Why Social Justice is NOT Biblical Justice: An Urgent Appeal to Fellow Christians in a Time of Social Crisis
By Scott David Allen
We’re living in a time where things, ideas, concepts and movements sound or look good. They’re presented in an appealing, accepting, loving and hopeful way. They’re perfectly packaged to accommodate a certain narrative, combat a particular argument or support a specific system. Perhaps, it is all well-meaning. Or, perhaps the meaning has been ill-intended.
There is no better example of this than in the contemporary notion of social justice. Caught in the middle of emotion and lived experience, lies a lot of gray clouding truth and fact while creating a false reality. There is deception stuck within defeat while real humans who are suffering real pain are tossed aside for a higher agenda. The shouts of the world stifle the victims’ heartfelt cries, the noise deafening, producing more division and destruction rather than the healing, restoration and reconciliation sought.
Friends, injustice is an unfortunate existence and a by-product of this flawed, fallen and sin-seeped world. I wish this were not the case, but it is the truth. Racism exists. Hate exists. Discrimination exists. We can unite and fight against these forces of evil, progress is possible, but sadly, sin and evil will never completely disappear this side of eternity. (That’s right, there is no utopia possible even if it is promised or proposed.)
There are many threats to the United States of America right now, but I believe the incompatible worldviews of biblical Christianity and ideological social justice may have the biggest repercussions for our nation. It’s a big danger, in my opinion, because ideological social justice uses words that sound good and are biblical in nature. (See: linguistic theft as referred to in my book review of Mama Bear Apologetics) The issue with these words are they are anything but loving, truthful, accepting or inclusive. Ideological social justice is hostile, divisive, exclusive and deceitful. In essence, social justice is not God’s original intent for moral law and true justice.
Enter: Why Social Justice is NOT Biblical Justice: An Urgent Appeal to Fellow Christians in a Time of Social Crisis by Scott David Allen.
I stumbled upon this book while searching on Amazon for other hot-topic books and oh, my goodness, am I glad that I found this diamond in the rough! Why Social Justice is NOT Biblical Justice is an URGENT read for anyone who cares about the current climate of the U.S. You don’t need to read the rest of this review, just go out and buy this book ASAP, it is THAT timely! (Just kidding – I took a lot of time reading this book and researching its long list of sources. Please read the rest of this review 🙂 )
I’ve been doing my own research on this topic ever since the events surrounding George Floyd’s death occurred. Why Social Justice is NOT Biblical Justice affirmed “the other side” of the narrative told and seen via mainstream media, big tech, the entertainment industry, academia and seemingly everywhere else in the U.S. As you can imagine, this gave me relief and hope that I am not the only person who isn’t buying into the crazy storytelling linked to the progressive agenda. Likewise, I cross-referenced and thoroughly examined each source referred to or concept presented in this book. It was time consuming to say the least and resulted in a longer time for me to complete this book. Still, I believe it was well worth the extra effort, especially when I found myself encountering related articles – this led me to dig a little deeper into particular subject matter, tying together news, academic and/or historic resources with the content communicated in this book.
Alright, enough of my personal thoughts and opinions. I’m sure you’re wondering what you will learn, discover or gain from reading Why Social Justice is NOT Biblical Justice.
There are eight chapters spread across 202 pages, with additional endnotes for further research (which, as I had previous mentioned, I highly recommend considering for your personal review). The eight chapters address the great dilemma at hand, the original meaning and purpose of justice as viewed from the biblical lens of God’s moral law, the redefinition of the word “justice”, social justice’s ideological core tenets, values and disvalues, social justice’s impact on culture and the evangelical church, and the vitality of driving out this toxic and destructive worldview by offering a new one.
Before getting into the specific key points of this book, I’d like you to first consider the differentiation between the definitions of biblical justice and social justice (see the image below).
Understanding these definitions are crucial for entering into this conversation. After all, if you desire to recognize a fake, knock-off or counterfeit, you must first know the value of the original, genuine article identified.
Why Social Justice is NOT Biblical Justice dedicates an entire chapter towards analyzing the sincere purpose of God’s moral law and justice system. I found this incredibly insightful and appreciated the scriptural references (with context correspondence) as well as the explanation of communitive justice and distributive justice (see image). Fair and impartial judgment are fundamental in God’s design for justice. However, the fall of man (Genesis 3) brought injustice into the world and with it, chaos, disorder and a desire to be autonomous (meaning, a law unto ourselves). Because of sin and the flaws of human nature, each human is guilty of committing injustice (that is, breaking the moral law; the Ten Commandments).
Moral law is so interesting to me because it is ingrained in the human heart regardless if a human recognizes it (Romans 2:1-15). Even an atheist is convicted of pain, injustice and sinful atrocities like slavery, child molestation and terrorist attacks. There is something within every human heart that knows both bad and good exist. Moral law is a whole other discussion to be had, but I wanted to briefly mention it here because it fascinates me and I think it is important when addressing social justice. I believe moral law could be a starting point of engagement with those who support ideological social justice.
I also found the chapter on social justice’s core tenets to be very beneficial. Included in that chapter are the following charts below…
Building upon social justice’s foundation, are the blocks of equality (meaning, equality of outcome, sameness and uniformity), diversity (which refers to group’s differences and not individual differences; ironically, this definition deconstructs the individuality of the person as a way to conform people groups because apparently differences create or lead to oppression or injustice), intersectionality (essentially, the joint connection of two or more “victim” positions, such as being a gay Hispanic woman), inclusion (“everyone is welcome except heterosexual white males, conservatives or anyone from the Judeo-Christian faith”) and autonomy (which is self-rule, or the motto: “live your truth”).
Ideological social justice offers a distorted, upside-down morality. It is chaotic. It is not inclusive, it does not pursue real equality, nor is it truly diverse in celebrating the uniqueness of God’s creation and design for human life. It is masquerading as a dichotomy to everything it stands for. What devastates me is the fact that many people are falling for into this wicked trap, even those within the evangelical church.
Why Social Justice is NOT Biblical Justice ends with a heart-felt plea to followers of Jesus Christ – “If you want to reform evil structures and systems, you have to reform – or rather transform – fallen human hearts.” (pg. 187) There are no perfect nations or civilizations, and America is no exception. Still, Christians need to uphold truth, to not conform or kowtow to cultural norms or societal pressure, to seek out factual evidence for all proposed disparities and injustices, and to stand side by side with others to fight against true injustices.
Worldviews are so significant, friend. Worldviews are the lens in which a person views the world. Worldviews influence how a person thinks, speaks, behaves, and makes decisions in life. Moreover, worldviews have roots and produce their own fruit (or weeds, or thorns).
Is the fruit life-giving, loving, and receiving of light? Or, is the fruit dark, hateful, and bitter? Like Jesus had said, “You will recognize them by their fruits.”(Matthew 7:16a, ESV)
Instead of criticizing culture or pretending culture doesn’t exist or affect you, it is over-time to rise up, step out and engage culture by working to create a NEW CULTURE. (Don’t believe me? Check out Cardi B’s Grammy performance…culture desperately needs revival and restoration!) Why Social Justice is NOT Biblical Justice is a fantastic starting point for you to enter into this uncomfortable dialogue. It will challenge you and hopefully equip you to pursue true justice while standing with those who are facing real injustice. It is a book I believe everyone should read and one I anticipate myself recommending over and over again throughout this year and beyond.
*I personally purchased this book. The thoughts and opinions are my very own.