Biblical Justice and its Secular Alternatives—Tim Keller on Scripture's vision for justice

Updated: Feb 25

What does real justice look like? It's one of the most pressing questions humans ask, especially in an election season plagued by racialized violence and upheaval.

As we scroll through social media, listen to the news and read bestselling books, each one of us is absorbing some vision of justice. A few popular takes:

  • A just society subverts the power of dominant groups in favour of the oppressed.

  • A just society promotes individual freedom.

  • A just society promotes fairness for all.

  • A just society maximises the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

In this long read article, Tim Keller highlights how Christians are in danger of buying into one of these visions completely without testing it with Scripture. The Bible has "an ancient, rich, strong, comprehensive, complex, and attractive understanding of justice", but one that differs significantly from each of these secular alternatives without ignoring the concerns that make them so compelling.

Read "A Biblical Critique of Secular Justice and Critical Theory" over at Gospel in Life for a panoramic overview of this essential topic. And don't forget the footnotes! They are a treasure trove of insight. For more from Keller on this topic, pick up Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just.

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