Almighty God, who has created man in thine own image; Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil, and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice among men and nations, to the glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.– The Book of Common Prayer
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.”
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.
Over hundreds of years and the entanglement of church and state American Christians have lost their prophetic and Biblical voice when it comes to justice and punishment. Pastor Dominque DuBoise Gilliard tells the history of incarceration and the churches role and theological posture – both good and bad – with incarceration in the United States before tracing the history of Christian’s views on criminals and crime to retributive justice that is at odds with the Bible.
What does it mean to do justice? Is justice a primary concern in the Bible? Can we separate justice and evangelism? What characteristics should make Christians unique and distinct in the world? Pastor Tim Keller answers those questions and more in a thorough explanation of Biblical justice while making the case that justice and the pursuit of justice is a primary concern of the Bible and Jesus’ ministry on earth.
Humans are created in the image of God. That sentence is what Christians should build their framework around for political engagement. Not a political party, not a tribe, and not an ideology. Human dignity is one the major themes that flows throughout Compassion (&) Conviction.
A true story about America’s criminal justice system and how it treats people of color, the poor, the wrongly convicted, and the wrongly condemned. The material is heavy, but the author is hopeful despite his years of seeing terrible injustice.
In less than 70 pages Chris Marshall, with plenty of scriptural evidence, says that justice is a central theme of the Bible and it is how God relates to the world.
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.
A movie based on the true story told in the book, “Just Mercy.” It tells the story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael Jordan), who works to overturn the wrongful conviction of a Black American man named Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx).
In a roundtable discussion Dr. Charlie Dates, Dr. Yolanda Pierce, Dr. Nicole Massie Martin, and Jemar Tisby discuss a number of questions regarding justice including what justice is, how to live in tension in a society that will never be perfect and yet as Christians we are called to change, when to use power and/or protest, what reparations could look like and why the Bible provides us with the unique framework to overcome injustice and prevent those in power from abusing it. The highlights include the nuanced talk of violence (18:10) and reparations (32:10).
A four-part series, including a question and answer session, that takes a theological deep dive into Biblical justice. The 193 total minutes are not for the faint of heart, but if you can make it through you will have a thorough understanding of Biblical justice.
In a pluralistic society many people have different ideas and definitions of justice. Christians must be aware of that reality. We must also be aware that justice is a unique, Biblical based concept rooted in the image of God. So, whenever we are talking about racial justice, social justice or any other type of justice, as Christians we must always be looking at justice and all its forms through a Biblical lens. This lens, rooted in the Bible, is crystal clear that we must pursue a just society that meets both the physical and the spiritual needs of all people, not just Christians.
Senior vice president at National Religious Broadcasters Daniel Darling and attorney and political strategist Justin Giboney knock it out of the park in what is one of the best 25-minute podcasts of all time. From the need for truth and love in politics to tribalism to human dignity to why institutions are important Giboney and Darling clearly articulate a distinct, unique vision for a Christian who is engaged in politics and pursuing justice.
Detailing the origins and the evolution of their political ideologies hosts Jemar Tisby and Tyler Burns discuss that as Christians we must be nuanced with our political involvement and, regardless of the party, we must prioritize the poor and the oppressed. Those that grew up in a predominately white church or private school will identify with Burns’ story.
A thought provoking and challenging three-part series that shows, but never in a heavy-handed way, how important justice is to God.
Simply put — to do justice is to worship God. Many in the American evangelical church have lost sight of that fact. Referencing Micah 6, Amos 5, Isaiah 1 and a host of other scriptures pastor Thabiti Anyabwile of Anacostia River Church (Washington, DC) implores the church to recognize that God’s character is righteous and just and therefore to know God is to pursue righteousness and justice. For the preachers, Anyabwile has five ways preachers need to lead and instruct their congregations in regards to justice.
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.
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.
Ever wondered how a local church can affect local legislation? The Ordinance tells the story of faith leaders from several denominations uniting to change the predatory lending of payday loan companies in Texas.
Professor Tim Mackie of Western Seminary narrates a quick sub-6 minute visually appealing video detailing the origin and nuances of justice according to the Bible.