I am reading Tim Keller’s book, Generous Justice. After living through a lot of decades where the question of spiritual life and social change, or the gospel and justice or words and works or orthodoxy and orthopraxy or about a dozen other contrasting concepts have come and gone, this book is a fresh look at the place of justice in the scripture.
What we usually end up with are arguments that are the same as the political debate of the day (with some “Jesus words” thrown in). What we don’t often get is Christian Thinking. I have grown tired of repackaged political rhetoric passing for bible study. I am no longer interested in counting the number of times the word “saved” is in the bible in comparison to “the poor.”
Keller has thought about these things from a deeply biblical framework. His discussion of the place of justice, and the place in particular of justice for the poor, the widows, the immigrant and the orphan is refreshing. He draws on everything from Job to Proverbs and Deuteronomy to Isaiah in the Old Testament. Then he turns his eye to the teaching fo Jesus.
The most profound insight is that biblical justice demands a personal commitment to raise the afflicted to a place of well being. “When every one beneath his (or her) vine and fig tree shall live in peace and unafraid” (Micah 4:4) is not just for me, but for Larry who has been knocking at my door looking for a few bucks for 15 years now. What will elevate Larry to that place?
I am still reading and will write a more complete review when I am done. I also plan to post a few personal reactions as well.