than merely an orderly transition to a more representative form of governance: suchmoments in history open up to heavenly potentials. ... In such times, it is the vision of God'sdomination-free order that prevents us from acquiescing to unworthy visions, or accepting political compromises as anything more than temporary pauses on the path to fuller justice."Wink's new work demonstrates the power, promise, and practicality of Jesus' ethic of nonviolence for today.… (mere)
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A shorter work by the author somewhat "updating" the trends noted in the final part of his trilogy on the Powers (Engaging the Powers).

The author recapitulates the premises of the trilogy, the existence of powers and principalities as the spiritual interiority of groups and nations, the existence of the Domination System, and the roles of the powers and principalities in perpetuating it. Most of the book features discussions of how the Domination System might be overcome in individual national circumstances through nonviolence and how reconciliation could possibly take place through truth-telling, forgiveness, and repentance. Many examples from Eastern Europe and Africa are provided.

This work is very light on Biblical theology and very heavy on progressivist assumptions about the benefits of democracy and perhaps even a bit of triumphalism. It would be interesting to see how the author would consider the changes that have taken place ever since, both globally and in regards to the specific countries of which he spoke.

Without a doubt the ways of nonviolence should mark the followers of Jesus. There is a desperate need to rehabilitate this view. There is a desperate need to confess the existence of the Powers and repent of our participation in their schemes. But considering the success of the Powers in human history, the author's confidence that powers are falling because of nonviolence and reconciliation is overly idealistic. ( )
  deusvitae | Nov 4, 2017 |
This is a brief treatment on what happens when 'the powers' fall. For Wink 'the powers' are completely demythologized and simply stand for social structures and political entities. In this book, Wink means oppressive regimes.

Wink's purpose is articulate the appropriate response in the wake of the fall of oppressive regimes. Wink argues that the kingdom of God (reign of God)articulates a whole new way of being in the world characterized by non-domination, forgiveness and reconciliation. He spends sometimes painting a picture of what that means by recounting stories of reconciliation and examples of international situations where reconciliation is needed (mid 1990's was publication date, but these could be easily updated). Wink closes the book with a passionate plea for democracy as the ultimate expression of non-domination.

I think this book has some interesting insights, and certainly believe the vision of Jesus and the Kingdom of God should have an effect on our politics. Yet, Wink's analysis is rather shallow in this treatment (more suggestive than substantive). His conjecture that democracy is the form of government which most fully embodies the values of the kingdom of God, is suspect. It may be true that non-domination is characteristic of the reign of God but democracies are not always hospitable to voices on the margins. Totalitarianism is wrong, but so is mob-rule. Certainly Wink would allow as much, but I wonder if he puts too much hope in democracy. Democracy is not the hope for the world. Jesus is. Democracy is a better alternative than dictatorship, but not the ultimate expression of all that the reign of God means. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
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Repressive authoritarian regimes are falling and fragile new democracies are emerging around the globe. How are long-standing conflicts and deep divisions to be healed and enemies reconciled without breeding further injustices?To answer this question, Walter Wink here applies his compelling analysis of "the Powers," as they appear in the New Testament, to the global scene. Surveying the wrenching religious and ethical dilemmas involved in transitions from despotism to democracy, Wink neatly summarizes key concepts from his Fortress Press trilogy on the Powers, including sections on "Jesus against Domination" and "Nonviolence." He then shows how central concepts in the teaching of Jesus can clarify true and false ideas of forgiveness and reconciliation and apology – without sacrificing justice. The personal, political, and geopolitical pertinence of Wink's ideas shines in his discussion of specific situations in Africa and Latin America.And what of the churches? "Jesus" proclamation of God's domination – free order," Wink claims, "providesa framework for dealing with the role of the churches in helping nations move from autocracy to democracy. Far more is at stake than merely an orderly transition to a more representative form of governance: suchmoments in history open up to heavenly potentials. ... In such times, it is the vision of God'sdomination-free order that prevents us from acquiescing to unworthy visions, or accepting political compromises as anything more than temporary pauses on the path to fuller justice."Wink's new work demonstrates the power, promise, and practicality of Jesus' ethic of nonviolence for today.

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