Keller on “What is Doing Justice”?

          Tim Keller’s new book “Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just” is a must-read in the current debate about social justice and provides an added perspective for those who fear a drift, well-founded or not, toward the social gospel. In chapter one from Micah 6:8 where the prophet declares that God requires His people “to do justice and to love mercy,” Keller lays a foundation for “social justice” from a biblical perspective.

          The word justice comes from the Hebrew mishpat and mercy from chesedh. Keller quotes from Waltke to show that these two words refer to “action” and “attitude” respectively. From this Keller draws the conclusion that “to walk with God, then, we must do justice, out of merciful love” (3).  The basic meaning of mishpat is “to treat people equitably” and “to give people their rights” (3).  Keller finds that  mishpat  combined with tzadeqah,  “which “refers to a life of right relationships” (10), are best rendered in English by “social justice” (14). Before you object, read chapter one of Keller’s book and his treatment of OT passages.

One Response to “Keller on “What is Doing Justice”?”

  1. Thanks for this brief review.  This is definitely my next book to read. 

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