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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Wisdom Lab: Working Out Justice

‘We want justice.’

It’s a simple statement, but it can be one of the most loaded in our language. 

You don’t have to spend long with friends or colleagues or scroll far through social media to find people making passionate pleas for justice to be done for a cause, person, or issue that matters deeply to them. We feel the effects of injustice incredibly strongly, particularly when it’s perpetrated directly against us or those we care about. There’s something innate within all of us that wants to see wrongs made right, victims protected, and the guilty held to account. 

But when it comes to issues like reparations, climate justice, or migration – and their everyday expressions in our spending, office policies, and pub conversations – what counts as ‘wrong’? Who are the victims, and who’s guilty? What does justice actually look like? On these important questions, we find it harder to agree – meaning we often get no closer to achieving justice, even as the shouts get louder. 

As Christians, our view of justice should surely be grounded in what Scripture has to say – and it turns out Scripture has a lot to say about justice. Yet it’s far from simple to apply that biblical picture to the reality of everyday life in the 21st Century, alongside people who may have a very different idea of what justice means. How do we practically follow God’s requirement ‘to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly’, wherever he’s placed us, whatever we’re doing? 

This Wisdom Lab is dedicated to exploring exactly that question. On the night, an expert panel of speakers from IJMJust LoveTearfund, and LICC, listened to what our culture has to say about justice and explored how that influences the people around us. Then, we unpacked a biblical theology of justice, and thought about what that means for how we live and work in our daily lives. Finally, we considered how the justice we seek can be our best witness to a watching world instinctively bent on seeing wrong things made right.

Recorded on 21 March 2024. 

Discussion guide | Working Out Justice

Download the discussion guide from the night itself, for watching this session with your small group or church and facilitating your own conversation.

Helpful articles

As part of their contribution to this Wisdom Lab, each speaker wrote a blog article exploring their topic further:

  • Part one: Matt Jolley listens to our culture’s cries for justice
  • Part two: Adom Otoo from IJM imagines what a biblical theology of justice looks like
  • Part three: Tim Lornie from Just Love suggests how we create a practical response in our daily lives
  • Part four: Hannah Lloyd from Tearfund looks at how to communicate the good news of a gospel of justice to a watching world
Connecting with Culture

Blog articles which engage with issues in our culture, considering how we might respond in our everyday lives in a Christlike way:

Word for the Week

A six-part devotional series by Matt Jolley reflecting on what Scripture says about God’s justice, and how we can practically live that out, looking at the living word and what it looks like to live in our everyday lives.

Be Wise: Theology for Everyday Life

Join us for an in-depth, 11-session online course, designed to help you grow in wisdom – equipping you to live in a way that’s distinctly and intentionally Christian on a 24/7 basis, becoming a ‘peacemaker’ in your daily context.