Saturday, August 15, 2009

Justice and Relationships

In reading Fuellenbach's awesome book on the Kingdom of God he notes that in Old Testament terms Justice is always a matter of relationships. Hence, it is often synonymous with the word righteousness - or right relationships. In fact death indicates an end of relationships and the possibility of making these right (of course themes of judgment might challenge this). Fuellenbach also cautions us not to truncate this notion of relationship to the personal world of our relationship with God. It has to do with all relationships, yes with God, with self and others - but also with the world God so loved. This notion opens up some wonderful ways of understanding incarnation as God's act of restoring the relationship God has with all of creation (indeed all of the cosmos if we take the Greek wording of John 3:16 serious). So, by implication, to be a Kingdom people requires that we be about relationships. Restoring relationships to their right form and function. Of course that opens up a whole huge discussion about what the right form and function actually consists of - this is not at all self-evident. Regardless, the Kingdom of God should always lead us smack dab into the centre of that discussion. And further it should lead us to act on our convictions about the nature of relationships.


Paul said...

Hi Frank

This sets off all sorts of intercanonical connections for me, and reminds me of Jimmy Dunn's and Alan Suggate's discussion of justification in The Justice of God (Eerdmans, 1991). Dunn argues that this conception of "justice and relationships" lies behind Paul's teaching about justification.

One of Freedom said...

Good to hear from you Paul. I have a particular text by NT Wright that I suspect will head in this direction too - it is one of those ideas that actually has far reaching implications. For instance it completely changes the meaning of the 23rd Psalm which the Jerusalem Bible makes clear.