This is a stellar sermon on Biblical justice that I both enjoyed and was challenged by. He offers a particularly great definition of ‘social justice’ which he argues must be understood as a subcategory of justice. He also argues that we must not treat justice as a ’cause’ but as a way of life.
At 1 hour and 8 minutes, it is a bit long, but well worth your time, in my opinion.
A few highlights (in case you need any more reason to watch it):
- Justice is not a ‘single’ thing; it is a ‘paradigm-level reality’
- Justice is not simply about the legal system
- Justice exists whether or not we are looking for it; it is a part of the ‘fabric’ of life
- We are always either acting justly or unjustly, whether or not we realize it
- The golden rule says we have an obligation to do while the ‘silver rule’ says we only have an obligation not to do: our society follows the ‘silver rule’
- We can’t know God accurately, if we do not understand paradigm-level realities like love, truth, justice
- We know God through his Character, Creation, Revelation
- When we don’t think justice is a universal, we tend to pick and choose the categories
- Social justice is simply a subcategory of justice, as it relates to the social aspect of life (in contrast with other categories, such as ethics, business law, etc)
- Social justice means justice in the social arena. Which means that we treat everyone as being created in the image of God in our social settings; including issues of race, gender, wages, and so on. Injustice is when we would use our power to abuse the powerless
- Dismissing social justice as ‘liberal’ or unimportant is theologically lazy; it is perfectly fine to disagree with the political plans proposed to enact social justice, but social justice itself is not political [1. And he makes the important reminder that social justice is not distributive justice, or wealth redistribution]
- We need to look at justice with fresh eyes
- Speaking of fresh eyes, a fascinating take on the David and Bathsheba story. I’ll let you discover that one.
- Also speaking of fresh eyes, he points out that Solomon didn’t ask for wisdom but for an understanding of justice
- And equally new, what was the sin of Sodom? They did not aid the poor and the needy. Their licentiousness was just a symptom of an underlying problem
- When we are so focused on self we commit an injustice against the fabric of justice
- Righteousness is synonymous with justice
- Justice is not a cause or a hobby, because it exists everywhere; we engage in it
Good thoughts, I’d say.