We’ve been hard on W-K in their commentary on Colossians called Colossians Remixed and I’m being hard on them because I want to see evidence and not just explanation.
Let me illustrate: I could read everything in Colossians in terms of ecology and use the lens of ecology to sort out Colossians. We could do this if we chose to. But for it to convince we need evidence that Paul thought in terms of ecology, which he didn’t. Which isn’t to say we can’t learn things about ecology by reading Paul’s letters and inferring from his theology to ecological stances.
Here’s another example from W-K: “So it isn’t a stretch to say that in the Roman empire, ‘thrones, dominions, rulers and powers’ referred to Rome — to its ruler, Caesar, on the throne established by the gods, to his dominion over all the known world, established and maintained by the power and might of the empire” (91-92).
Once again, let’s look at Dunn: Colossians and Philemon. Does he see Rome and the empire in these terms? We ought to observe that Dunn’s first degree was in economics. “The fact that all four terms [here he has trotted through evidence in the Jewish traditions] thus refer only to the invisible, heavenly realm” (92).
Oddly enough, he says Wink — whose view is not that far from W-K — “offers quite an effective demythologization of the four powers” (93). There’s hope. It might not be a stretch but it might just be.