Ur Video: Dever & Wallis on Justice and the Gospel (Part 4)
What's the relationship between justice and justification?

Being justified by Christ leads a person to engage acts of justice. And the Christian witness of justice leads more people to be justified. But Wallis and Dever continue to disagree about whether justice is an "implication" of the gospel or "integral" to it.

August 26, 2010

Displaying 1–8 of 8 comments

Karen

September 02, 2010  9:40am

Fish, istm you are right about the imbalance of focus among many conservative Christians on the various manifestations of what are essentially the same sins on both sides of the political spectrums. I have read/heard; however, that while in terms of formal governmental activity the U.S. contributes far less to charitable social causes than many other nations, as a people, we in the U.S. (and especially religious conservatives in the U.S.) far outspend any secular governments in terms of both charitable contributions and efforts for humanitarian aid. If this is true, I believe looking only at the statistics regarding formal governmental spending is highly misleading (especially when you consider that the decision on a gov't level to decline to encumber us with the increased taxation and regulation that would make their charitable contributions possible or required, actually facilitates the prosperity to undergird and make possible the freely undertaken good will offerings and efforts that the American people make very generously through private agencies).

Report Abuse

Steven

August 31, 2010  3:37am

Fight injustice of course, and there are many means...but we fallen people can never bring about a totally just society. The best we can do is ameliorate conditions. The most wonderful and priceless gifts we have been offered are forgiveness and eternal life - so to me a good mix of effort might be 90% prayer and evangelisation, and 10% social/political activism. This discussion we are having has a deja vu quality about it. http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/merton.aspx

Report Abuse

Fish

August 30, 2010  11:25am

All these excuses for lack of action. It is shameful that secular nations do a far better job of taking care of the least of these than does this so-called Christian nation. American Christianity is just a get-out-of-jail-free card for use by mammon-worshipers. Sin all you like, create national sins, disregard every teaching of Jesus except faith, and call it good. God does not care if a child was killed by abortion or by our profit-driven health care system.

Report Abuse

Chapp

August 30, 2010  10:44am

What I just don't appreciate about these interviews is that Wallis dominates the conversation. I thought Dever made a wonderful point about matt 18 and then Wallis obfuscates his point about needing to maintain a fine line between justice and justification. Honestly Wallis seems to not be listening and always jumping ahead in order to make his point.

Report Abuse

Robert Martin

August 30, 2010  10:43am

Arg... sorry about the double post... web browser is not refreshing well today... Feel free to delete either one as they both basically say the same thing...

Report Abuse

Robert Martin

August 30, 2010  10:42am

Something I posted earlier today... Secular government is not the same as the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is greater than the secular government. If we believe these two statements (and I think Jim Wallis would agree), then we should be spending our effort working to move the Kingdom forward in our lives and in our communities and, if the secular institutions don't want to join us, that's their loss. I believe we should be a prophetic voice to the secular institutions. I believe we should act as ambassadors and conscience to them. But to go to the extent that Jim Wallis has and other Christians have and equate making over the government in a Kingdom model is asking for trouble. Secular governments are temporary. The US government WILL fail some day. If we put all our eggs in that basket, when the basket breaks, what happens to our eggs? Instead, wouldn't our time and effort be better spent to bring people into the Kingdom in such a way that they are not reliant on the secular institutions? Some would argue that the social issues of our world are too big for the Christian communities. And you know, if you look at it from that big, broad, "problem" view, yes, I can see that. But if you get down to relationships, to people who know people who need help doing their part, every little tiny bit helps... and all those little tiny bits add up. The original church changed the world and they didn't have any government helping them at all... in fact, they had the government actively working AGAINST them... "All things are possible" with God... that's where oour faith should be.

Report Abuse

Robert Martin

August 30, 2010  10:30am

Thank you, Chuck... that's my feeling as well. I agree 100% that salvation is not something that happens privately and only affects me... I need to "work out my faith with fear and trembling" and to live out what James writes that I don't look into the mirror and forget what I look like when I look away. But to tie Christian faith to government action... Not going there... We can call government to conscience, to be a prophetic voice to our government to act justly... but our focus should be to move the Kingdom forward in people's lives. Governments of this world come and go, always have, always will. Instead of putting our faith and trust in the temporary and secular, our faith and trust should be in the eternal and holy. If the US government should fail and if our faith is put into those government programs, what then? Wouldn't the Kingdom be better served to make sure that people and communities are transformed to be able to take care of social justice issues no matter WHAT government is in control? As I stated somewhere else just today. The secular government is NOT the same as the Kingdom. And the Kingdom is greater than the secular government. If we believe these two statements, and I believe that Jim Wallis would agree with them, we should put our priority in living out the Kingdom and moving the Kingdom forward. If the secular government doesn't want to come along with us, that's their loss.

Report Abuse

Chuck P in NJ

August 28, 2010  5:41am

I am a big fan of Mark and a skeptic of Jim, but I must say Mark looked out of place in this discussion while Jim was articulate. Some observations. 1) Throughout the 4 part series, Mark has sounded incomplete and talked as if his thinking is still evolving. Jim's repeated message should have been clear and coming from the lips of Mark. The core theme is agreeable to both men, but only Jim was concise in talking about it. I remain perplexed at Mark's unpreparedness. Well said Jim...... 2# However, I remain strongly skeptical of Jim for a few reasons #though I will only share one# and therefore differ dramatically from the methods he chooses to practice his message. - Foremost, in other forums #ie website and commentaries) he exhorts christians to commit their "acts of faith" through govt programs. I could not disagree with him more. I wish his articulate biblical message and his passion were instead used to start a new movement in churches and through faith consortiums. Why he calls disciples of Jesus to follow government escapes me. The biblical principle throughout the New Testament states that our acts of faith: - should lead outsiders to praise God (Mat 5:16) - whatever we do should be done "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col 3:17) The disdain that Jim speaks about toward the church from his early years where faith showed no justice, is similar to my feelings toward his call that believers charge into social justice through non-christian programs (inevitably subduing or silencing the biblical principles to testify of the Lord Jesus "institutionally"). Jim, I am not following you there. I will practice what you express so beautfully as an individual and as part of a larger faith community with institutions that proceed "in Jesus name".

Report Abuse