Powers, Weakness, and the Tabernacling of God, by Marva J. Dawn

Marva Dawn's book is sum­med up by its title. Dawn opposes power, embraces weakness and fears that the church's embrace of power and fear of weakness has resulted in allowing all too little space in which God may tabernacle.

The book is based on Dawn's 2000 Schaff Lectures at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Both the lectures and the book seem to have grown out of her 1992 Notre Dame Ph.D. dissertation on the concept of "the principalities and powers" in the works of Jacques Ellul. Dawn begins by criticizing the "feebleness" of Walter Wink's "theology of the powers." She argues that "Wink is wrong to reduce the powers in such a way that we do not recognize that they are indeed creatures, with a life and integrity of their own." Yet Dawn does not offer her own definition of "power" or "the powers"--a curious omission--nor does she explain how we are to understand powers as "creatures with a life and integrity of their own."

 

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