God and Social Justice

God and Social Justice January 22, 2015

[W]hen we study justice we learn about God. And when we study God we learn about justice. Since justice is rooted in the character of God and flows from the heart of God, they are inseparable. The question, then, is whether social justice is part of the biblical mandate for justice. In other words, does it fit with what the Bible says about God’s justice more broadly? The answer is a resounding yes.

Social justice has to do with protecting and standing with the vulnerable in society. It is about voluntarily working toward, listening to, empowering, and restoring dignity to every person. Fighting human trafficking, opposing gender violence, caring for AIDS orphans, welcoming the immigrant, and feeding the poor—all these efforts are undergirded by the explicit biblical claim that every person is created in the image of God. Justice is a theological necessity, an ethical imperative, and certainly more than just “another good thing.”

For all the tension and debate around the term, what we can’t miss is that justice in the social arena—that is, social justice—is part of a biblical justice mandate. We can debate strategies, political platforms, best practices for economics, job creation, and aid programs, but at the end of the day, what is nonnegotiable is God’s heart for justice at the center of our cities and as a part of His kingdom. God desires social justice as much as spiritual growth, compassion as much as confession, and sacrificial giving as much as receiving.

Excerpt from The Grand Paradox by Ken Wytsma

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