Like it or not, our present lives cannot escape what is trending. Whether it is a kitten on a piano or a drone strike in Iraq, our smartphones bombard us with trends. Many of these last as long as a snowflake on a warm windshield, tickling us briefly only to melt away. One of these trends, however, has thrived into its teenage years: justice. Not only does the topic of justice top the Twitter lists every week, but justice has grown to embrace issues from plastic straws to the Arab Spring. Everyone cares about justice, and every aspect of life must be just.
Yet, as we consume the blogs and podcasts, one cannot help but ask (to spin off of Pilate’s question), “What is justice?” What is universally loved is widely debated. For ease of discussion, what the Left calls “just,” the Right calls “unjust” and vice versa—and the divisions within our country are also well entrenched in the church. Among evangelical Christians, who profess loyalty to Scripture, little agreement over what justice is seems to exist. It is good, therefore, to ask what the Bible says about justice. How does Scripture define justice? More precisely for our purposes, we will outline a biblical theology of justice; and as we will see, it’s not an easy task.