Social Justice vs. Biblical Justice: Two Newer Books
A cultural storm has been brewing over the better part of the last decade, and is now bearing down on Christianity. That storm concerns the invasion of social justice issues into the Church. This is the problem Scott David Allen and Voddie Baucham set out to address in their newer books. Scott Allen has written Why Social Justice is not Biblical Justice, and Voddie Baucham has written Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe. Both offer an interesting and helpful analysis of the current “justice crisis” in America.
Both authors affirm their genuine concern for the poor and the oppressed—and both lead ministries that would back up their claim. Having said that, Allen believes that the current definition of social justice, now predominant in American society, does not match the biblical definition of justice, and in fact, reflects a worldview that is antithetical to basic biblical principles. Christians cannot, Allen argues, embrace what he calls “ideological social justice” without ultimately compromising biblical orthodoxy.
Allen argues that the modern social justice movement is a Trojan Horse that is being smuggled into many evangelical camps with the kind of fanfare and celebration that would make the citizens of Troy blush. By tracing the history of the new Marxist and postmodern ideologies that are driving the social justice movement, Allen exposes what he believes are its deconstructive agenda and ungodly methods.
Baucham’s book offers a similar approach to Allen’s, but even gets more specific when it comes to naming names in the evangelical world. Both authors offer a robust critique of critical race theory (CRT). For years, CRT was largely confined to higher education but more recently, it’s permeated lower education, “woke” corporations, the federal government, and now, the Church.
CRT promotes the belief that the fundamental problems of society are not due to individual sin, but are instead due to the intrinsic power structures of one’s culture. As Karl Marx would say, history is the long, tragic saga of the privileged oppressing the have-nots. While this is certainly true, the question remains: Are oppression and power structures the ultimate problem with the human race, or is there something deeper that is wrong with mankind? Allen and Baucham argue that there is something deeper, and that something is the depravity lurking within all human hearts.
Both Allen and Baucham remind us of the gospel, namely that Jesus came to die for all races, that all people are created in the image of God, and that all people are sinful and wicked. Both authors remind us that we need to take a stand to defend the dignity of all people. Reconciliation is hard work! The Church must be a place of spiritual, emotional and physical safety for all sinners—as well as a place for truth. The various ethnicities on our planet are a beautiful, composite reflection of who God is. Jesus commanded His disciples to take the gospel to all nations (all peoples). Jesus loves all the little children of the world (as the song says), “red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.” True Christians should have the same attitude. Anything less is to deny the reality of the gospel of Jesus.