Justice

Nobody’s Good Enough

It’s easy to forget sometimes, but the book of Revelation reveals. There’s a lot of mystery in the book’s details, but if we step back and focus on what’s clear, what emerges is a beautiful expression of the greatest truths any human being can be blessed to know.

I was reminded of this recently as our pastor preached through Revelation 5-7. Flowing through the awesome scenes, strange creatures, and epic moments of these chapters is a retelling of the great story of all of Scripture.

A tragic problem

Chapter 5 continues the apostle John’s vision of God on His throne. God the Father is holding a sealed scroll and John is confronted with a question from a “mighty Angel.” It’s really the great question of the ages, since the transgression in Eden and the fall of the human race. It has long had the same tragic answer.

And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. (Rev 5:2–4, emphasis added)

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As In Heaven: A New Podcast on Christian Conversations on Race and Justice

"...this upcoming season allows us to hear from many Black voices, including, among others, Sheila Wise Rowe (speaker, author, and artist), Isaac Adams (assistant pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.), Daryll Williamson (lead pastor at Living Faith Bible Fellowship in Tampa and member of TGC’s leadership council), and Dr. Christina Edmondson (author, speaker, and educator).

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On Government, Police, and Qualified Immunity

These days, there’s a lot to be said for tuning out the info-noise and basking in the bliss of ignorance. Why fret over what you can’t change? There is a Judge of All the Earth,1 and it isn’t me. “Fret not”!2

And, in the daily cacophony of clashing claims, who can sort the truth out of the mess anyway, right?

Well … not exactly.

As fun as it is to imagine that we can just shut the door on it all, the Christian mind is one of inescapable tension. In one direction, we’re pulled toward resting in the sovereign power of the God who raises up and knocks down rulers (Dan 2:21) as He accomplishes His plan for His glory—a plan that can’t even be stalled, let alone defeated.3 In the other direction, we’re pulled toward loving God with our minds (Mark 12:30), bringing every exalted idea into captivity to Christ (2 Cor 10:5), and shining as lights in a dark, twisted world (Phil 2:15).

Further, as citizens in a constitutional democratic republic, we each own a piece of government power and the responsibility that goes with it. Few of us are authorized to wield the sword of justice (Rom 13:4), but we have influence. Our voices are part of the civil government.

And God takes government very seriously. Commenting on Genesis 9:6 and the context, Keil and Delitzsch put it strongly.

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Justice and Faith on the Earth

In Luke 18:1-8, we find a parable taught by Jesus that was uniquely recorded by Luke.

Interestingly, the parable revolves entirely around the concept of justice—perhaps the hottest topic going today.

… There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ (NKJV)

Social justice, racial justice, economic justice—it seems that everyone today wants to be (or, at least, appear to be) sold out for all of them! Some will even go so far as to attempt to say, or even do, the most radical things possible to show that they are a life-and-death-kind-of-serious about justice.

I just have a question about the types of justice mentioned above, as well as any other varieties being discussed: What do these terms mean? Can anyone actually define them, or are they just catchphrases designed to make us all feel and look better?

Furthermore—and much more importantly—are the definitions offered rooted in Biblical truth?

When Jesus spoke about justice, or righteousness, in this parable, He was obviously grounding His statements in the Mosaic Law. It is morally impossible to take the word justice and simply fill it with a meaning that is devoid of any Biblical roots. We must also be concerned lest we find ourselves uttering phrases—like social justice—which are packed with historical meaning of which we might not even be aware.

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What if We Loved Them Both? The Christian case for the letter and spirit of the Bill of Rights.

“Due process is just, and it’s indispensable to the pursuit of justice. It is the answer to the question at the start of this newsletter—in the most fraught of claims and the most vicious of crimes—What if we loved them both? What if both accused and accuser were of equal worth?” - David French

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