“What this book [Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen] obliges us to do is ask ourselves some basic and uncomfortable questions that living in a comfortable culture may never have allowed us to ask before. First, what sort of God do we believe in? Is he concerned exclusively with individual salvation? Or does he have a social conscience? Is he (in Dr. Carl Henry’s memorable phrase), “the God of justice and of justification”? How is it that so many of us staunch evangelical people have never seen, let alone faced, the barrage of biblical texts about justice? Why are we often guilty of selective imagination? Second, what sort of creature do we think a human being is? Have we ever considered the unique value and dignity of human beings, made in the image of God, so that abuse, torture, rape and grinding poverty, which dehumanize beings, are also an insult to the God who made them? Third, what sort of person do we think Jesus Christ is? Have we ever seen him as described in John 11, where first he ‘snorted’ with anger (v. 33, literally) in the face of death (an intrusion into God’s good world) and then ‘wept’ (v. 35) over the bereaved? If only we could be like Jesus, indignant toward evil and compassionate toward its victims! Fourth, what sort of a community do we think the church is meant to be? Is it not often indistinguishable from the world because it accommodates itself to the prevailing culture of injustice and indifference? Is it not intended rather to penetrate the world like salt and light, and so to change it, as salt hinders bacterial decay and light disperses darkness?” John Stott
“[Your father] defended the cause of the poor and needy …
Is that not what it means to know me?”
declares the Lord.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Are you moved by “the barrage of biblical texts about justice?”
- Like Jesus, are you compassionate toward the victims of evil? Are you part of the struggle to bring them justice?
- In what ways might you/your church be failing to treat others as “unique [in] value and dignity?”
Abba, forgive us if we have accommodated ourselves to the prevailing culture of injustice and indifference. May our hearts ache for others to experience, not only justification, but justice.
For More: God Who Stands and Stays by Carl Henry
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”