N.T. Wright on Social Justice and the Gospel

By Christine Sine 03-16-2010

N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham and New Testament theologian, is probably one of the best at articulating a theology that the brings together kingdom of God and social justice understanding. I often think that one of the main reasons most of us want to water down this message is because it places great responsibility on us to learn about and take action in the midst of the many injustices we see in the world. Here is a great article from The Christian Century that expresses much of N.T. Wright's challenge. Believing that social justice is an integral part of Christ's message does not belittle his message of salvation. It is in fact an integral part of it.

But the whole point of the Gospels is that the coming of God's kingdom on earth as in heaven is precisely not the imposition of an alien and dehumanizing tyranny, but rather the confrontation of alien and dehumanizing tyrannies with the news of a God -- the God recognized in Jesus -- who is radically different from them all, and whose inbreaking justice aims at rescuing and restoring genuine humanness...

Yes, Jesus did, as Paul says, die for our sins, but his whole agenda of dealing with sin and all its effects and consequences was never about rescuing individual souls from the world but about saving humans so that they could become part of his project of saving the world. "My kingdom is not from this world," he said to Pilate; had it been, he would have led an armed resistance movement like other worldly kingdom-prophets. But the kingdom he brought was emphatically for this world, which meant and means that God has arrived on the public stage and is not about to leave it again; he has thus defeated the forces both of tyranny and of chaos -- both of shrill modernism and of fluffy postmodernism, if you like -- and established in their place a rule of restorative, healing justice...

Read the entire article here

portrait-christine-sineChristine Sine is executive director of Mustard Seed Associates and author of several books including GodSpace: Time for Peace in the Rhythms of Life. She describes herself as a contemplative activist encouraging a way of life that interweaves spiritual practices with concern for justice and environmentalism. She blogs at GodSpace.

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