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Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just [Hardcover]

Timothy Keller
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Oct 2010

It is commonly thought in secular society that the Bible is one of the greatest hindrances to doing justice. Isn't it full of regressive views? Didn't it condone slavery? Why look to the Bible for guidance on how to have a more just society? But Timothy Keller, pastor of New York City's Redeemer Presbyterian Church, sees it another way. In GENEROUS JUSTICE, Keller explores a life of justice empowered by an experience of grace: a generous, gracious justice. Here is a book for believers who find the Bible a trustworthy guide, as well as those who suspect that Christianity is a regressive influence in the world.Keller's church, founded in the 80s with fewer than 100 congregants, is now exponentially larger. Over 5,000 people regularly attend Sunday services, and another 25,000 download Keller's sermons each week. A recent profile in New York magazine described his typical sermon as 'a mix of biblical scholarship, pop culture, and whatever might have caught his eye in The New York Review of Books or on that week.' In short, Timothy Keller speaks a language that many thousands of people understand. In GENEROUS JUSTICE, he offers them a new understanding of modern justice and human rights.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (14 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340995092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340995099
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Timothy Keller is senior pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan: and New York Times bestselling author of The Reason for God. He is also author of Counterfeit Gods and The Prodigal God book, film, and discussion guide.

Product Description


'A C.S. Lewis for the 21st century' (Newsweek)

Tim Keller's ministry in New York City is leading a generation of seekers and skeptics toward belief in God. I thank God for him. (Billy Graham)

This is the book I give to all my friends who are serious spiritual seekers or skeptics. (Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, on THE REASON FOR GOD)

Book Description

Bestselling author of THE REASON FOR GOD Timothy Keller returns with his most provocative and illuminating message yet.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keller at his best, again! 17 Dec 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Timothy Keller is popularly known as the CS Lewis of the 21st Century. Anyone familiar with his books knows how easy to read his books are, and how enjoyable and enriching they are to digest. In his latest volume he tackles the idea of Christian Justice.

He starts off his book by talking about why he wrote it. The reasons he gives are, firstly, that certain Christians have become too focused about their message and not focused on their actions enough. The second reason is to answer sceptics like Christopher Hitchens who describes the Abrahamic God as a moral monster.

The first four chapters basically look at how the bible describes justice. It looks at how the bible as a whole defines justice (many quotes given along with historical interpretations), how the bible defines justice according to the Old Testament, whether this changes in the New Testament and finally to whom justice should apply (this is done by examining the Parable of the Good Samaritan).

Chapters five and six, ask the question why we should do justice and how justice can be done in the broader sphere. The central focus on why we should do justice is the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and the salvation/atonement theology of Christ - or in laymen's terms - if God could love you and die for you then the least you can do is respond to his love by helping others. The question of how is a bit more complex. The central argument is that justice is not easy and requires a lot of work, there are no easy fixes. Keller offers 5 core points which must be addressed in order to help achieve universal justice (namely direct relief, individual development, community development, racial conciliation and social reform).

Chapter seven is interesting.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for years for someone to write this book. And so I'm hugely grateful to Tim Keller. He's clearly the man for the job - his years of ministerial experience, academic ability and personal integrity well qualify him to write of the crying need for Evangelicals to engage with issues of justice and poverty. He's done it before in his celebrated MINISTRIES OF MERCY PB, but this book seems to have a greater apologetic edge.

And he knows his audience. Or rather his audiences. For he is well-aware, no doubt from heated interactions, that there are various groups out there who are profoundly sceptical of this passion. The problem is that they come from such conflicting starting positions; so it takes a masterly lightness of touch to engage each without alienating another.

But part of the approach is to identify his interlocutors from the start (from page xi) and then interact with each as he goes along - I've tried summarise them like this:

- The Instinctive Advocate: those Christians with the gut feeling that poverty and justice are important but who have never been able to integrate that with their faith. To them, Keller seeks to give a thought through, biblical rationale for why this instinct is god-given.

- The Sceptical Evangelist: those who fear any journey down this road will inevitably lead to doctrinal compromise and the `social gospel'. We're here just to evangelise, aren't we? To which Keller challenges by articulating both Old & New Testament motivations and commands to love the poor, and to question what a reluctance to such love might indicate about their ministerial context and personal spirituality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Generous \justice 8 Sep 2011
A very thought provoking book which repaid the time spent in reading it, and gave some new insights into the relationship of the church with justice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent work on Christianity 26 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was very interesting, and I learned a lot about Divine Justice from it. All Rev. Keller's books are good it seems.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and challenging book 20 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book which I was reading to prepare for a talk on the subject. Tim Keller outlines the issues, the theology and gives ideas about how Christians can get involved in taking action to combat injustice. Well worth reading
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4.0 out of 5 stars Keller does it again 11 Jun 2011
New York pastor Tim Keller tries to address a wide range of audiences in his latest book, Generous Justice - suspicious orthodox Christians, passionate younger evangelicals, agnostics. To all he tries to make the case that the Bible is devoted to promoting justice and therefore is a key part of the Christian faith.

At points in the book Keller is too ambitious in trying to address all the concerns of these audiences. But upon finishing the book it would be hard for any reader to not be convinced of God's concern for the poor as laid out in the Bible, and his commands for his followers to live Christ-like, sacrificial lives for those less fortunate.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy." -- Psalm 83:3 (NKJV)

If you would like to come to a better understanding of what Christians should be doing for our neighbors, it's hard for me to imagine a better resource than Generous Justice.

Generous Justice is one of those helpful Christian books that starts with the Bible in advocating a position about what the Lord's followers should do. Rather than trying to "construct" an argument in favor of a pre-existing position, Pastor Keller seeks what the Bible tells us and strives to make that wonderful Word more accessible to those who haven't done much to apply It to social justice issues. But this is a faith-based book, as well as a Bible-based one, that's well furnished with descriptions about how fully receiving and appreciating God's grace as redeemed repentant believers opens hearts to serving those who need help with loving hands and arms.

The book begins by explaining the Old Testament concept of Earthly justice ("mishpat"), combining both punishment and care . . . as called for in providing what was due to a person. Next, "being just" or "being righteous" is considered in terms of "right relationships" through the word "tzadeqah," which is viewed as conducting all day-to-day relationships with fairness, generosity, and equity. If tzadeqah were universal, mishpat would not be needed to remedy failings in human relations. Job is upheld as an Old Testament example of both concepts.

The book points out the many examples in the Old Testament of the rich needing to be restrained from oppressing the poor as well as the ways that misbehavior can lead to poverty. Needy peoples' circumstances are often complicated.
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