Awakened to Justice

Justice Awakening Book CoverI have several human trafficking engagements this month. To prepare for them, I recently completed a reading of Justice Awakening: How You and Your Church Can Help End Human Trafficking by Eddie Byun. Byun references Dr. Timothy Keller when defining the word justice. It means: 1.) treating people well, 2.) giving people what is due them, 3.) righteousness and right living in community or the right use of power, and 4.) care for the vulnerable and poor (27). I love these definitions because they echo the writings of the prophet Isaiah, and because they remind us that justice is something we learn and work at with the help of God.

I love this book because it begins where I like to begin by talking about God’s heart for justice. Good theology first begins with God. I like to challenge readers here to think deeper about what it means to live as a Christian, to follow Christ, and to engage rightly in the world. When I use words like “theology,” I am simply referring to what we know or how we think about God. These conclusions are best drawn from the Bible, and impacts the way we relate to each other and how we take responsibility for the earth we have been charged to steward.

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“No Jesus, No Justice” by Andy Crouch

Yesterday, Dr. Paul Louis Metzger explored the topic of God and Justice by asking us, “What’s the Big Deal about Justice?” Today, Andy Crouch, executive editor at Christianity Today has his own questions for us to consider:

Here are two simple questions.

Can we have Jesus without justice?

And can we have justice without Jesus?

Andy CrouchThe answer to the first question is straightforward enough. If you define “justice” as “bringing good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, letting the oppressed go free, and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor,” then Jesus himself makes justice central to his ministry in his “inaugural address” in Luke 4. These sweeping promises from Isaiah are fulfilled in the person of Jesus himself: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:22).

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