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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. 4 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."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Parkison

    This is the most refreshing, generous, and charitable thing I have seen on the topic to date. I’m tempted to rest my case on the fact that John M. Perkins wrote the forward to it with a glowing recommendation (if you’ve not heard of Perkins, you must look him up. He is a hero from the civil rights era and has impeccable bona fides). He cares about social justice. He doesn’t demonize those he disagrees with, and praises them where he can. He is thorough and even-handed in his research, and he bri This is the most refreshing, generous, and charitable thing I have seen on the topic to date. I’m tempted to rest my case on the fact that John M. Perkins wrote the forward to it with a glowing recommendation (if you’ve not heard of Perkins, you must look him up. He is a hero from the civil rights era and has impeccable bona fides). He cares about social justice. He doesn’t demonize those he disagrees with, and praises them where he can. He is thorough and even-handed in his research, and he brings together the best of what I learned and am grateful for from my “woke days,” with many of the concerns I now have regarding what he calls Social Justice B, without ever giving the impression that the sky is falling. The appendixes are worth the price of the book. Not only that, but when you read this book, you get a diversity of voices from the sheer fact that every chapter concludes with a testimony of someone whose story is relevant to the chapter. If you’ve been watching Christians try to navigate these waters, and noticing the worst of both “sides,” but find yourself wondering how to hang on to a godly concern for justice (including racial and systemic injustice) without getting sucked into the vortex of the worst expressions of CRT, and without getting sucked into the same kind of tribalism on the other side (the kind that sniffs “neo-Marxism” everywhere, and is ready to bite the head off of anyone who gives off that odor), this is the book you’ve been waiting for.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Important book.

  5. 4 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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brice Karickhoff

    My ideas can behave like a pendulum. I swing towards one stance, overcorrect in the opposite direction, and repeat until I (hopefully) reach some happy medium of truth. My relationship to the term “social justice” has certainly followed this trend. I read “Just Mercy” (still an all time fav) a week after it came out in 2014, and was rocketed toward a typical social justice activist’s mindset at 100mph. Per usual, I followed up my passion with a butt-load of reading and learning. Unsurprisingly, My ideas can behave like a pendulum. I swing towards one stance, overcorrect in the opposite direction, and repeat until I (hopefully) reach some happy medium of truth. My relationship to the term “social justice” has certainly followed this trend. I read “Just Mercy” (still an all time fav) a week after it came out in 2014, and was rocketed toward a typical social justice activist’s mindset at 100mph. Per usual, I followed up my passion with a butt-load of reading and learning. Unsurprisingly, as I read, I began to contend with some of the underlying ideas that prop up our culture’s common notion of Social Justice. I didn’t like what I found, and I predictively swung in the other direction. “Woke” went from something I wanted to be to a word that describes the fruit of a tree with really terrible epistemological roots. Through conversations and community and membership at two really great churches, I think this pendulum has begun to reach its center. I believe God desires for us to fight for social justice, and I feel strongly about the (not so woke) truths which must not be compromised in that quest. This book gets 5 stars because it will challenge any Christian whose pendulum is out of whack (like myself) to really figure out where they stand and why. It is well written and to the point. At times I wished that it went deeper into certain points that were only afforded a paragraph or two, but that’s bound to be the case when the author is trying to keep things under 500 pages while addressing a subject like this. Please read this, and please tell me your thoughts. This is one to discuss for sure.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This is the best book on social justice issues I've read yet. Williams manages to winsomely address the most fundamental questions about justice in a way that clearly distinguishes biblical justice (what he calls "Social Justice A" from Marxist and liberation theology distortions ("Social Justice B"). Everything Williams says is well-reasoned, grounded in Scripture, clearly illustrated, and thoughtfully applied. Another crucial distinctive of this book is that Williams critiques "Social Justice This is the best book on social justice issues I've read yet. Williams manages to winsomely address the most fundamental questions about justice in a way that clearly distinguishes biblical justice (what he calls "Social Justice A" from Marxist and liberation theology distortions ("Social Justice B"). Everything Williams says is well-reasoned, grounded in Scripture, clearly illustrated, and thoughtfully applied. Another crucial distinctive of this book is that Williams critiques "Social Justice B" without throwing out the term "social justice" altogether and without taking aim at fellow evangelical leaders whose use of terms may differ. This makes Williams' book far superior to (for example) Voddie Bauckham's Fault Lines (which I'm also currently reading). If you're a Christian lay person and want to read one book to make sense of the whole social justice brouhaha, this is the book to read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    This is one of the best books I’ve read on social justice, and I’ve read several! [FYI- I had to cut a lot out- Goodreads didn't give me enough space for all my thoughts so check out my full review here.] There is part of me that was hesitant to read another book by a white person, but as soon as I read the foreword, written by civil rights activist, John Perkins, I knew I was in good hands. Thaddeus J. Williams did not write this book in a vacuum. It was written from much research and many conve This is one of the best books I’ve read on social justice, and I’ve read several! [FYI- I had to cut a lot out- Goodreads didn't give me enough space for all my thoughts so check out my full review here.] There is part of me that was hesitant to read another book by a white person, but as soon as I read the foreword, written by civil rights activist, John Perkins, I knew I was in good hands. Thaddeus J. Williams did not write this book in a vacuum. It was written from much research and many conversations with people of all colors. Also each chapter contains a corresponding personal story from diverse authors that add to the truth and authenticity of this endeavor. I wish I could copy verbatim, John Perkins’s foreword but I know my review is already going to push advisable length limits. While you wait for your book to arrive in the mail, I will add one quote from his portion here and continue forth. “We are in the midst of a great upheaval. There is much confusion, much anger, and much injustice. Sadly, many Christian brothers and sisters are trying to fight this fight with man-made solutions. These solutions promise justice but deliver division and idolatry. They become false gospels. Thankfully, in these trying times, new conversations are happening, and the right questions are beginning to be asked. I believe the twelve questions Thaddeus raises in the book are the right questions we should all be asking in today’s troubling world.” I believe another thing we must establish here before we go any further is that if you come away from this book thinking Williams was advocating that injustice doesn’t exist or that Christians are not responsible to fight it, then I doubt you actually read this book. He reminds us many times that God doesn’t just recommend that we do justice but he commands it. Referencing Jeremiah 7:5, Williams emphasizes that we are to “truly do justice” which “presupposes there are untrue ways to execute justice, ways of trying to make the world a better place that aren’t in sync with reality and end up unleashing more havoc in the universe.” Determining this true justice is the foundation of this book. Integral to understanding his conversation regarding social justice is the recognition of two terms he has coined: Social Justice A and Social Justice B. Both sides believe they are doing justice. No one is anti-justice. We just have different ideas of what social justice means and entails. Social Justice A: biblically compatible justice-seeking Social Justice B: social justice that conflicts with a biblical view of reality The distinctions are made as we ask and answer each of the 12 questions (some paraphrased): 1. Does our vision of social justice take seriously the godhood of God? When we view creatures (namely humans) above the Creator, our reality is blurred. Our sin nature is rebellious towards God, desiring to be our own gods, to make our own rules, to determine our own morality. If we don’t have a proper view of who we are in comparison to our Creator, our form of justice will be selfishly skewed. 2. Does our vision of social justice see everyone as an image-bearer of God? If we are just bodies and nothing more, where do we find the basis for human equality? What gives people dignity or value? We must have something ‘outside of the box’ of our bodies to declare human dignity a truth. McLaughlin’s newest book ‘The Secular Creed’ is a short book proving how all elements of human equality come from the Bible. “Size, shade, sex, or status” are not what gives us value, it is our God-given identity as image-bearers. I found this particular quote very convicting and one I plan to use going forward to maintain a godly perspective when I interact with people I disagree with. “Picture someone specific who you see as the living, breathing antithesis of everything you believe to be true and just… Now think this true thought toward that person. “Image bearer.” Then treat that person as an image-bearer because this is who they were long before you found yourselves on opposite sides of a culture war.” 3. Does our vision of social justice idolize self, state, or social acceptance? It’s another convicting statement when Williams (quoting John Calvin) calls our hearts “idol factories.” It is again, our sin nature, that has an innate ability to turn any thing (good or bad) into an ultimate thing. And our idols dictate what we view as just or unjust. How do we know we are doing this? Well, one way we can ferret this out is to see where we seek justification. The Bible is clear that God is our justifier. Our belief in Jesus’s death on the cross for our sins means God declares us, ‘Not Guilty!’ But what do we see today? If we remove God from the discussion, we try to justify ourselves. And we try to seek justification from the government and others. Our salvation is then in our self-created identities. “We turn to society, Government, media, law, education, entertainment, the local business owner- everyone must declare us, in unison, ‘not guilty!’ We must silence anyone who fails to acknowledge and celebrate our guiltlessness… We must use the power of law to squash those who dare question our self-defined selves.”  “What happens when we sacrifice the truths of God’s Word on the altar of cultural trends? We tell the lie that Jesus is not worth it. We bow to idols. We do not give the Creator his due, and that is not justice.” - Becket Cook  4. Does our vision of social justice take any group-identity more seriously than our identities “in Adam” and “in Christ”? Many studies highlight that human beings have a desire to belong and be part of a group. We live longer, healthier lives when we are in community. But our sin nature twists this into an us vs them scenario. We view our own groups superior to others. Another convicting and hugely significant thought: if we want to find a common denominator between all of humanity, look no further than our depravity. The Bible is clear that no one is righteous, not even one. “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.” This cuts through the rhetoric found in Social Justice B that tries to divide people into oppressor vs oppressed groups based on physical characteristics. Logic found in words from James Cone, the father of black liberation theology follows: Sin=oppression and oppression=white people; therefore sin=white people. But sin knows no racial boundaries. 5. Does our vision of social justice embrace divisive propaganda? “Social Justice B attempts to explain the world’s evil and suffering by making group identities the primary categories through which we interpret all pain in the universe.” He talks a little about revisionist history here. That narratives and edited histories are used to paint a condemning picture of a particular people group which is then applied to all individuals of that people group. Then all the bad, hardship, and pain in the world is blamed on this people group. This folks, describes the main markings of propaganda. 6. Does our vision of social justice champion suspicion, division, and rage? “Instead of being love-filled, we’re easily offended, ever suspicious, and preoccupied with our own feelings. Instead of being filled with joy, we’re filled with rage and resentment, unable to forgive. Instead of striving for peace, we’re quarrelsome—dividing people into oppressed or oppressor groups instead of appreciating the image-bearer before us. Instead of having patience, we’re quickly triggered and slow to honestly weigh our opponents’ perspectives. Instead of being kind, we’re quick to trash others, assuming the worst of their motives. Instead of showing gentleness, we use condemning rhetoric and redefined words to intimidate others into our perspective. Instead of showing self-control, we blame our issues exclusively on others and their systems, not warring daily against the evil in our own hearts.” 7. Does our vision of social justice prefer damning stories to undamning facts? The main question we are considering here is: ‘Disparities= Discrimination’? Ibram X. Kendi, a leading antiracist scholar says, “When I see racial disparities, I see racism.”  Jonathan Haidt and Gregg Lukianoff explore this concept of equal outcomes in their secular book ‘The Coddling of the American Mind’. Disparities that Kendi is referring to involve what is perceived as unequal outcomes- a gap in racial representation at a school, in a group, at a job, a gap in pay, etc. If the outcome does not appear to be equal, some assume the cause had to have been discrimination— whether of age, gender, race, etc. But one must remember what is preached to no end in psychology- Correlation does not equal Causation. Haidt says, “Unfortunately, when reformers try to intervene in complex institutions using theories that are based on a flawed or incomplete understanding of the causal forces at work, their reform efforts are unlikely to do any good—and might even make things worse.”   Williams gives several examples of what appear to be unequal outcomes that can actually be explained when looking into the facts. Sometimes the more ‘boring’ explanation tells the actual truth about the disparity. Different personal preferences or priorities can easily account for a lot of disparity we see in the world. 8. Does our vision of social justice promote racial strife? “The Social Justice B story tells us that American systems are so thoroughly racist that dark skin makes it virtually impossible to escape poverty.” There are also lots of stats and studies in this chapter I can’t list here, but the facts presented show us a different picture of America than what is portrayed in the media. It tells a different story of policing and poverty. It questions what “voices” are really being heard— considering the damning and widely applied terms “whiteness,” “white privilege,” and “white fragility,” were all coined and popularized by white liberal women. It considers the possibility that continually telling black people that their future is dim because of the color of their skin, could unintentionally have a “dream-crushing effect” that just perpetuates the cycle of poverty when actually studies show that if a kid grows up in poverty but finishes their education, finds a job, gets married, and then has kids (in that order) only 6% will end up in poverty. There is more hope than we are told. 9. Does our vision of social justice distort the best news in history? “If we make social justice our first thing, we will lose not only the real first thing—the gospel—we will lose social justice too.” Social Justice B can easily become its own gospel, its own religion or ideology. If social justice is placed above the gospel, we have strayed from biblical teaching. We hear the phrase “social justice is a gospel issue.” But if we view social justice and the gospel as the same thing, we have heavily edited Scripture to include our political ideology. The distinction must be made that the gospel (“Good News”) is declaring what is already done (by Jesus). It is not something we do, it’s something we receive. Social justice is something that must be done. Social justice comes from the gospel, but is not the same as the gospel. (He provides biblical basis for this from Jesus and Peter) We would be in trouble if fighting social justice became part of the equation for salvation— being good enough or doing enough is never something we can achieve. 10. Does our vision of social justice ask ‘is there oppression?’ or does it ask ‘what kind of oppression?’ “Caring about justice requires a commitment to truth. Williams lays out an acronym— TRIBES— with each letter representing a different kind of oppressor. When our thinking stems from this viewpoint, we stop seeking truth and we start assuming oppression. “Concept creep is particularly common in Social Justice B. It assumes that questioning sexism, racism, or any other evil ism as the best explanation is to side with the oppressors against the oppressed. This is exactly backward. If we care about ending actual sexism, then we should welcome the question of how much of the gender pay gap can be laid at the feet of actual sexism. Otherwise, we aren’t fighting the real problem, but shadow boxing our own ideological projections.” 11. Does our vision of social justice turn the “lived experience” of hurting people into more pain? Social Justice B elevates lived experiences to a place of authority, an authority that should dictate policies and systems and supersede objective truth, facts, and evidence. Lived experiences matter, and we should listen compassionately and genuinely without immediately seeing their story through our own political ideology. But we are doing more harm than good if we respond to lived experiences with fear-driven encouragement to see more oppression everywhere they look. Is this not psychological oppression? 12. Does our version of social justice accept ‘truth’ only from certain identity groups? The popular book, White Fragility, grounded in Critical Race Theory, leaves no room for anyone to challenge her (Robin DiAngelo) view. Anyone who presents counter arguments or evidence is seen as an oppressor. This turns Social Justice B into an unfalsifiable belief system. “Do arguments magically become true or false by putting them in someone else’s mouth? No. Writing off someone’s viewpoint because of their melanin levels makes us actual racists. Dismissing someone’s argument because of their gender makes us actual sexists. Silencing someone’s ideas because of their sexuality, their economic status, or any other quality of their lives rather than the quality of their ideas does not make us a voice of justice for the marginalized; it makes us actual bigots.” Honestly guys, I know this review was insanely long. But that’s because this book has so much truth and has really addressed so many of the concerns I’ve been feeling as tensions surrounding the concept of social justice has increased— in the world and in the church. A book that defends the gospel above all, defends the pursuit of truth above feelings, AND defends the command to love the oppressed and fight injustice is a book that I can whole-heartedly get behind and share with the world. (Again- click the link at the top to see the full review and more quotes from the book)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Nally

    I read this book with tears in my eyes and a hurting heart, start to finish. Within the last year, I have lost dear friendships, have seen divisions in the church that have caused people to walk away, and watched believers hurl false words at brothers and sisters in Christ. My heart has struggled and wrestled for so long with what holding onto what Truth looks like in this polarized world right now, and what TRUE biblical justice looks like in the church. The more confused and lost I felt, with I read this book with tears in my eyes and a hurting heart, start to finish. Within the last year, I have lost dear friendships, have seen divisions in the church that have caused people to walk away, and watched believers hurl false words at brothers and sisters in Christ. My heart has struggled and wrestled for so long with what holding onto what Truth looks like in this polarized world right now, and what TRUE biblical justice looks like in the church. The more confused and lost I felt, with being pushed so many different ways by the angry crowd of people telling you all the things you should be doing, the more I turned to Jesus as the only thing I knew without a shadow of doubt to be true and steady. My biggest question was always - as a follower of Christ, what SHOULD we be doing? Or not doing? How can we love ALL our brothers and sisters from different backgrounds, races, and experiences, while also holding true to and affirming all of our first and primary identities as image bearers and God's beloved children? How can we weep with those who weep while also lifting them up out of themselves and pointing them back to a loving Savior who restores and reconciles all things? This book answered many of those questions for me, and was so convicting and challenging to my heart. It did the trick of getting the wheels turning, to really dig deep to think and "test all things" with wisdom and discernment. At the same time it was deeply encouraging, and more than one instance I wept over the truth laid out and the personal stories told, as it affirmed the Truth that we had been clinging to amidst uncertainty, injustice, and turmoil. Truth be told, I am going through the book a second time now, taking even more notes, praying over specific situations, and seeking boldness, compassion, and deeper understanding. I wish I could recommend this book to literally every believer I know who is walking through the blind, angry tug-of-war pull of "left vs right," "this race vs that race," because it helped me so much in sorting out where to stand, where to show compassion, and where to hold strong. 10 stars.

  10. 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.

  11. 5 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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Bowley

    I am so glad I read this book! He uses a lot of logic to discuss a healthy Biblical view of social justice and carefully navigates the difference between what feels Biblical and what is Biblical in our modern culture while encouraging readers to watch for a false gospel masquerading as something that seems good.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kati Higginbotham

    No. This is not a good book about Injustice. It’s basically a “why you can be a Republican and not care about the poor but still feel better than those on the left”. My favorite part are the “if you think I said this you read my words wrong.” No bro, that’s literally what you said. It also bothers me that he considers literal Nazis and progressives as the same thing. Again, Bro, Learn a history. The hatred of anything socialism because “equality is bad” completely misses the critiques those on t No. This is not a good book about Injustice. It’s basically a “why you can be a Republican and not care about the poor but still feel better than those on the left”. My favorite part are the “if you think I said this you read my words wrong.” No bro, that’s literally what you said. It also bothers me that he considers literal Nazis and progressives as the same thing. Again, Bro, Learn a history. The hatred of anything socialism because “equality is bad” completely misses the critiques those on the left have and glorifies and makes an idol out of freedom. I literally laughed out loud when he talked about how black people chose to be poor and live in the ghetto.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bob O'bannon

    This is a very well organized book to help Christians think through the current social justice movement. Williams approaches the topic by asking three questions in each of four areas: worship, community, salvation and knowledge. By giving us questions rather than dogmatic statements, Williams guides the reader to carefully think through what are very complex, nuanced and sometimes controversial issues. The two major categories that Williams uses are “social justice A,” which is concerned with bib This is a very well organized book to help Christians think through the current social justice movement. Williams approaches the topic by asking three questions in each of four areas: worship, community, salvation and knowledge. By giving us questions rather than dogmatic statements, Williams guides the reader to carefully think through what are very complex, nuanced and sometimes controversial issues. The two major categories that Williams uses are “social justice A,” which is concerned with biblically compatible justice concerns, such as helping the poor, building hospitals, “upending racism” and protecting the unborn (4). There are also “social justice B” movements, however, which seek justice in various areas but with root convictions that conflict with a biblical view of reality. This book does a terrific job exposing the serious errors of the social justice B approach. In reality, most Christians who are concerned about social justice are probably a combination of A and B, so we should be slow to pigeonhole anyone exclusively in one category or the other. This is why it is so important to think through this issue carefully, and from numerous angles, and this books leads us through it. In chapter 9, Williams very helpfully clarifies that social justice is not one and the same with the gospel, as many Social Justice B proponents would claim. “If we confuse the gospel – the indicative announcement of the salvation accomplished on our behalf through the death and resurrection of Jesus – with the imperative to help human trafficking victims, then the good news is no longer good news. We find ourselves right back in the hopeless plight of works-based righteousness.” (113). While Martin Luther sought justification before God‘s law, today people are terror-stricken with guilt as they seek justification before the social justice demands of their fellow creatures (115). Apparently the doctrine of justification is still just as relevant as it always has been. Through it all, Williams keeps the gospel central as the main lens through which we should view all social justice issues: “Any and all righteous status we have is solely in Jesus, not our color, not ethnicity, not gender, not the amount of oppression we or our ancestors have or haven’t experienced, not our good works, our ticking the right squares on the ballot, or our height on a hierarchy of privilege or pain; it is nothing but Jesus. The cross of Christ forms the spear through the heart of both far right and far left ideologies.” (51).

  15. 5 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gaétan Brassard

    The best book I read this year!

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Truly excellent. I cannot recommend highly enough. Williams’ provides a reasoned, balanced, and biblical counter argument to the culturally prevailing views of so called “social justice”. Winsome, fair, and engaging insights compel the reader to consider afresh the biblical understanding of justice and truth.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    A breath of fresh air and truth rooted in the gospel amidst the shouts of the world.

  21. 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.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    A crucially important and timely examination of today’s social justice movements from a Christian perspective. Very highly recommended.

  23. 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.

  24. 5 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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Combs

    First half was 4/5, second half was 2/5. Worthwhile read simply bc it provides a different perspective from what is currently in the mainstream. This book does a decent job fairly criticizing the modern social justice movement while explicitly acknowledging what it gets right + what the church has been failing to provide. I found as the book went on Williams became less precise with his writing and began making assertions that he couldn’t back up. If this book is seriously meant to be read by peo First half was 4/5, second half was 2/5. Worthwhile read simply bc it provides a different perspective from what is currently in the mainstream. This book does a decent job fairly criticizing the modern social justice movement while explicitly acknowledging what it gets right + what the church has been failing to provide. I found as the book went on Williams became less precise with his writing and began making assertions that he couldn’t back up. If this book is seriously meant to be read by people who disagree with him, his sloppiness towards the end will certainly hurt the main mission. Williams just gets overeager with his arguments and begins making larger claims that mostly only score brownie points with readers from his tribe. (Reminded me a lot of Kendi in How To Be An Antiracist).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dan Waugh

    Thaddeus Williams has written the best critique of the social justice movement I have read so far. It is an easy read and could be used with a small group (it has discussion questions at the end of each of the twelve chapters). It isn't a sophisticated or technical work, but an honest, penetrating, and critical look at the version of social justice being peddled by many today. Williams demonstrates how changing definitions have made conversations difficult and tense. Helpfully, he differentiates Thaddeus Williams has written the best critique of the social justice movement I have read so far. It is an easy read and could be used with a small group (it has discussion questions at the end of each of the twelve chapters). It isn't a sophisticated or technical work, but an honest, penetrating, and critical look at the version of social justice being peddled by many today. Williams demonstrates how changing definitions have made conversations difficult and tense. Helpfully, he differentiates between Social Justice A, a version compatible with and grounded in biblical truth, and Social Justice B, a newer version that is antithetical and hostile to the faith. He is very fair and very balanced - i.e. he acknowledges systemic racism still exists, but contends that assuming all institutions, all discourse, all power structures are racist is not helpful. He asks very good questions of those on the left, but doesn't let the right skate by either. His tone is generous - finding good even in ideas he disagrees with, and loving - he strongly advocates for doing justice, loving the poor, helping the downtrodden in ways that will have a good and lasting impact. I can give this book a full-throated endorsement and would highly recommend it to everyone.

  27. 4 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peter LeDuc

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

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jean E.

    Excellent Clearly contrasts the modern social justice movement with biblical justice in a kind, respectful manner. Chapters end with enlightening testimonies. Highly recommend.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chase Dougherty

    Social justice. What is it? Is there a good biblical social justice? These questions lay at the foundation of the book. The author uses it as a central purpose as he deconstructs justice both in the bible and in the world. However, this book isn't one to simply look at it from a scholastic viewpoint. He challenges you in many ways. Is justice important enough to you? Are you guilty of any sins that corrupt a biblical viewpoint of justice? He plays the middle child roles as he challenges both te Social justice. What is it? Is there a good biblical social justice? These questions lay at the foundation of the book. The author uses it as a central purpose as he deconstructs justice both in the bible and in the world. However, this book isn't one to simply look at it from a scholastic viewpoint. He challenges you in many ways. Is justice important enough to you? Are you guilty of any sins that corrupt a biblical viewpoint of justice? He plays the middle child roles as he challenges both teams, the lackadaisical, and the over enthusiastic. The fact of the matter is that the groups that do the most evil feel as though they are pursuing justice. The white supremacists, the gestapo, marxists, and the KKK are easy examples. But, he doesn't stop there. He says these are the very people we are called to love, and not hate like the world calls us to do. So how do we show the incedible and infite love that God gives us to the evil of the world while passionately pursuing justice as the Lord would have it? That's the purpose of this book. To discover what real justice is, and corrupt any malformed ideas of the truth in justice. Favorite Quotes: I have zero interest in justifying racism or any other sinful “ ism . ” I have zero interest in protecting my power and privilege . I have zero interest in the kind of individualistic , head - in - the - clouds Christianity that plugs its ears to the oppressed . I care about bringing Christians together in the pursuit of more authentic worship , a more unified church , a clearer gospel , and more justice in the world . If you also care about advancing the kind of social justice that glorifies God first , draws people into Christ - centered community , and champions the good news of saving grace while working against real oppression , then this book is for you. Apathy toward the oppressed can hinder our prayers and sever our connection with God . When you spread out your hands , I will hide my eyes from you ; even though you make many prayers , I will not listen ; your hands are full of blood . . . . Cease to do evil , learn to do good ; seek justice , correct oppression ; bring justice to the fatherless , plead the widow’s cause . 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 . ”

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