Readnponder's Reviews > Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just

Generous Justice by Timothy J. Keller
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's review
Nov 26, 2010

it was amazing

This book involves a theme the evangelical community needs to hear: caring for the poor is not socialism, rather it is biblical. Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, believes that one's understanding of God's abundant, undeserving grace will automatically spill over into concern for justice and the poor. He interprets "my neighbor" from the parable of the Good Samaritan to be anybody made in the image of God and in need.

Keller draws heavily from a Jonathan Edwards sermon where Edwards addressed many of the excuses given for not helping the poor. (E.g. they're not really destitute yet; they don't deserve it; they brought it on themselves.) I did not realize these were issues in the colonial American church like they are today.

Another memorable passage is where Keller talks about the "middle-class in spirit." This is a play off the the beatitude regarding the "poor in spirit." (Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.) The middle-class in spirit feel they deserve God's blessing and are somehow more entitled to it than members of the underclass. Keller further disabuses the self-sufficient reader of thinking he's worked hard and earned his wealth and therefore deserves to keep it by pointing out that we have nothing to do with the century, nor the country, into which we were born. If we lived in 15th century, chances are we would work hard and still have nothing. It's all a gift from God, even the ability and opportunity to earn a living.

I especially smiled at the last couple of pages where Keller quotes, with approval, President Barack Obama. Something not often seen in evangelical circles. The book is short, easy to get through, full of documentation in the footnotes, and guaranteed to prick the conscience of every reader. It did mine.

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message 1: by Kevin (new) - added it

Kevin thank you! looking forward to this one!

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