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The book explains what advocates mean by “social justice” and contrasts that with what the Bible means by justice; refutes claims that the Bible requires wealth redistribution enforced by civil government; builds Biblical support for the definition of justice; demonstrates that Biblical justice requires four criteria: impartiality, proportionality, rendering what is due, and conformity to the standard of God’s law; and explains why some “rights” claimed in the name of “social justice” are not rights at all but actually violations of true, Biblically defined rights.
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The first two decades of the twenty-first century have witnessed a rapid change in understanding of the civil-social order among many evangelical Christians. Many are beginning to embrace an idea commonly called “social justice,” thinking it is what Scripture requires.
But just what is “social justice,” and how does it compare with Biblical teaching on the meaning of justice?
In this concise booklet, Christian theologian and philosopher E. Calvin Beisner offers a clear, Biblical definition of justice, contrasts it with “social justice,” and explains why the common idea of “social justice” undermines both Biblical justice and the Biblical gospel. He also carefully defines rights, distinguishes between negative rights (against harm) and positive rights (to benefits), and explains why positive rights are self-contradictory and endanger real, negative rights.
Finally, with permission from its authors, he reproduces a “Statement on Social Justice” issued and endorsed by large numbers of respected evangelical scholars and pastors.
This booklet offers readers the opportunity to come to grips with one of the most challenging issues facing churches and our broader culture today.