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God does not suggest, he commands that we do justice. Social justice is not optional for the Christian. All injustice affects others, so talking about justice that isn't social is like talking about water that isn't wet or a square with no right angles. But the Bible's call to seek justice is not a call to superficial, kneejerk activism. We are not merely commanded to execu God does not suggest, he commands that we do justice. Social justice is not optional for the Christian. All injustice affects others, so talking about justice that isn't social is like talking about water that isn't wet or a square with no right angles. But the Bible's call to seek justice is not a call to superficial, kneejerk activism. We are not merely commanded to execute justice, but to "truly execute justice." The God who commands us to seek justice is the same God who commands us to "test everything" and "hold fast to what is good." Drawing from a diverse range of theologians, sociologists, artists, and activists, Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, by Thaddeus Williams, makes the case that we must be discerning if we are to "truly execute justice" as Scripture commands. Not everything called "social justice" today is compatible with a biblical vision of a better world. The Bible offers hopeful and distinctive answers to deep questions of worship, community, salvation, and knowledge that ought to mark a uniquely Christian pursuit of justice. Topics addressed include: Racism Sexuality Socialism Culture War Abortion Tribalism Critical Theory Identity Politics Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth also brings in unique voices to talk about their experiences with these various social justice issues, including: Michelle-Lee Barnwall Suresh Budhaprithi Eddie Byun Freddie Cardoza Becket Cook Bella Danusiar Monique Duson Ojo Okeye Edwin Ramirez Samuel Sey Neil Shenvi Walt Sobchak In Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, Thaddeus Williams transcends our religious and political tribalism and challenges readers to discover what the Bible and the example of Jesus have to teach us about justice. He presents a compelling vision of justice for all God's image-bearers that offers hopeful answers to life's biggest questions.


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God does not suggest, he commands that we do justice. Social justice is not optional for the Christian. All injustice affects others, so talking about justice that isn't social is like talking about water that isn't wet or a square with no right angles. But the Bible's call to seek justice is not a call to superficial, kneejerk activism. We are not merely commanded to execu God does not suggest, he commands that we do justice. Social justice is not optional for the Christian. All injustice affects others, so talking about justice that isn't social is like talking about water that isn't wet or a square with no right angles. But the Bible's call to seek justice is not a call to superficial, kneejerk activism. We are not merely commanded to execute justice, but to "truly execute justice." The God who commands us to seek justice is the same God who commands us to "test everything" and "hold fast to what is good." Drawing from a diverse range of theologians, sociologists, artists, and activists, Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, by Thaddeus Williams, makes the case that we must be discerning if we are to "truly execute justice" as Scripture commands. Not everything called "social justice" today is compatible with a biblical vision of a better world. The Bible offers hopeful and distinctive answers to deep questions of worship, community, salvation, and knowledge that ought to mark a uniquely Christian pursuit of justice. Topics addressed include: Racism Sexuality Socialism Culture War Abortion Tribalism Critical Theory Identity Politics Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth also brings in unique voices to talk about their experiences with these various social justice issues, including: Michelle-Lee Barnwall Suresh Budhaprithi Eddie Byun Freddie Cardoza Becket Cook Bella Danusiar Monique Duson Ojo Okeye Edwin Ramirez Samuel Sey Neil Shenvi Walt Sobchak In Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, Thaddeus Williams transcends our religious and political tribalism and challenges readers to discover what the Bible and the example of Jesus have to teach us about justice. He presents a compelling vision of justice for all God's image-bearers that offers hopeful answers to life's biggest questions.

30 review for Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth: 12 Questions Christians Should Ask About Social Justice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    In the last few years there are a spate of books on social justice, and a few of them written by Christians. This book by Thaddeus Williams is the best in that category so far. It is winsome, accessible, and relentlessly God-honoring. I recommend pairing this title with Cynical Theories for a solid overview of critical theory and what’s at stake. In the last few years there are a spate of books on social justice, and a few of them written by Christians. This book by Thaddeus Williams is the best in that category so far. It is winsome, accessible, and relentlessly God-honoring. I recommend pairing this title with Cynical Theories for a solid overview of critical theory and what’s at stake.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    In our tribalized social-media age, the loudest and most extreme voices are the ones that tend to get a hearing. But I’m thankful for the thoughtful voices that speak with wisdom to some of the most contentious issues we face today. In Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, Thaddeus Williams tackles them all—racism, sexuality, socialism, abortion, critical theory, identity politics—and argues that social justice, while not the gospel, isn’t optional for Christians. Christians care abo In our tribalized social-media age, the loudest and most extreme voices are the ones that tend to get a hearing. But I’m thankful for the thoughtful voices that speak with wisdom to some of the most contentious issues we face today. In Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, Thaddeus Williams tackles them all—racism, sexuality, socialism, abortion, critical theory, identity politics—and argues that social justice, while not the gospel, isn’t optional for Christians. Christians care about justice; justified people seek to be a just people. But Williams also reminds us that not everything branded “social justice”—the increasingly superficial, knee-jerk activism of our day, or what he labels “Social Justice B”—is truly biblical. Whatever your starting point in this conversation, here’s a book that will help inform, equip, and serve the church.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David

    Social justice is one of the most important topics today but also one of the least understood. This is the keyword used to signify that we care about lives and rights and yet there is so much fighting in society over these two words. What can we do to seek peace and justice amid such division? Thaddeus Williams provides the best path forward by actually seeking justice on the very concept of social justice. With great charity and greater clarity, Thaddeus weaves together both personal testimony a Social justice is one of the most important topics today but also one of the least understood. This is the keyword used to signify that we care about lives and rights and yet there is so much fighting in society over these two words. What can we do to seek peace and justice amid such division? Thaddeus Williams provides the best path forward by actually seeking justice on the very concept of social justice. With great charity and greater clarity, Thaddeus weaves together both personal testimony and established evidence to clearly separate real justice from an impostor masquerading under the name. Rather than submitting to the popular polemic practices of today’s world, Mr. Williams instead graciously explains the foundations of “Social Justice B” (as he defines it) and shows that, however well-intentioned its adherents may be, that path is fraught with as much injustice as “Social Justice B” attempts to fight. Alongside exposing such foundations, Mr. Williams makes a strong case for a better view, a better approach to justice, one that actually answers questions rather than only making accusations. One of the unique features Mr. Williams includes that testifies to his thorough treatment of the subject is the testimonies of various individuals in their struggles with injustice. As often as not, these individuals come from their own histories of being racist or intolerant, having to learn the dangers and failures of such perspectives, growing and learning how to love their neighbor, and now standing firmly against such discrimination. In opposing polemics and vitriol, Mr. Williams has crafted a book that guides without demanding, educates without indoctrinating, and drives for truth without driving away others. This is a book that will stand firm for years to come as a benchmark in the discussion of justice and inequality and is an invaluable resource in these times both nebulous and tumultuous.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Ross

    When I saw this book title I was intrigued. As a pastor I want to be able to help people and in todays climate I feel that there are many who are quick to judge if our opinions do not match. So I was hoping that this book would help me navigate a space that I am trying to learn more about. This book has made me ask more questions than provide answers. While I loved this book immensely, it is just a start, not an end to where I see the conversation going. Thaddeus has provided so much inside of h When I saw this book title I was intrigued. As a pastor I want to be able to help people and in todays climate I feel that there are many who are quick to judge if our opinions do not match. So I was hoping that this book would help me navigate a space that I am trying to learn more about. This book has made me ask more questions than provide answers. While I loved this book immensely, it is just a start, not an end to where I see the conversation going. Thaddeus has provided so much inside of his book to chew on that it would take years to digest. These are not easy issues to deal with, but he deals with them head on. I am thankful for Thaddeus’s starting point. He starts with the Gospel. Too many times we try and find the answers on our own and not have a standard that is the same, but Thaddeus does a great job of keeping his eyes on Jesus. If you are wondering how as a Christian to confront injustice, but you are unsure where to start, I haughty recommend this book to get you started. Again, this is not the end of the discussion, but the starting place for some of us. This book should not be read alone. I love that Thaddeus has included questions to digest with others. So buy a few books and get some friends together and start confronting injustice without compromising truth.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    2.5 Ask my pastor: I am theologically conservative. Politically, I’m center-left. As a medical student, I believe human life begins at conception. I read this book because John Perkins wrote the foreword and as a mirror: to reflect on ways I view the world and my brothers and sisters in the Church. In a way, I am the targeted audience for the book, and I would recommend anyone to read the chapters on the first question (worldview as the madness machine is brilliant). However, I wonder if the profi 2.5 Ask my pastor: I am theologically conservative. Politically, I’m center-left. As a medical student, I believe human life begins at conception. I read this book because John Perkins wrote the foreword and as a mirror: to reflect on ways I view the world and my brothers and sisters in the Church. In a way, I am the targeted audience for the book, and I would recommend anyone to read the chapters on the first question (worldview as the madness machine is brilliant). However, I wonder if the profile of actual readers matches that of the targeted audience. If not, I think the book does a disservice to the actual readers. Social justice B (SJB) has its flaws, but we should eat the meat and spit out the bones. The book does not acknowledge insights that we could gain from SJB. For instance, it pays lip-service to the systemic injustice of redlining and injustice in the criminal justice system, yet (1) subsequently presents cherry-picked data (eg, Fryer’s study) or literature from one secular economic perspective (mainly Powell) and (2) doesn’t refer to or discuss seminal works such as the Color of Law and the New Jim Crow. The book challenges me to critically view SJB’s rhetoric, but I fear it would feed another reader’s confirmation bias. Moreover, the early church did have ethnic/racial resentments involving not just the Law but also economic fairness (see Acts 6). Just because the Bible omits church gossip, it doesn’t mean ethnic/racial/economic conflict did not happen in the early church because the Gospel covered all. The OT, which was the Scripture for the early church, is clear on how repentance that precedes reconciliation involves material reparation (also see Zacchaeus), and granted the Ten Boom story, given the Biblical commands, it’s hard to imagine that the early church came together under the gospel without addressing the wrongs that someone like a Roman soldier who became a Christian might have committed in the past. PS. The constant equivalence of SJB with the Nazis, KKK, and Tutsis was troubling as well as the minimizing of depravity of American slavery and racism by relativizing it with global slavery. PPS. I trust the author’s intentions because Perkins did. But relevant to my last paragraph is this from The Washington Post article in August 2020 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/religi... "This summer, [John M] Perkins has been in demand for Zoom Bible studies with White evangelicals. But he said he has stopped using the phrase “racial reconciliation,” because the phrase implies White and Black people can become equals without addressing historical inequities."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Looking for well rounded information in our political climate that regulates Christian faith to back door conversations? Want a Biblical understanding of justice? How can we graciously counter a society that relies on anger to solve problems? A good read on a subject not disappearing anytime soon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Mayes Allen

    The idea of justice is one that we all like to talk about (the problem being that we usually neglect to define it and often fail put it into practice). It has always been important that we both define it correctly and practice it faithfully, and this book successfully accomplishes both of these goals. Timely, gracious, empathetic, and uncompromising, this book challenges Christians to ground our pursuit of justice in the gospel without falling into the error that the pursuit of justice is the go The idea of justice is one that we all like to talk about (the problem being that we usually neglect to define it and often fail put it into practice). It has always been important that we both define it correctly and practice it faithfully, and this book successfully accomplishes both of these goals. Timely, gracious, empathetic, and uncompromising, this book challenges Christians to ground our pursuit of justice in the gospel without falling into the error that the pursuit of justice is the gospel. Williams takes great care to ensure that his perspective is spiritually focused rather than politically driven, and even as he rebukes false teachings (and, at times, those who promulgate them), he never devolves into petty ad hominem attacks. Rather, he handles this charged topic so charitably that even those who may disagree with his conclusion must acknowledge his (and God's) heart for them. I cannot recommend this book more highly. Probably the most important, worldview-shaping book I've read this year.

  8. 4 out of 5

    John-Jennifer Divito

    With the rising demand for social justice in our culture as well as a growing movement within evangelicalism, a debate has been roaring over the compatibility between social justice and biblical Christianity. A result of this clash has been churches and believers in Christ dividing between woke progressives and anti-woke conservatives. Additionally, this controversy has left many more Christians confused over what to believe and how to carry out our social responsibilities in this world. Thaddeus With the rising demand for social justice in our culture as well as a growing movement within evangelicalism, a debate has been roaring over the compatibility between social justice and biblical Christianity. A result of this clash has been churches and believers in Christ dividing between woke progressives and anti-woke conservatives. Additionally, this controversy has left many more Christians confused over what to believe and how to carry out our social responsibilities in this world. Thaddeus Williams enters into this foray with his new book Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth. In doing so, he has provided us with an invaluable guide to help us successfully navigate through these difficult issues and come to conclusions faithful to God's Word. Having finished reading Williams' book, it has now become my "go-to" resource for Christians who want to understand social justice. Let me share a few reasons why: First, the structure and style of his book makes it easy to read. Wrestling over 12 questions invites the reader to enter into a discussion over critical issues related to social justice. Williams also writes in a very conversational manner and avoids a lot of technical words and concepts to bring much-needed clarity to today's discussions. Second, the testimonies at the end of each chapter are powerful! I read about how the gospel of Jesus Christ changed a white supremacist, a gay man, a woke racist, a Hindu Nepali, a Critical Race Theory advocate, and others. These stories bring alive Williams' conclusions and show how these truths work themselves out in real lives. Third, Williams rightly compares and contrasts biblical social justice with ideological social justice. He has labelled them Social Justice A and Social Justice B. Now one could argue over using the label "social justice," but I believe Williams wisely avoids controversy while showing the incompatibility of biblical teaching and contemporary calls for social justice. Additionally, he maintains the Scriptural distinction between the law and the gospel to keep Christ central in answering these 12 questions. Fourth, the seven appendices bring additional help to wrestling over social justice by considering the modern challenges of abortion, racial relations, capitalism and socialism, sexuality, the culture war, fragility and antifragility, and how the gospel helps the poor and oppressed. I am simply amazed that Williams was able to provide so much insight in less than 220 pages! Finally, and most importantly, Williams rightly handles God's Word when answering the critical questions raised by today's social justice movement. After carefully reading through this work, Christians will be better equipped to respond to the challenges raised today with Scriptural truth. As a result, the author has given us an important apologetic to defend the Christian faith against the pressing issues we face. If I was to mention any concerns, Williams makes a lot of entertainment references through this book. While it makes his writing easier to read (and I feel as if we have very similar tastes!), I could see one not familiar with a number of movies, music, and books missing the author's point. I also wonder if these references will wind up quickly dating this resource, which will likely need to be revised in order to stay current. Furthermore, I have some theological questions and potential disagreements with the author. While Williams doesn't directly address the relationship between the church and culture, he seems to advocate a form of transformationalism while I see two kingdoms theology as more faithful to God's Word. And in the appendix "Defining Sexuality," he writes: "Just as God's feelings in traditional theology are expressions of his nature..." Yet traditional theology would uphold God's impassibility and immutability, which leaves me wondering what Williams' means by comparing God's feelings with our feelings. Nevertheless, I am grateful for Williams' book and will be regularly encouraging Christians to read it as a reliable guide on social justice. May the Lord use this book to help His people love God and love our neighbor by pursuing biblical justice!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katelynn Richardson

    You don’t have to be on social media for long to realize the fruits of much of what is called justice today often include anger, hatred, bitterness, and wrath. The modern idea of “social justice” is typically either uncritically embraced or vilified within the church, but rarely defined or explained. Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth takes a step back from the madness to provide clarity to the conversation. It doesn’t make the mistake of minimizing our need for justice or flatly d You don’t have to be on social media for long to realize the fruits of much of what is called justice today often include anger, hatred, bitterness, and wrath. The modern idea of “social justice” is typically either uncritically embraced or vilified within the church, but rarely defined or explained. Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth takes a step back from the madness to provide clarity to the conversation. It doesn’t make the mistake of minimizing our need for justice or flatly dismissing claims to oppression. Instead, it provides a nuanced, even-handed analysis of today’s hot button issues. “The most pressing cultural and political issues of our day are, fundamentally, worship issues.” The book aims to, and succeeds in, providing the reader with a perspective on justice firmly rooted in Scripture. It uses twelve questions to illustrate that not everything labeled “social justice” is biblical, evaluating the ideology by things like its attitude towards the gospel, the role of God, the effect of propaganda, the group identities it creates, and the impact on those it seeks to help. This book’s greatest strength is that it repeatedly emphasized that justice without God is actually injustice, reaffirming that “all injustice is a violation of the first commandment.” Everybody wants to call themselves pro-justice. But when people become their own arbiters of truth, their vision of justice becomes distorted as well. “Love God, the ultimate Other, and you will give those who bear your Beloved’s image the respect they are due...Had the Aztecs loved the actual God more than they loved the sun and water, they would not have wanted to treat people like chopped meat. Had the conquistadors loved the actual God more tahn they loved gold and power, they would not have wanted to treat the Aztecs like rats to be exterminated, sex toys to be exploited, or property to be owned.” By providing examples both from history and modern-day, Thaddeus Williams broadens our scope beyond the particulars of specific issues, hitting on the worldview assumptions at the heart of our debates. “It would inspire us to see history not purely through the perspective of the oppressed but also through the lenses of the oppressors. Why? Because the same human nature in the Aztec slayer, the Atlantic slave trader, and the Auschwitz executioner resides in us too. If we don’t seriously reckon with that uncomfortable truth, then we can all too easily become the next round of self-righteous oppressors.” Few Christian books have taken the time to address social justice from a biblical perspective, so this book fills a unique void. For me, that was a breath of fresh air. Every Christian should read it to equip themselves to speak truth and do justice in a culture that misunderstands both. I hope those who do pick it up will be encouraged to tackle difficult problems and go into the culture with the courage to bring light as past generations of Christians did when they rescued discarded babies in Rome, worked to abolish slavery, and stood up for the downtrodden.

  10. 4 out of 5

    James Hong

    I have to say that this book far exceeded my expectations. Professor Williams states in the preface that it took him 4 years to write the book and I could see why. This book is not only well written, but easily digestible, heartfelt, charitable, without skipping on intellectual rigor. The other exceedingly high compliment I would give it is that I came out of reading this book thinking that the author completed this gargantuan task in the thoroughness of covering this subject. I find that no less I have to say that this book far exceeded my expectations. Professor Williams states in the preface that it took him 4 years to write the book and I could see why. This book is not only well written, but easily digestible, heartfelt, charitable, without skipping on intellectual rigor. The other exceedingly high compliment I would give it is that I came out of reading this book thinking that the author completed this gargantuan task in the thoroughness of covering this subject. I find that no less than remarkable. With a host of contributors, you're not only getting one perspective. You're getting a wide spectrum of people speaking to this issue that spares neither truth nor love. In every era, there are important books and then there are top tier important books. This is what you call a top tier important book. This book is NOT Democrat or Republican apologetics. It is not mere information. It's a quest to lift the mist of confusion and hatred when confusion and hatred abounds.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Moss

    “The kingdoms of the world play the self-defeating game of tribalizing, retaliation, and escalation, running up body counts in the name of “justice.” The kingdom Jesus invites us into does not play by those rules.“ Quote from the book Thaddeus Williams does a wonderful job along with 12 other people and their perspectives on different types of injustices, to help Christians navigate how to discern what the world says about justice and what the Bible says of it. Quite honestly, one of the best boo “The kingdoms of the world play the self-defeating game of tribalizing, retaliation, and escalation, running up body counts in the name of “justice.” The kingdom Jesus invites us into does not play by those rules.“ Quote from the book Thaddeus Williams does a wonderful job along with 12 other people and their perspectives on different types of injustices, to help Christians navigate how to discern what the world says about justice and what the Bible says of it. Quite honestly, one of the best books I have read in 2020. This is a must read for anyone who is unsure about what people are calling justice and injustice. I graciously received an advance e-copy from netgalley for review. All opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter LeDuc

    Refreshingly balanced, crystal clear, Gospel-centered. An insightful critique of a relvant and complex topic.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna Catherman

    Confronting Injustice without Compromising truth is an incredibly important deep dive into today's social justice issues from a Christian perspective. It isn't perfect - no book outside the Bible is. But Williams' book, part theological tome, part history, and part political science, dotted with brief memoirs, is one of the best I've read to date tackling today's toughest issues through a Biblical lens. I just read it and I'm already thinking of reading it again. It has helped me to see today's Confronting Injustice without Compromising truth is an incredibly important deep dive into today's social justice issues from a Christian perspective. It isn't perfect - no book outside the Bible is. But Williams' book, part theological tome, part history, and part political science, dotted with brief memoirs, is one of the best I've read to date tackling today's toughest issues through a Biblical lens. I just read it and I'm already thinking of reading it again. It has helped me to see today's social justice movement in a much more accurate light - and to recognize that, rather than becoming combative about particular policy issues, we should feel compassion on those who are caught up in destructive movements, and share the Gospel above all else.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sue Fellows

    I was part of this book launch to read a book I probably would not otherwise have read. I am glad I did read it and for the awareness this author brings to the subject. He is an Christian author and he comes from a scriptural view point. He is a professor so he speaks like one. For me, some of it was over my head with terms I am not familiar with but, the jest of his writing is that we should look at all people as Image bearers of God and treat them with that respect. I recommend this book to an I was part of this book launch to read a book I probably would not otherwise have read. I am glad I did read it and for the awareness this author brings to the subject. He is an Christian author and he comes from a scriptural view point. He is a professor so he speaks like one. For me, some of it was over my head with terms I am not familiar with but, the jest of his writing is that we should look at all people as Image bearers of God and treat them with that respect. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a Christian perspective on Justice and Truth.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bryce Beale

    This is now the second book I can eagerly recommend on the subject of social justice (the other being Piper's Bloodlines). The title is descriptive enough to give you the flavor of the whole: this is a book that warns against truth-compromising ideologies (i.e. Critial Race Theory) without minimizing the existence of real injustices (e.g. racism). Williams splits the term "social justice" into two parts, since it is commonly used today in two ways--as Social Justice A, which is a truly biblical s This is now the second book I can eagerly recommend on the subject of social justice (the other being Piper's Bloodlines). The title is descriptive enough to give you the flavor of the whole: this is a book that warns against truth-compromising ideologies (i.e. Critial Race Theory) without minimizing the existence of real injustices (e.g. racism). Williams splits the term "social justice" into two parts, since it is commonly used today in two ways--as Social Justice A, which is a truly biblical social justice; and as Social Justice B, which is a newer set of ideologies based on Marxism, CRT, the Frankfurt School, deconstructionism, queer theory, etc. This book is primarily a warning against Social Justice B, but it is a warning that does not broadbrush the issue. A common tactic in fighting Social Justice B is to lump anything that smells like concern for injustices into the large pile of Social Justice B and burn it all. That certianly does get rid of the problem, but it also gets rid of something very good and important--namely, a concern for injustices. Both the content and the attitude of Williams' book are immensely helpful for anyone trying to navigate the labyrinth of all that is called "social justice" today.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Johnson

    Thoughtful and informing. Brings much needed balance.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ben Howard

    GOOD ANALYSIS OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE FROM A GOSPEL PERSPECTIVE.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Geesling

    Extremely helpful in navigating our current culture. As a mom and advocate for my son and others who are battered by serious mental illness, I appreciate the timely wisdom of this book. As I fight for very real justice, I don’t want to lose the gospel. Thank you for this treasure.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Clint

    This is the introduction to social justice that I have been looking for. I don’t know if you can relate to me, but I have been wildly confused by the social justice movement. In fact, so much so that I have been ready to dismiss it altogether. At times I have felt Social Justice B (explained below) advocates were implying I was racist, simply because I was white. This led me to dismiss the movement as ridiculous, self righteous, petty, and unfair, feeling a defensive posture that can be summariz This is the introduction to social justice that I have been looking for. I don’t know if you can relate to me, but I have been wildly confused by the social justice movement. In fact, so much so that I have been ready to dismiss it altogether. At times I have felt Social Justice B (explained below) advocates were implying I was racist, simply because I was white. This led me to dismiss the movement as ridiculous, self righteous, petty, and unfair, feeling a defensive posture that can be summarized as: “If you can just assume I am racist without even knowing me, simply because I am white, then forget social justice.” While the 10+ books I have read on social justice in the past 6 months have helped me see that my posture was misguided, Thaddeus Williams’ book actually shows me a better way to respond to my Social Justice B friends (and they truly can be my friends). From reading Williams’ book, I imagine him saying, “Yes, Clint, overall, Social Justice B is misguided, but that does not mean you get a pass on social justice — we are all called by God to pursue social justice. Social justice is giving everyone what is due to them — treating all people as we want to be treated, because they are created in the image of God. Therefore, social justice is actually an act of worship, because worship is giving God what is due him.” By the way, Williams’ treatment of worship as it relates to social justice is both simple and profound. The social justice that I was ready to reject a few years ago is what Williams calls “Social Justice B.” Social Justice B divides humanity into different identity groups and puts them into conflict with one another: the rich and the poor, black and white, gay and straight, male and female, and so on. In the sets of groups just mentioned, one group is the oppressor (for example, white people) and one group is the oppressed (for example, black people). And because the oppressor is evil, violent action can be justified to fight back against them. In order to justify such action, the oppressed group or those fighting on their behalf will develop propaganda against the oppressor. This includes revising history so that the oppressor is seen as evil, associating all individuals in that identity group as evil, and blaming all struggles of injustice the oppressed go through on the oppressor. (I found Williams explanation of this process enlightening). Social Justice A is biblical justice. It is fulfilled by, first, seeing all humans as equal because they are created in the image of God — all of them. Second, by avoiding grouping all people into group identities. As St. Paul says: “There is no distinction, for all have fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We are all sinners in need of God’s love, grace, and mercy. This should bring us together, Williams points out, because we all should know — whether rich or poor or whatever group we might fit into — that we are all capable of the most terrible evils. As Williams points out: “the problem of evil” is “not just a theologian’s problem, it is everyone’s problem.” The evils in the world cannot be placed on any particular identity group — evil is a problem we must fight together. However, we must fight evil in the right way — in Christ, the only true identity all humans belong to. For Christ is “our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” by his work on the cross. (Eph. 2:14). There are several other issues in Williams’ book that are giving me clarity where I feel like I have been stuck in a fog for far too long. Thanks to his passion and love for Christ, the fog is lifting. Darkness is being replaced with light.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard Lawrence

    "the 12 questions Thaddeus raises in the book are the right questions we should all be asking in today's troubled world." - John M Perkins (in the Preface) How should Christians respond to social problems? How should christians respond to the idea of "Social justice"? How should we respond to activists? How should we respond to reports of oppression? The Bible is clear that christians are to do good to others in society, we are to help and protect the weak, the marginalised and the poor BUT what i "the 12 questions Thaddeus raises in the book are the right questions we should all be asking in today's troubled world." - John M Perkins (in the Preface) How should Christians respond to social problems? How should christians respond to the idea of "Social justice"? How should we respond to activists? How should we respond to reports of oppression? The Bible is clear that christians are to do good to others in society, we are to help and protect the weak, the marginalised and the poor BUT what is the biblical way to do this? And how does it differ from the world's answers? This book wades into several of the most controversial topics in our modern society such as Race, Sexuality, Oppression and Abortion; and seeks to give distinctly biblical answers. Thaddeus challenges Christians who's responses to these issues are shaped by either right wing OR left wing politics rather than the Bible to repent. Thaddeus' approach and conclusions in this book are biblical and good - these are truths that the church and world need right now. Thaddeus challenges us to honour God first whatever that may cost us; and to seek to love everybody across all boundaries and divisions - we should love both the oppressed AND the oppressor we should seek to do good to both (practically when appropriate) and share the gospel with both and call both to repent. We should listen to people's stories and weep with those who weep BUT we should also always assess the facts and look at both sides before acting. Each main chapter ends with a personal story from someone who has either experienced significant oppression OR been through a significant change of view on the topic; this personal touch helpfully grounds the issues being discussed in real lives. Each section of the book closes with a prayer about the topic discussed in that section - again helping us to remember that these are not theoretical questions AND when we say that we are to honour God first in all things that should be more than a superficial statement. I cannot give it 5 stars due to weaknesses in the style and presentation: 1. Footnotes are at the back of the book not the bottom of the page. 2. Too much important information is in those notes - including the biblical references for his points - to follow his argument properly you need to flick to those footnotes on most pages. 3. This book (rightly) criticises a lot of popular cultural ideas, but the critiques are rather brief and could perhaps have been a little more persuasive 4. Some really important material is included as appendices - the book would be incomplete without these - I think they should have been chapters in the main book as their current placement after the epilogue and acknowledgements could lead some to skip them.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charles Gonzalez

    Ultimately disappointing though for the 50 pages or so I was inclined to give it a 5 star review. The authors focus on social justice as a core of Biblical teaching struck a chord with me. The reminder that we are all image bearers of God and that this truth should govern all that we do in relation to ourselves and our neighbors is crucially important, especially in this season of pain, distrust and violence. Ultimately though I became disappointed in the authors constant hammering on what he ca Ultimately disappointing though for the 50 pages or so I was inclined to give it a 5 star review. The authors focus on social justice as a core of Biblical teaching struck a chord with me. The reminder that we are all image bearers of God and that this truth should govern all that we do in relation to ourselves and our neighbors is crucially important, especially in this season of pain, distrust and violence. Ultimately though I became disappointed in the authors constant hammering on what he calls “social justice B” as opposed to Biblical social justice. While I agree with much of his criticism of “woke” culture which more or less define SJ “B”; his inattention to the predominant forces of nationalist and right wing influence in our Christian community is startling and disappointing. Likewise his dogmatic(he is a professor of theology after all) beliefs on ALL aspects of social justice causes , while not surprising or even unexpected, left me distracted by his unbalanced view of our current season and culture. He’s not quite an apologist for Christian culture but comes close. I’m glad I read it and it did suggest other areas of analysis and thought for me but as a Christian, newly evangelical but steeped in the reason and reality of our real world I find him limited.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Kulp

    I was first drawn to this book because I became very conflicted while studying for a degree in human services. I am for fighting social injustice. I 100 % believe discrimination and racism exist. I also think intersectionality and system theory are beneficial tools. I became conflicted when everything started revolving around Race, Class, and Gender. The messages about inclusivity was mixed with hate for all systems of power and white males. The more I researched, the more frustrated and confuse I was first drawn to this book because I became very conflicted while studying for a degree in human services. I am for fighting social injustice. I 100 % believe discrimination and racism exist. I also think intersectionality and system theory are beneficial tools. I became conflicted when everything started revolving around Race, Class, and Gender. The messages about inclusivity was mixed with hate for all systems of power and white males. The more I researched, the more frustrated and confused I became. I started to see why people on both sides were divided and angry. The polarization terrified me the most. I was hoping this book would help me resolve my internal conflict. I was also leary that this book would be a hyper spiritualized and not relevant or, worse, deny the need for social justice. The book was very relevant and addressed the theories as well as identity politics, tribalism, and collectivism, which is feeding the polarization within society. It was not written in a judgemental tone but in a way that brought clarity, conviction, and liberation.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I have been waiting for a book to come out on social justice from a Christian perspective and WOW!!--this is the message we need to hear! This book is powerful, so well-articulated, and does not pull any punches. But, again, I will repeat—this is the message we need to hear, especially for Christians who are passionate about pursuing true, Biblical justice. Thaddeus is very thorough in his explanations and examples to help the reader understand the dichotomy of what he calls “Social Justice A” a I have been waiting for a book to come out on social justice from a Christian perspective and WOW!!--this is the message we need to hear! This book is powerful, so well-articulated, and does not pull any punches. But, again, I will repeat—this is the message we need to hear, especially for Christians who are passionate about pursuing true, Biblical justice. Thaddeus is very thorough in his explanations and examples to help the reader understand the dichotomy of what he calls “Social Justice A” and “Social Justice B.” His writing is deep and heartfelt, yet his sense of humor shines through in the midst of the seriousness. The personal stories at the end of each chapter add a powerful, personal example to what Thaddeus spends the chapter explaining. In summary, this book is so well written and much-needed at this point in our culture. Please read this book and share it with everyone you know!!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    I have a lot of words for this book. But I’ll sum it up by sharing Dr. Williams both-sideism comparison from pages 57-58. An op-Ed written by a professor at a university called “Why Can’t we Hate Men?” compared with the “Hutu Ten Commandments” written by a anti-Tutsi newspaper publisher and a founding member of an anti-Tutsi political party. The differences in power in those two individuals in their ability to disseminate speech and cause violence should be obvious. Dr. Williams feels they are co I have a lot of words for this book. But I’ll sum it up by sharing Dr. Williams both-sideism comparison from pages 57-58. An op-Ed written by a professor at a university called “Why Can’t we Hate Men?” compared with the “Hutu Ten Commandments” written by a anti-Tutsi newspaper publisher and a founding member of an anti-Tutsi political party. The differences in power in those two individuals in their ability to disseminate speech and cause violence should be obvious. Dr. Williams feels they are comparable well except “Thankfully [the prof] wasn’t calling for genocide...” That last sentence is carrying a LOT of weight. It’s filled with this “three radical voices on the left say this so obviously all social justice proponents believe the same thing.” (He does try to say “but it’s not an excuse for the right to do it which most conservative folks won’t say so some credit.)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    One of the most important books to read in 2021 This book, for the Christian certainly, is the defining book on a Christ-followers understanding of social justice. Not only does it have massively quotable sections, as well as great definitive arguments all while not removing the scriptural call for justice that is placed on the Christ-followers’ life, it is also extremely witty and culturally comical. Cannot recommend this book more highly. If you are in student ministry and are looking for a boo One of the most important books to read in 2021 This book, for the Christian certainly, is the defining book on a Christ-followers understanding of social justice. Not only does it have massively quotable sections, as well as great definitive arguments all while not removing the scriptural call for justice that is placed on the Christ-followers’ life, it is also extremely witty and culturally comical. Cannot recommend this book more highly. If you are in student ministry and are looking for a book that will help you minister and dialogue with your parents, teens, or even cultural leaders this is honestly your “bible” (metaphorically). Contemplating having all of my leaders read this book before the end of the school year.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This book is a great read if you grew up in a very right-wing seeing that has left you disillusioned and looking for something better. The author sets a strong theological foundation and helps direct how to correctly order a Christian belief system on the topic of social justice. There are moments, particularly with regards to economic topics, that don't feel fully fleshed out and left me feeling a little skeptical of the argument being made although not necessarily of the conclusion. This book a This book is a great read if you grew up in a very right-wing seeing that has left you disillusioned and looking for something better. The author sets a strong theological foundation and helps direct how to correctly order a Christian belief system on the topic of social justice. There are moments, particularly with regards to economic topics, that don't feel fully fleshed out and left me feeling a little skeptical of the argument being made although not necessarily of the conclusion. This book addresses social justice from the perspective of the beliefs behind it. It does not walk through what the practice of Christian social justice practically looks like. It is a better foundation to build up from than a how-to guide.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    Social Justice is a necessity for the Christian. Truth is something firm we can stand on. This book does an excellent job talking through topics of racism, sexuality, socialism, cultural war, abortion, tribalism, critical theory, and identity politics in light of a firm foundation that will not shift in any age. There are answers for the brokenness we see around us. If you want to educate yourself on how you can fight injustice without compromising truth... this book needs to be on your shelf.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    It's rare to find a book that provokes thought for people from all places along the political spectrum. Without being overbearing, the author brings questions to help draw the reader to consider deeply any preconceived notions about social justice and to examine if personal and collective views line up with God's word. I have found this book to be refreshing and convicting, along with being well written and enjoyable to read. Highly recommend! It's rare to find a book that provokes thought for people from all places along the political spectrum. Without being overbearing, the author brings questions to help draw the reader to consider deeply any preconceived notions about social justice and to examine if personal and collective views line up with God's word. I have found this book to be refreshing and convicting, along with being well written and enjoyable to read. Highly recommend!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hopson

    Christians should care about injustice. The Bible talks repeatedly about justice, and God regularly commands His people to do justice in the land. But what does that mean? And does the cultural insistence on social justice coincide with what the Bible has to say? Thaddeus Williams begins by distinguishing between "Social Justice A" and "Social Justice B." Social Justice A is biblical justice applied to the social sphere, something that every Christian should be in favor of. Social Justice B is a Christians should care about injustice. The Bible talks repeatedly about justice, and God regularly commands His people to do justice in the land. But what does that mean? And does the cultural insistence on social justice coincide with what the Bible has to say? Thaddeus Williams begins by distinguishing between "Social Justice A" and "Social Justice B." Social Justice A is biblical justice applied to the social sphere, something that every Christian should be in favor of. Social Justice B is an entire worldview that threatens to divide more than it unites and undermine much of what the Bible teaches about justice. Williams asks twelve pertinent questions to test the claims of Social Justice B against the claims of Scripture. These include: 1. The God Question: Does our vision of social justice take seriously the godhood of God? 2. The Imago Question: Does our vision of social justice acknowledge the image of God in everyone, regardless of size, shade, sex, or status? 3. The Idolatry Question: Does our vision of social justice make a false god out of the self, the state, or social acceptance? 4. The Collective Question: Does our vision of social justice take any group-identity more seriously than our identities “in Adam” and “in Christ”? 5. The Splintering Question: Does our vision of social justice embrace divisive propaganda? 6. The Fruit Question: Does our vision of social justice replace love, peace, and patience with suspicion, division, and rage? 7. The Disparity Question: Does our vision of social justice prefer damning stories to undamning facts? 8. The Color Question: Does our vision of social justice promote racial strife? 9. The Gospel Question: Does our vision of social justice distort the best news in history? 10. The Tunnel Vision Question: Does our vision of social justice make one way of seeing something the only way of seeing everything? 11. The Suffering Question: Does our vision of social justice turn the “lived experience” of hurting people into more pain? 12. The Standpoint Question: Does our vision of social justice turn the quest for truth into an identity game? In each question Williams clearly and carefully demonstrates how "Social Justice B" undermines the biblical worldview and stirs up division rather than fostering unity. Interspersed throughout the twelve chapters are twelve inspiring stories about men and women who have been impacted by this worldview or delivered from it. For anyone who wants an entry-level understanding of Social Justice Worldview from a Christian perspective, I highly recommend this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    J Chad

    The author does an excellent job of consistently focusing on what the Bible says and reminding the reader that, for the Christian, this is the only yardstick against which things can be measured. Repeated reminders that we are all error-prone and do not have a monopoly on truth are also well-placed. The only significant critique I have is that the numerous pop culture references dilute the serious content.

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