Thursday, January 20, 2011

Generous Justice

Tim Keller's latest book is another gem.  Well worth reading. Here is the chapter headings and a few quotes that stuck out.  Also a link to a great interview he did on the book:

Chapter One - What is Doing Justice?
Chapter Two - Justice and the Old Testament
Chapter Three - What Did Jesus Say About Justice?
Chapter Four - Justice and Your Neighbor
Chapter Five - Why Should We Do Justice?
Chapter Six - How Should We Do Justice?
Chapter Seven - Doing Justice in the Public Square
Chapter Eight - Peace, Beauty, and Justice

"The three causes of poverty, according to the Bible, are oppression, calamity and personal moral failure. Having surveyed the Bible on these texts numerous times, I have concluded that the emphasis is usually on the larger structural factors (p38)."

"In Christ we receive grace, unmerited favor. Nevertheless, in the mind of the Old Testament prophets as well as the teaching of Jesus, an encounter with grace inevitably leads to a life of justice (p49)."

"My experience as a pastor has been that those who are middle-class in spirit tend to be indifferent to the poor, but people who come to grasp the gospel of grace and become spiritually poor find their hearts gravitating toward the materially poor.  To the degree that the gospel shapes your self-image, you will identify with those in need.  You will see their tattered clothes and think:  "All my righteousness is a filthy rag, but in Christ we can be clothed in his robes of righteousness."  When you come upon those who are economically poor, you cannot say to them, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!" because you certainly did not do that spiritually.  Jesus intervened for you.  And you cannot say, "I won't help you because you got yourself into this mess," since God came to earth, moved into your spiritually poor neighborhood, as it were, and helped you even though your spiritual problems were your own fault.  In other words, when Christians who understand the gospel see a poor person, they realize they are looking into a mirror.  Their hearts must go out to him or her without an ounce of superiority or indifference. (102-103)."
“A life poured out in doing justice for the poor is the inevitable sign of any real, true gospel faith” (p. 189)

"I urge my readers to discern the balance I am seeking to strike. If we confuse evangelism and social justice we lose what is the single most unique service that Christians can offer the world. Others, alongside believers, can feed the hungry. But Christians have the gospel of Jesus by which men and women can be born again into the certain hope of eternal life. No one else can make such an invitation. However, many Christians who care intensely about evangelism see the work of doing justice as a distraction for Christians that detracts from the mission of evangelism. That is also a grave error. (141)"

Link to Interview:

1 comment:

  1. Looks like an awesome book. Will be getting it soon. thanks for the heads up.