Persuing Justice by Ken Wytsma, a book review by John Loxton

“Pursuing Justice” by Ken Wytsma (founder of the Justice Conference in the USA) 2013.  
It’s an easy read and available through Koorong. 

I was very pleased to receive this book for Christmas as a biblical perspective on justice is a valuable thing. It enables us to understand how we can follow Jesus better, and answer the prophet Micah’s call to “live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”

Ken Wytsma writes that “Justice  is a hallmark of God, a distinctive and pure feature of His character” and is “the broadest, most consistent word the Bible uses to speak about “what ought to be.” 

He says that to “do justice” means to render what is due to each person, and to God. Central is the notion that all people are made in the image of God. This means that all people have inalienable dignity and infinite worth (see Genesis 1.27). And Jesus taught that what you do for the least of people you do for Him.

I found the book helpful in the way it looked at the history and meaning of the terms “social gospel” and “social justice” and how these relate to evangelicalism. It also considers how politics intersects with attitudes to justice and to the poor. 

The author writes, really by way of conclusion, that “injustice is a cold, unrelenting reality. It can be tempting for us to use our comfort to ignore injustice or rationalise it away. But God would have us join His work”. This does not mean that we have personal responsibility to fix every injustice in the world, but does mean we should take positive steps consistent with God’s will wherever He puts us in this world. In doing this we will be showing that we have grasped the meaning of God’s grace to us.

I recommend this book to you.

John Loxton

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