Friday, February 8, 2008

Not the way its supposed to be. . .

Cornelius Plantinga Jr. wrote a book by the above title on Sin. It is a very helpful book in exploring what sin is, how it functions, how others have understood it. In closing the book (or perhaps I am remembering this from an interview with the author some place) Plantinga suggested that the book longed for a follow up with a book on Grace.

As I am now reading about the subject of Justice and trying to understand it within a biblical framework, the title of Plantinga's book came to my mind. Justice is fundamentally about "The way its supposed to be". Sin and injustice are very closely related and its easy to see that using the question or even "sense" of what is supposed to be.

It should come as little suprise that the root words in the NT for righteousness and justice are interchangeable. The greek word is dikiaos and is translated both as justice and righteousness. Here are some interesting definitions (from online lexicon):

1. in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God

2. the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God

3. integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting
in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due

So Justice is (a) the condition acceptable to God and (b) the virtue which gives each his due.

How is justice doing on your block?