The Bible is full of calls for justice -- Isaiah 1, Micah 6, Matthew 25 and Amos 5 are just a few examples. Unfortunately the term social justice has taken on many definitions causing confusion and arguments between people. Pastor Tim Shorey of Risen Hope Church (Drexel Hill, PA) argues that Christians need to use the term Biblical justice which he defines as, "giving all image bearers of God their due."
For the most part Christians do not know what God's righteousness is. We tend to lean heavily on private justice (the king without the kingdom) or public justice (the kingdom without the king), but an equal blend of both is needed for God's righteousness.
From feeding people in their local communities to walking with protestors to listening and learning from members of the community here are what five pastors are doing in their neighborhoods to address racial injustice. All of these examples can be done in your local community - but first slow down and pray.
Justice seems to be a universal term. A term that everyone knows and that is generally agreed upon. But, since most Christians have not been discipled in Biblical justice we bring in non-Biblical definitions and assumptions when discussing justice. To learn about Biblical justice pastor Thabiti Anyabwile suggests that we must first have a heart check. This is part of a superb eight-part series.
A comprehensive history of the terms justice, social justice and biblical justice. On the technical side, but if you just want the facts then this is an excellent starting point. If you would like a different writing style, but similar content try Tim Keller's "What is Biblical Justice?"
In an excerpt from Tim Keller's book, Generous Justice, he explains that biblical justice consists of two Hebrew words - mishpat (to treat people equitably) and tzadeqah (a life of right relationships) - and when those two words are brought together in today's terms it would be called social justice. If you would like a different writing style, but similar content try Joe Carter's "The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About Social Justice."
Knitting his personal family's history with the establishment of the Equal Justice Initiative and the history of slavery and segregation Bryan Stevenson makes a strong case that America - its people and its institutions - need to learn and recognize the legacy of lynching, segregation and slavery and it's far reaching effects to move towards reconciliation.
Associate professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary W. David O. Taylor says all that we need to do to learn about justice and the Bible is to open the book of Psalms. In the book we can learn what Biblical justice is, who should pursue justice and what justice looks like.
From the four gospels to Isaiah to Micah and more, the Bible paints a clear picture that Christians should pursue justice, not just with words, but with action. These actions can help repair the credibility of the church while helping marginalized groups in addition to serving as a witness to the power of the Gospel.
Most Christians fall into two camps - one champions justice but not justification while the other prizes justice but not justification. Theologian Tim Keller argues that justice and the doctrine of justification should work hand in hand.