Dan Winiarski entertains some ideas about the current appeals for “justice”
Over the last few years, the term “Justice” has become far to ill-defined and confused with other virtues and ideas. Words mean things, and if we play fast and loose with their meanings, we inhibit our ability to communicate, diagnose problems, and identify the best solutions.
For example, I’ve heard justice defined subjectively and nebulously as “making things right.” What things? Right according to whom? Making them how?
He goes on to offer his own definition: “Justice is people getting what they deserve, whether good or bad, and whether we personally like the outcome or not.”
But that begs a question: Is “justice” something that can be defined? The same nit-picking used here can be applied to the preferred definition: “deserve”? what standard is that? what order? who sets the terms, etc. Or for that matter, how do we determine “good or bad”? The moment I push the concept it goes all squishy.
Rather than speak abstractly of “justice” why not biblically? Justice takes place in the presence of a wrong, thus the psalmist cries out for justice for the poor. Justice is about the ordering of our relationships so the reflect and participate in God’s interaction with us. The very care God has for the poor and weak leaves us exposed:we are sinners. This brings to the other sense of justice, that God acts to restore a relationship with us, unilaterally. That decision is profoundly displayed in the crucifixion, and vindicated on Easter morn.