I have just recently read a book by Walter Wink and am still processing some of my thoughts, when I read yesterday that he passed away. One thing that could be said for his writing is that he definitely challenged the reader, whether or not you agreed with everything he had to say. And for that he will be missed.
His bio at Amazon reads:
Walter Wink (May 21, 1935 – May 10, 2012) was a professor emeritus at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City. His faculty discipline is Biblical interpretation. Wink earned his 1959 Master of Divinity and his 1963 Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Ordained a Methodist minister in 1961, he served as Pastor of First United Methodist Church, in Hitchcock, Texas from 1962–67. He then returned to Union Seminary as first Assistant, then Associate Professor of New Testament. In 1989–1990, he was a Peace Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace.
He is known for his work on power structures, with a progressive Christianity view on current political and cultural matters. He coined the phrase “the myth of redemptive violence”, and has contributed to discourse on homosexuality and religion, pacifism, psychology and Biblical Studies, and Jesus as a historical figure. Neal Stephenson likens some of Wink’s ideas to “an epidemiology of power disorders”, a phenomenology of oppression. Author Philip Yancey references Wink frequently in his work.
One of Wink’s major avenues for teaching has been his leadership of workshops to church and other groups, based on his method of Bible study (The Bible in Human Transformation, 1973), and incorporating meditation, artwork, and movement. These workshops are often presented jointly with his second wife, June Keener-Wink, a dancer and potter.
One of Walter Wink’s sons—Chris Wink—is known as a founding member of the Blue Man Group.
Props to son Chris for Blue Man Group! It may sound odd, but I’m glad I read some of his books while he was still alive. I’m sure I’ll continue to wrestle with the ideas he left behind.