The term “social justice” has been used to promote a variety of policies and proposals, most of which fall within a particularly progressive economic ideology and theological perspective. Educated in economics, theology, and intercultural studies, and with extensive experience in both politics and the pulpit, Teevan has witnessed these tendencies firsthand, proceeding to dissect the host of flaws, gaps, and inconsistencies therein.
Teevan’s unique and creative approach will surely interest the most experienced of “social justice” interlocutors, but his writing is also highly accessible for those just getting warmed up. Weaving together thought and action from a variety of directions and points in history with remarkable clarity, Teeven concludes with a refreshingly integrated economic, philosophic, and biblical framework. For young evangelicals in particular, who have lately become fond of leveraging “justice” vocabulary toward a variety of aims and ends, Teevan’s unique blend of careful analysis and practical application offers a particularly relevant challenge to the status quo.
Teevan explores a variety of areas and ideas, ultimately pointing the way to a framework wherein the pursuit of justice is expanded beyond mere economic redistribution, restoring many of these activities to the realm of personal stewardship through which “to whom much is given much is required” (Luke 12:48).
As Teevan explains:
One way to put the issue is to ask if we would like to live in a world led by social justice advocates—a world that might best be represented by the famous statue of blind (impartial) Lady Justice lifting her blindfold to peek so as to give people not equal treatment under the law but rather someone’s version of what they might justly deserve of the material world’s goods. Or would we prefer to live in a world where God is watching all people and expecting that those who bear his name and who have material goods will find a way to combine their resources and best energies to do good works in his name as they pursue the Great Commission?
On this point, Tony Evans commented, “Ultimately, doing justice fulfills the two greatest commandments given to us by Jesus— that of loving God and loving others. Thus Jesus linked our attitude toward God (spiritual) with our attitude toward others (social).”
…[W]e must not reduce life on earth to a material existence. We must recognize the rich spiritual realities that God not only reveals but has made available to all of humanity through his grace in the surprising justice of having his priceless Son make an atoning sacrifice on a Roman cross just outside Jerusalem. The resurrection demonstrates that God has reconciled humankind to himself in a new relationship of grace.
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