The “Social Justice” Controversy
Recently, a thunderstorm of controversy was sparked by a couple of comments made by political pundit Glenn Beck. In short, Beck encouraged Christians to leave their churches if it showed interest in “social justice.” “Social justice” for Beck is a “code word” for socialism.
Here are some valuable resources that are helpful for thinking through this issue in a responsible and biblical manner:
1) Kevin DeYoung- A Modest Proposal
2) Kevin DeYoung- Seven Passages on Social Justice: part 1, part 2, part 3
3) Jay Richards- Beck, Wallis, and “Social Justice”
4) Jay Richards- What is “social Justice”? part1, part 2
5) Tim Keller- The Gospel and the Poor
I share many, if not most, of the views reflected in these articles. With Keller, I believe that our financial generosity and a concern for justice should flow from our grasp of the gospel. With DeYoung, I agree that the term “social justice” is slippery and that as Christians we must be very careful how we handle it, because some (such as Beck) hear it not as a biblical concern, but as a vale for a failed political and economic agenda. Others hear “social justice” and equate it with the cross-less “social gospel” of theological liberalism. Richards also clarifies on some of the dangers of qualifying the biblical teaching on justice by the term “social ” and shares some thoughts on the current controversy with Beck.
For a fantastic DVD series that applies the gospel to these issues, see: