ESSAY: Love, Justice & the Kingdom: A Christian Social Ethic (2002)

I wrote this essay many years ago.  Some of my views related to Christian involvement in the political realm have changed a bit. But it’s still worth a read.  -JB

INTRODUCTION

From the beginning, the question of how Christians should relate to the rest of society has continually been raised and reevaluated.  In retrospect, it is apparent that the church has never achieved unanimous agreement over the issue of Christian social responsibility.  History documents many movements toward a position of noninvolvement or even absolute separation from society.[1] At the same time, Christians also have a rich heritage of active social involvement.[2] Still others along the way have tried to acrobatically tread the high ground somewhere between these two valleys.  Regardless of which view one ultimately holds, any biblically sound basis for Christian social responsibility must start with the example found in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Which part of Jesus’ life and teachings do we turn to in order to find such a model?  Do we simply turn immediately to his most famous treatise on ethics—the Sermon on the Mount?  Or perhaps the answer is not necessarily to be found in what he said, but rather in what he did.  If this is so, might we just examine his interactions with various social groups and formulate a position based on that?   I propose that we center our attention on what was clearly the driving force behind both Jesus’ words and actions—namely, the gospel of the kingdom of God. A fuller understanding of the essence of the kingdom will provide the basis we are seeking for a position on Christian social responsibility.

The ensuing study seeks to show that at the heart of Jesus’ message of the kingdom lies the dual administration of both God’s love and justice.  If Christians of the twenty-first century are to be more effective stewards of the ministry of the kingdom, which is by essence a reflection of the character and will of God, then a proper understanding of love and justice is the crucial starting point. Along with this understanding must come a renewed dedication to developing the godly character necessary for representing the presence of this kingdom on earth.  Thus, I propose that the answer to our question above is to be found neither by studying what Jesus said nor by what he did, but rather by examining who he was and the character and virtue behind both his words and actions.   The foundation for this argument lies in a firm understanding of the kingdom of God.

I. TOWARD A KINGDOM ETHIC

THE INAUGURATED KINGDOM

While the heated debate over the meaning of the kingdom of God in Jesus ministry continues to blaze higher and higher among contemporary scholarship, the details of that discussion lie beyond the scope of this study.[3] My working presupposition is that the ministry of Jesus inaugurated the messianic kingdom into history and its arrival was demonstrated by the miraculous events of Jesus’ ministry.  For instance, Jesus says: “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you” (Luke 11:20).  Furthermore, when the disciples of John the Baptist are sent to ask Jesus if he is “the one who was to come,” Jesus directs their attention to the messianic wonders he is performing: “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor” (Matt 11:2-5).  While the kingdom was present in the person of Jesus and continues through the witness of the Church, the eschatological consummation of the kingdom remains a future hope.[4]

Such an understanding of the kingdom leaves the church in a unique position.  The church finds itself situated in the midst of two overlapping ages—the present evil age under the influence of Satan and the powers of evil on the one hand, and the inaugurated kingdom of God and its influences thriving through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The church is commissioned to bring the gospel of the kingdom against the strongholds of evil and is empowered by the Spirit to accomplish the task.  Having suggested the present reality of the kingdom, what then is the nature and purpose of this kingdom?

THE NATURE AND PURPOSE OF THE KINGDOM

Dallas Willard defines the kingdom as “the range of God’s effective will, where what he wants done is done.”[5] Put simply, it is the reign of God.  A foretaste of this messianic reign was powerfully manifested in the ministry of Jesus Christ and this same kingdom power was then poured out on the church at Pentecost in order to continue bearing witness to the reign of the enthroned Christ (Eph.1:20-23).[6] John Stott summarizes:

The kingdom of God is God’s dynamic rule, breaking into human history through Jesus, confronting, combating, and overcoming evil, spreading the wholeness of personal and communal well-being, taking possession of this people in total blessing and total demand.  The church is meant to be the kingdom community, a model of what human community looks like when it comes under the rule of God, and a challenging alternative to secular society.[7]

The nature of the kingdom then is the reign of God and its purpose is to do the will of God “on earth as it is in heaven.”

But what is the will of God that Christians are to fulfill in their social spheres of influence and how are they to best discern it?  This requires a brief inquiry into the character of God, since one’s will is intimately tied to one’s character.   Just as good works flow naturally from a good heart (cf. Luke 6:45), one’s will naturally reflects the character of the one willing.  This line of reasoning is a derivative of an “ethic of virtue.”  As Stanley Hauerwas defines it: “An ethic of virtue centers on

the claim that an agent’s being is prior to his doing.”[8] I am merely modifying this definition to suggest that one’s being is even prior to one’s will or desire to act.  As we briefly explore the character of God as revealed to us in both the OT and NT, two attributes stand out—love and justice.  As the church develops and models these attributes it will naturally fulfill it’s calling to accurately bear witness to the presence of the kingdom of God.

THE HEART OF THE CHARACTER OF GOD

It takes only a superficial reading of both the OT and the NT to see the emergence of the two prominent themes of love and justice.  A few examples of each must suffice.[9] The biblical writers make it clear that God loves justice:  “I, the Lord, love justice” (Is. 61:8) and “The Lord loves justice” (Ps. 37:28, RSV).  Many other examples emphasize God’s distributive justice:  “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (Ps. 103:6) and “I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy” (Ps. 140:12).  Other examples emphasize God’s retributive justice which demands atonement for sins and punishes the wicked (Gen. 19:23-25).  God urges us to follow his example in promoting the cause of justice.  Moses instructs the people of God to “follow justice and justice alone so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Deut. 16:20).  God proclaims through Amos:  “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream” (Amos 5:24).

Ronald Youngblood provides a nice introduction to the biblical theme of God’s love:

[The Bible] records the greatest love story ever written—God’s unconditional love for us that sent His Son to die on the cross (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10).  Love is not only one of God’s attributes; it is also an essential part of His nature (Deut. 7:7-8).  “God is love,” the Bible declares (1 John 4: 8, 16)—the personification of perfect love.  Such love surpasses our powers of understanding (Eph. 3:19).  Love like this is everlasting (Jer. 31:3), free (Hos. 14:4), sacrificial (John 3:16), and enduring to the end (John 13:1).[10]

 

In the NT, love is singled out by Jesus as the “new commandment” (John 13:34) and when asked which is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:28-31).  We need not dwell any longer on each of these attributes in isolation of each other.  For there is little disagreement over the centrality of these attributes in the character and will of God.  However, many questions do arise and confusion abounds when the relationship between love and justice is considered.  This will be the focus of part II of this essay.  Before continuing our quest to establish a basis for Christian social responsibility, let me briefly review our findings thus far.  I have proposed that:

  1. As the body of Christ on earth Christians are to continue the ministry of the kingdom.
  2. The kingdom can broadly be defined as the reign of God.
  3. The reign of God is where God’s will is done.
  4. God’s perfect will is the derivative of God’s perfect character.
  5. Two principal attributes of God’s character are love and justice.
  6. Therefore, Christians are responsible for reflecting God’s character by bringing love and justice to a world living outside the reign of God and to, thus, bear witness to and invite others into the will and purposes of God.

The latter half of this study attempts to (1) show some negative consequences of common misconceptions of love and justice, (2) properly define love and justice and their relation to one another, and (3) conclude with a challenge to Christians of the twenty-first century to rededicate themselves to a world in desperate need of God’s kingdom of love and justice.

 

II. LOVE AND JUSTICE: FRIENDS OR FOES?

MISCONCEPTIONS OF LOVE & JUSTICE

Christians are called by God “to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Rom. 8:29) and I have argued that this involves reflecting his character and bearing witness to and doing his will.  Furthermore, I have concluded that love and justice are the core attributes we must image and imitate since they lie at the heart of the kingdom.  However, the prerequisite to accurately reflecting something is to first have an accurate understanding of that which one is trying to reflect.  A. W. Tozer puts it this way: “We tend by a secret law of the soul to move towards our mental image of God.”[11] If this is indeed the case, then we must guard ourselves against any distorted images of God we might inadvertently come to reflect.  There is no greater danger within Christian circles than blindly adopting a misconception of the nature and character of God.  I am convinced that many believers today have a distorted understanding of God concerning his dual administration of love and justice.  As a result, the place of love and justice in Christian practice has often been an area of confusion as well.  The following are two examples of such distortions and their consequences.

First, many Christians’ carry very shallow and narrow definitions of love and justice.  Justice is often narrowly defined as God’s retribution for evil deeds while neglecting the distributive aspects of God’s justice—such as feeding the hungry or upholding the cause of the poor and the oppressed.  Those who carry such a one-sided definition of biblical justice claim that God is alone responsible for administering justice in the world (having in mind here strictly retributive justice).  While Christians justifiably want to reserve the retribution for sins to God alone (Rom. 12:19) and leave other punitive measures to the governing authorities which God has established (Rom. 13:1), many in the process have ignored the distributive aspect of justice that all Christians are called promote and administer.

As for love, the deep sense of biblical agape love is often replaced by cheap imitations that amount to little more than flaky sentimentality or a fleeting gooey feeling.  For other well-intended Christians, love is expressed primarily in the vertical direction (heartfelt worship and praise to God) while neglecting the equally important horizontal dimension of love (‘loving thy neighbor’).  In other words:

It is painfully evident that many comfortable North American Christians have neglected the down-to-earth demonstration of love of neighbor in concrete, material ways.  We can too easily substitute raising our hands in “praise” for getting our hands dirty in helping the poor and bruised.[12]

Second, there is the common tendency to polarize justice and love against one another as if they were incompatible.  In the process, two essential attributes of God appear to be in tension.  Instead of seeking an integrative picture of God, many choose their favorite of the two attributes and create an incomplete or false image of God based on it.  We see evidence of this today in two popular misconceptions.  The first is the angry judge or police officer God who watches anxiously for people to break his law and then delights in dropping the hammer of justice.  The second image is of the push-over, grandfatherly God who merely wants to shower his people with their every wish like a cosmic genie in a bottle.  This God becomes the irresponsible parent who is too loving to say “no.”  This polarization is also seen in the Marcionistic tendency still evident among some Christians to separate and caricaturize the OT portrait of God as diametrically opposed to the NT portrait of God.  The OT God of wrath is characterized as mainly concerned with justice and punishment; while the NT God of grace is characterized as loving and forgiving.  These disfigured portraits of God show the desperate need for biblical definitions of love and justice that display the harmonious relationship between the two within the perfect character of God, rather than embracing skewed definitions that nurture images of a schizophrenic God.

REDEFINING LOVE AND JUSTICE

Defining biblical love is no meager task.  For our purpose of understanding a Christian’s behavior towards the rest of society, I will focus strictly on how love acts.  We might define love as “the active self-giving for the benefit of another, rooted in the valuing of another.”[13] Paul B. Henry provides some helpful characteristics of how love acts.

Love is voluntary and freely given; that since it involves moral volition, it must be personally mediated; that love is sacrificial, and thus limited to the extent to which an individual is capable of personally absorbing the consequences of its acts; and finally, that love extends beyond duty or moral obligation (implying that it must first fulfill moral obligation or duty).[14]

With this understanding of love still in view, let me now define justice.  We shall see that justice and love share common goals, yet the way in which they are accomplished differs.

Justice has been traditionally defined as “rendering to a person what is due him or her.”[15] Two important categories of justice are: “retributive justice, the rightful punishment of lawbreakers, and distributive justice, the fair allocation of societal goods and benefits (such as natural resources) and societal burdens (such as taxation) among individuals and groups.”[16] What is due someone and what is not is based upon the assumption that all human beings are created in the image of God and are, therefore, endowed with certain human rights.  Clark and Rakestraw suggest four biblical examples:

The right to life (Gen. 9:5-6), to work (Gen. 2:15), to freedom from discrimination (Lev. 19:33-34), and to a fair share in the rich resources of creation (Gen. 9:1-3) are all God-given human rights.  Justice is concerned with defending and advancing these rights.

Justice seeks the same good that love does, but achieves it in different ways and for different reasons.  How then does justice act in comparison to love?  This demands an examination of the interrelationship of the two.

THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF LOVE AND JUSTICE

Millard Erickson reminds us of the importance of defining God’s attributes in light of one another, saying:  “Justice is loving justice and love is just love.”[17] As Rufus Burrow puts it, “love without justice can be sentimental, naïve, and wishy-washy.  On the other hand, justice without love can be impersonal, crude, and insensitive.”[18] As we have already seen, many have tried to alleviate the apparent tension between love and justice in various detrimental ways.  Moving towards a more integrative understanding, three crucial points must be made concerning the interrelationship of love and justice.

First, the distinction between the two must be recognized while simultaneously preserving their complementary relationship.  On the one side, Joseph Fletcher claims that “love and justice are the same, for justice is love distributed, nothing else.”[19] On the other side, Tolstoy sees the two in inevitable conflict asserting:

Justice…concerns itself with groups, determines their rights, dispenses the rewards and punishments that are strictly due, and achieves its goal by force.  Love…targets the individual ‘neighbor’, sets out to meet his or her personal needs, blesses the totally undeserving, and operates by gentle persuasion.”[20]

Fletcher recognizes their common goal while neglecting to see the different means by which each accomplishes it.  Tolstoy does just the opposite.  He rightly highlights the different ways each accomplishes its goal, but fails to see that each have the same end in mind and therefore are not in conflict.  Paul Tillich captures the harmonious relationship and mutual goal of love and justice: “Love is the ground, the power, and the aim of justice,” so that “love without justice is a body without a backbone.”[21]

Second, it is necessary to explore briefly how love and justice in fact do differ in accomplishing their common goal.  Above, Tolstoy rightly described the personal nature of love contrasted with the obligatory nature of justice.  Love is voluntarily given, while justice can be meted merely out of duty.  He also observes that love uses ‘gentle persuasion’ to accomplish its task, while justice often ‘achieves its goal by force.’  Emil Brunner reaffirms these differences:

Justice makes no free gift; it gives precisely what is due to the other…Its basis is strictly realistic, sober, and rational…But love is…super-rational.  For it loves the unworthy…The real gift of love only begins where justice has already been done, for it is that which is beyond justice.[22]

Third, we must admit the limitations of love’s efficacy in a sin-soaked world and recognize the necessity of institutional justice to at times finish what love cannot on its own.  Stephen C. Mott states this precisely: “One needs justice in addition to love to carry on what love starts but cannot finish alone.  Love is the greater factor, but justice is a necessary instrument of love…Justice carries out what love motivates.”[23] This raises the question of Christian participation in politics.  In so far that politics can be used to accomplish the will of God, Christians should use the arm of the state to that end.  Along these lines, Brunner asserts that “within the world of systems, [one] must, so to speak, change his love into the current coin of justice, since that alone is legal tender in the world of systems…As long as we human beings live in this world, where there are systems, justice is as indispensable as love.”[24] I cannot stress enough the need for Christians of the next generation to boldly engage a world lost in sin.  The church working under its own power and authority has good reason to flee the contaminating influence of the world’s systems.  But the church working under the power and authority of the Holy Spirit must fearlessly storm the gates of society’s hells with the healing and transforming ministry of redemption.  This requires invading all spheres of society.  M. Burch emphasizes this point:

The people of God, by virtue of their relationship with a God who has revealed himself as righteous and holy, have a heritage of responsibility to each other and the world around them.  That heritage has meant carrying the witness of justice into every area of life, be it social, political, or economic.  It is a prophetic witness that often speaks against the culture as well as suffering the injustices of the culture.  This witness is both individual, involving the personal and business lives of Christians, and corporate, engaging the church in the needs and concerns of the society.  Justice knows no boundaries.[25]

However, for the church, justice must always be motivated by love.  As Christians, we are to go beyond simply fulfilling an obligation.  We long for justice not merely for justice’s sake, but for the sake of Him who suffered the ultimate injustice for us, securing our redemption.  For the Christian, justice is “the instrument of love” and love is the motivation behind justice.

SYNTHESIS AND CHALLENGE

In synthesizing, I offer several practical challenges to Christians who are seeking to establish a biblically faithful and god-honoring position on the issue of social involvement.

The Present Kingdom: Christians must grasp the present reality of the kingdom, recognizing that a victorious Christ already sits enthroned above all “principalities and powers” of this world, transforming the world through his body, the spirit-empowered church.  The true gospel of the kingdom must be held high above all other gospels.  These ‘other’ gospels include especially those which try to limit it to solely individual salvation and personal transformation; as well as certain escapist gospels which limit Christ’s redemption solely to a future afterlife of otherworldly bliss.  The kingdom must be seen as the here-and-now transformative reality of a new community, a new humanity in the process of restoration.

The Character of the Kingdom People: Christians must become ‘kingdom people’ by developing godly character and Christ-like virtue.  All Christian ethics—including ethics of social responsibility—must be rooted in the perfect and holy character of God.  This process of developing virtue demands a constant awareness of the God one is imaging, always checking and correcting distorted images one might grow to mirror.  A Christian’s primary responsibility in the world is to be the city on a hill, holy and set apart to God as a faithful witness to his inaugurated kingdom.  The call to be is always prior to the call to do.  A godly person will naturally love as God loves and promote justice as God does.

Love that Acts: Christians must uphold the deep sense of God’s love for humanity.  Cheap imitations of love must be crushed under the weight of the cross of Christ’s ultimate love act.  Love must be the primary motivation behind all actions.  Most importantly, love must move beyond emotional concern or passive affection.  Love must act in order to make a difference.  Love always seeks justice.  A sad but true indictment of Christians can be found in the poem of a homeless woman who once asked a Christian for help, but being in such a hurry the Christian kindly promised the woman that he would pray for her.  Her poem is a blunt reminder that true love must act:

I was hungry,

and you formed a humanities group to discuss my hunger.

I was imprisoned,

and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release.

I was naked,

and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.

I was sick,

and you knelt and thanked God for your health.

I was homeless,

and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.

I was lonely,

and you left me alone to pray for me.

You seem so holy, so close to God

but I am still very hungry—and lonely—and cold.[26]

The Necessary Arm of Justice: While leaving retributive justice for sin to God and civil justice to the state, Christians must renew a fervor for administering distributive justice to those in need.  Christians must defend the dignity of every human being since each equally bears the image of the Creator.  Christians, whenever possible, must bring all systems and authorities of the world under the mighty arm God in order to use them to accomplish God’s purposes.  The redemptive plan of God encompasses more than the religious and spiritual realms, but seeks to invade the psychological, physical, social, political, and economic realms as well.  With love as the motive, Christians must use all possible means to fight injustice and when necessary, be willing to faithfully suffer injustice in the process.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, this study is by no means a comprehensive inquiry into the specific issues surrounding Christian social responsibility.  I have not attempted to exhaust such issues as church and politics, “soul-winning” gospels vs. social gospels, civil disobedience, etc.  Nor have I attempted to provide an exhaustive exegetical argument for a particular position of social responsibility.  Rather, the purpose of this study was to construct a particular framework within which to further explore these more peripheral issues of Christian responsibility in the future.  The framework I have proposed is a kingdom-centered ethic grounded in the character and will of God.  Nevertheless, the reader will readily observe that this study is not lacking a stance on the matter.   Since at the heart of the kingdom ethic lies voluntary sacrificial love acts and an active pursuit of justice for all humanity, the application of this kingdom ethic to any issue—including the issue of social responsibility—implies a proactive position and a faithful promotion of love and justice.

As I began this study suggesting our answer to the question of social responsibility was to be found in the example of Christ, so I conclude with Jesus’ call to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).  This admonition means, at least in part, that we continue to grow in godly character and virtue that we might more accurately shine the light of God’s character and will into the dark shadows of the world in which we make our pilgrimage.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Atkinson, David J. and David H. Field, eds. The New Dictionary of Christian Ethics & Pastoral Theology. Downers Grove: IVP, 1995.

Brunner, Emil. Justice and Social Order. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945.

Burch, M. “Justice.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 2nd edition, ed. Walter Elwell, 642. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

Burrow, Jr., Rufus. “The Love, Justice, and Wrath of God.” Encounter 59 (Summer 1998): 389-407.

Caragounis, C. C. “Kingdom of God/Heaven.” In Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, eds. Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight, 417-30. Downers Grove: IVP, 1992.

Clark, David K. and Robert V. Rakestraw, eds. Readings in Christian Ethics, Vol. 1. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.

Erickson, Millard. Christian Theology, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998.

Feinberg, John S. and Paul D. Feinberg. Ethics for a Brave New World. Wheaton: Crossway, 1993.

Fletcher, Joseph. Situation Ethics: The New Morality. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1966.

Ladd, George E. The Presence of the Future. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974.

Scorgie, Glen G. “Systematic Theology I.” Bethel Seminary San Diego class lectures, 22 Oct. 2002.  From notes by author.

Stott, John. Human Rights and Human Wrongs: Major Issues for a New Century, 3rd ed.Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999.

Tozer, A. W. The Knowledge of the Holy. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1961.

Willard, Dallas. The Divine Conspiracy. New York: HarperCollins, 1998.

Youngblood, Ronald F. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville: Nelson, 1995.

OTHER SOURCES CONSULTED

Gladwin, John. God’s People in God’s World. Downers Grove: IVP, 1979.

Moberg, David O. Inasmuch: Christian Social Responsibility in the Twentieth Century. Grand Rapids: Eerdm


[1] See John S. Feinberg and Paul D. Feinberg, Ethics for a Brave New World (Wheaton: Crossway, 1993), 391-393, for common biblical arguments against social involvement.

[2] See Ibid., 393-395, for common biblical arguments for active social involvement.

[3] See C. C. Caragounis, “Kingdom of God/Heaven,” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, ed. Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight (Downers Grove: IVP, 1992), 420-425, for an overview of this discussion.

[4] See George E. Ladd, The Presence of the Future (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974), 110-121, for an full exposition of this dynamic view of inaugurated eschatology.

[5] Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (New York: HarperCollins, 1998), 25.

[6] It is crucial to make clear that the church is not to be equated with the kingdom of God, but “the church is meant to provide a picture of the kingdom” as Christians reflect a lifestyle and ethic obedient to the purposes of the kingdom.  See C. Stephen Layman, quoted in David K. Clark & Robert V. Rakestraw, Readings in Christian Ethics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994), 1:34.

[7] John Stott, Human Rights and Human Wrongs: Major Issues for a New Century, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker 1999), 39.

[8] Stanley Hauerwas, quoted in Clark & Rakestraw, Readings, 1: 253 (italics mine).  See also Stephen S. Bilynskyi, “Christian Ethics and the Ethics of Virtue,” in Clark & Rakestraw, Readings, 1:258-60 and William F. May, “The Virtues in the Professional Setting,” in Clark & Rakestraw, Readings, 1:270-74.

[9] This summary of biblical grounds for justice is largely drawn from Atkinson & Field, The New Dictionary of Christian Ethics & Pastoral Theology (Downers Grove: IVP, 1995), 17.

[10] Ronald F. Youngblood, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville: Nelson, 1995), 775.

[11] A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1961), 9.

[12] Clark & Rakestraw, Readings, 1:212.

[13] Glen G. Scorgie, “Systematic Theology I.” Bethel Seminary San Diego class lectures, 22 Oct. 2002, from notes by author.

[14] Paul B. Henry, quoted by Clark & Rakestraw, Readings, 1:235.

[15] Clark & Rakestraw, Readings, 1:213.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd Edition(Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 324.

[18] Rufus Burrow, Jr., “The Love, Justice, and Wrath of God,” Encounter 59 (Summer 1998): 396.

[19] Joseph Fletcher, Situation Ethics: The New Morality (Philiadelphia: Westminster, 1966), 99.

[20] L. Tolstoy, quoted by Atkinson & Field, The New Dictionary, 13.

[21] Paul Tillich, quoted in Fletcher, Situation Ethics, 94.

[22] Emil Brunner, Justic and Social Order (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945), 127, 130.

[23] Stephen Charles Mott, quoted in Clark & Rakestraw, Readings, 1:218.

[24] Brunner, Justice and Social Order, 128.

[25] M. Burch, “Justice,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 2nd edition, ed. Walter Elwell  (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 642.

[26] Stott, Human Rights, 35.

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