I don’t often agree with Jim Wallis – he is too much of a run-of-the-mill liberal Baptist for my liking – but it’s worth letting him have his say on the Glenn Beck statement I recently commented on. Agree or not, Wallis is a passionate, intelligent man who practices what he preaches. Literally. As for Glenn Beck, well, let’s hope he catches severe laryngitis very soon.
See Rev. Wallis’ comments here.
Wallis is right: justice is at the heart of the gospel, of all the Biblical witness. But there is both distributive justice and retributive justice. For one, few of us have room in our political philosophies for both (most of us pick one). For another, the distributive justice envisioned in the prophets and in the Kingdom have little bearing on how or if the power of the state should be used to those ends. For those of us who are suspicious of both the power of the state and its ability to do anything effectively, the way that the church should effect distributive justice is through the church, and not the heavy hand of Caesar.