Why Justice cannot be an End in Itself

Miroslav Volf briefly shared some thoughts from the book of Job before he launched into his prepared lecture, and in them he spoke to this question.


Job was a just and an upright man. Not merely living a life of personal moral purity, but practically and justly taking care of the poor and helpless. However, Job’s pursuit of justice did not protect him from raging tragedy and devastation. Where is the justice in a world where the just receive tragedy along with the unjust? Yet Job did not despair or turn from his life’s devotion. His own justness could not help him when his life was being destroyed.


Volf said, “the life of justice can only be meaningful if there is something beyond it.” If we have no God through whom we know justice and for whose sake we do justice, the pursuit of justice will not satisfy us and cannot save us.


Enjoying the Justice Conference

I’ve had a great day at The Justice Conference.

So far I’ve attended sessions on Immigration, Gentrification in Portland, the Innocence Project and their work exonerating those who have been wrongly convicted of crimes, and the Arab Spring in comparison to the revolutions in 1848 and 1989. I won’t have the chance to write many thoughts now, but hopefully will have the chance to process what I’ve heard so far a bit later.


Later this evening the main conference will begin with Ken Wytsma and then Miroslav Volf. I’m so thankful to be here.