Justice in the Church (Aug/Sept/Oct 2012)

How do we as God’s people uphold the biblical ideal of justice in a fallen world where sin, death, violence, and abuse often make the absence of justice more noticeable than its presence? Christian leaders do have unique opportunities to demonstrate justice and impart its value to those we seek to disciple, counsel, serve, and teach. These opportunities arise throughout the tasks and venues of ministry: From the pulpit, we can preach a gracious response to those who have wronged us. In the counseling chair, we can comfort those who ask, “Why?” At our open doors, we can restore to community those who have been exiled. Out in the world, we can share the good news of God’s mercy in places of deep need.

In This Issue

Preaching Grace in a Culture of Revenge

Preaching Grace in a Culture of Revenge

By
Jill Moffett Howard
On May 1, 2011, we all sat glued to our televisions or Internet news source awaiting a huge news story to break at any second. I specifically remember my husband predicting what…
Teaching the Old Testament: When God Seems Unjust

Teaching the Old Testament: When God Seems Unjust

By
Brent A. Strawn
I make my living teaching the Old Testament, so I’m quite aware of its “problems.” You might say it’s a job hazard in my line of work. Even if people…
Justice Begins at the Table

Justice Begins at the Table

By
Ben Gosden
Dining together as a family around a common table is quickly becoming a lost art in our fast-paced world. We always seem to be on the go. We have things to do, people to see, and…
Good News for All

Good News for All

By
Mike Slaughter
Some of us in many traditions too often see evangelism as simply introducing people to Jesus only as a means to get to heaven. It neglects discipleship as well as the broader…
Answering Tough Questions: Tragedy and the Justice of God

Answering Tough Questions: Tragedy and the Justice of God

By
Edward P. Antonio
When confronted with the reality of pain and suffering in the world Christians—priests, pastors and theologians included—have a tendency to launch into a search for…
Discipline and Accountability in a Church Shopper's Market

Discipline and Accountability in a Church Shopper's Market

By
Shane Raynor
I grew up in The United Methodist Church, but I wasn’t confirmed until high school. It was about that time that I first encountered The Book of Discipline. I’m not…
Empowering Kids to Be Agents of Love

Empowering Kids to Be Agents of Love

By
Lanecia Rouse
The Gospel writer proclaims in John 1:14, “and the Word became flesh and lived among us.” Jesus, the Light of the World, chose not to reside in a holy temple or a…
Helping Evil Die on the Seashore

Helping Evil Die on the Seashore

By
Keri Day
 In 1956, Martin Luther King, Jr. preached a sermon entitled “Death of Evil upon a Seashore,” in which he compares the plight of Israel with the historical plight …
Restoring Prisoners to Community

Restoring Prisoners to Community

By
Karen Vander Molen
Restorative justice is a term one does not hear much in America. Our country practices retributive justice, emphasizing the punishment a criminal deserves. Restorative justice, on …
More than a Hot Topic: Addressing the Roots of Modern-Day Slavery

More than a Hot Topic: Addressing the Roots of Modern-Day Slavery

By
Christopher P. Momany
Why is human trafficking wrong? This question runs the risk of offending people. Those familiar with human trafficking or contemporary slavery seldom approach the issue this way. …
Waiting for Justice: Where Are You, Jesus?

Waiting for Justice: Where Are You, Jesus?

By
Jenn W. Harris
A violent storm of injustice strikes with full force. You resist the urge to lash out, and instead you turn to God in prayer. You pray and pray, but still no answers come. It is…