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Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us…
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Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just (edition 2010)

by Timothy Keller (Author)

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1,019915,358 (4.18)1
Keller argues that the Bible's message helps, not hinders, justice and human rights, and provides evidence in scripture guiding Christians to aid the poor and seek a life of justice empowered by grace.
Member:JasonHo
Title:Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just
Authors:Timothy Keller (Author)
Info:Viking (2010), Edition: 10.3.2010, 256 pages
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Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller

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At this point in my life, this is the probably the most thorough explanation and best balance I have yet to find in holding evangelism and social justice in tension. It gave language, research, and examples to things I've wanted to articulate about how to do ministry holistically. It was recommended by a friend about 3 years ago. I started reading it then and it just felt dense. The language is accurate but heady and dense. I came back around to it about 2 months ago and I took my time reading it, considering the impact of the points that Keller was making and deciding whether or not I agreed.

Keller struck a balance between theological, political and idealogical camps so well, he made it look easy, like we all should have already come to the obvious conclusion that he was drawing, which in my opinion, was that the gospel is incomplete if it lacks either evangelism and social justice. They must accompany one another and we are able to do both because God's grace has empowered to do so.

There aren't many books I can agree with 100% but this one came to about 98% close. It's 5 stars in my book and is a great piece to add to any believers arsenal of resources. Just click the image and get it. It's worth it. ( )
  BrittneyRossie | Jun 14, 2015 |
This book confuses "justice" and "righteousness," eisegeting Job 29: 12-17 in this regard. Furthermore, it displays Keller's ignorance of economics and adoption of socialist economic policies of helping the poor, in effect harming those he claims we should be helping. ( )
  puritanreformed | Jan 23, 2014 |
Keller's bold starting point, linked to his subtitle, "How God's Grace Makes us Just", is a real challenge to the church. The notion that "a real encounter with grace will make us just", is a challenge to the Gospel-focused Christian, and also a direct challenge to those who think the Gospel consists solely of doing justice. There has often been an unfortunate disconnect in the church, and in evangelicalism, between Gospel proclamation and social Justice. There are notable exceptions (for example Trent Vineyard in the UK has oen of the largest compassion ministries in the world, and runs HUGE Alpha launches as well), but by and large the two do not go easily hand in hand. Keller writes into this situation as a pastor of many years, with a desire to bring the power of God's Grace to bear on justice, and that in that we would as a church get an idea of God's heart for the poor; in this life and the next.

Early on, Keller notes that "in the mind of many orthodox Christians... "doing justice" is inextricably linked with the loss of sound doctrine and spiritual dynamism", which is an important starting point. Keller helpfully then uses the example of the wonderful American theologian Jonathan Edwards, who had a heart for the poor. With these key ideas in place - an awareness of the environment Keller is writing in and what is at stake, we launch into the book. The chapters that comprise this superb book are, in my mind, divided into two rough sections, though no division is made in the book. The first four chapters ask the questions "What is Doing Justice?". "Justice and the Old Testament", "What Did Jesus Say About Justice?", and "Justice and Your Neighbour". The second chunk is the meaty and practical application of the first half of the book; "Why Should we Do Justice?", "How Should We Do Justice?", "Doing Justice in the Public Square" and "Peace, Beauty, and Justice". This review will seek to give a rough sketch and evaluation of Keller's idea of Justice (The first half) and his suggested application of Justice (the second half).

Firstly, then, a look at what Keller has to say about Justice. Keller is very good at using and integrating his own story into his books, and this is no exception. We read a challenging story where an African American student told Tim "You're a racist, you know". This is real stuff, real stories, because real justice relates to real people. Keller's excellent chapter on Justice and the Old Testament is superbly summed up by his note on Amos 1:3-2:3, that "It is clearly God's will that all societies reflect his concern for justice for the weak and vulnerable", followed immediately by a superb exposition of Deuteronomy 15, which Keller titles "A Community of Justice". Throughout this ideological end of the book Keller is very quick, and very firm, to make it clear that the Bible (and thus Jesus) can not be forced into a 'liberal' or 'conservative' worldview. Whilst Keller is writing for - and challenging - the American Culture, this is useful challenge to those of us in the UK. For example, regarding the causes of poverty, Keller states that "the bible gives us a matrix of causes". There is no easy, label-confirming answer here. Keller is very clear on the need for the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus, as the means of grace and the message of Grace. But, in his chapter on what Jesus says, we see Keller state emphatically that "anyone who has truly been touched by the grace of God will be vigorous in helping the poor". This bold challenge sets the tone for the more practical part of the book.

Secondly, we can turn to what Keller thinks we should do regarding justice. Having looked at the Old Testament, and Jesus, and what Justice is, we turn to an application which is a framework for responding to Keller's bold challenge. Interestingly Keller opens with the challenge to have "a higher view of the Law". This is because, as Tim puts it, "The law of God demands equity and justice, and loves of one's neighbour. People who believe strongly in the doctrine of justification by faith alone will have this high regard for God's law and justice. They will be passionate about seeing God's justice honoured in the world". Keller's emphasis here, on the justice of God, is grounded in a serious sense of the gravity and necessity of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross. The rest of this practical section is a superb articulation and application of this initial point; including the bold challenge (Based on the story of a conversation between theologian Miroslav Volf and pastor Mark Gornik) that "the doctrine of Justification by grace contains untapped resources for healing". This is a bold statement. And it sits amidst half a book that is superb at enabling readers to actualise the thoughts and theology here.

In conclusion, Tim Keller has given us another superb book. He has challenged us to care for the poor - yet reminding us of the essential truth that "the most loving thing anyone can do for one's neighbour is help him or her to a saving faith in God" - in a way that is calm, intelligent, pastoral and reasonable. Keller's passion for God's kingdom comes out, as well as his cohesive command of the full counsel of God's Word, the Bible. Above all, I believe Keller catches God's heart for the poor, and God's heart for Justice, not least in his obvious love of Jesus. I'd highly recommend this book to everyone - both as a theology for Justice and as a picture of what a realised, vibrant, engaged and caring Christianity can be. This is one of the best books I've read this year. ( )
  Admiralcreedy | Nov 15, 2012 |
I’ve always loved listening to Tim Keller speak; I find his style very relatable. Generous Justice is the first book of his that I’ve read and I find that his writing style is very similar to his speaking and it made this a very good read for me.

From the very beginning he challenges our views of what is just and what is not. Each chapter builds on the other, but one of the themes that I saw strongly weaved through the text is God’s grace to us, and showing that grace to others.

He tackles what justice looks like (in relation to the Old Testament and Jesus’ teachings), why we should be just and how that looks in our community and beyond. I wouldn’t say this book is necessarily the end all of social justice texts, it reveals a way of thinking that I find different from the norm when it comes to social justice and it gives the reader a lot to reflect on when it comes to the topic of what it means to be just.

I enjoyed the way it was written and the smooth flow from one topic to the next. It was direct without being preachy and thoughtful. A quick and exceedingly engrossing read. ( )
  iShanella | Apr 5, 2012 |
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To the Deacons and Deaconesses of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and the leaders of Hope for New York, with admiration and respect.
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These are the words Jesus read in the synagogue in Nazareth when he announced the beginning of his ministry.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Keller argues that the Bible's message helps, not hinders, justice and human rights, and provides evidence in scripture guiding Christians to aid the poor and seek a life of justice empowered by grace.

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It is commonly thought that the Bible is a great hindrance to real justice. Isn't it full of old-fashioned views? Didn't it condone slavery? Why look to the Bible for guidance in building a more just society today? But Tim Keller sees it differently. In GENEROUS JUSTICE, he explores how to live a life of justice empowered by an experience of grace: a generous, gracious justice. Keller calls on life-long Christians to acknowledge the fraudulence of a faith without concern for justice for the poor - and challenges sceptics to recognise that the Bible can and must contribute to a modern understanding of justice.
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