Social Justice: What's Marx Got to Do with It?

Introduction In my previous post we considered the underlying assumptions of the social justice movement.  In this one, we will consider its Marxist origins.  My contention is that social justice is best understood as a euphemism for what is variously called Neo-, Western, or Cultural Marxism. 
It’s called Neo-Marxism to distinguish it from Marxism in its original form, Western Marxism because of its adaptation to western societies, and Cultural Marxism because it takes the principle of class struggle in traditional Marxist theory and applies it to other social struggles in the broader culture.  This last term is perhaps the most helpfully descriptive.  But to understand Cultural Marxism, we must first understand Classical Marxism. 
Classical Marxism Classical Marxism is the name given to the social, political, and economic thought of Karl Marx (1818-1883).  Marx and his associate, Friedrich Engels, were the co-authors of the Communist Manifesto (1848).  They, along with their immediate i…

Social Justice and its Dangers

Justice is an attribute which is consistently ascribed to God in Scripture and presented as a defining characteristic of his reign (Deut. 32:4; Ps. 97:2; Isa. 30:18b; Rev. 15:3; etc.).Because heis just, he calls us to live justly with one another (Gen. 18:19; Ps. 33:5; Jer. 5:1; Mic. 6:8; etc.). This call includes laboring to form a just society (Deut. 1:13-17; 16:18-20; Isa. 1:16-17; Jer. 22:3; Amos 5:15, 24; etc.). This is not merely incidental to our call, but integral to it.Pursuing justice—both personally and in broader society—is one of the weightier matters of the law (Matt. 23:23).It is, in fact, one of the ways in which we live by the golden rule and fulfill the command, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:39; Jas. 2:8).
There are few who would argue against justice as the foundation of civilized society, but there is perhaps less consensus now than at any point in our nation’s history as to what justice is.It’s becoming painfully clear that not ev…

A Practical Guide to Repentance

The necessity of repentance for the forgiveness of sins is central to the message of the gospel.  It’s one of the elementary doctrines of Christ, and leads to salvation and eternal life.[1]But what exactly is it, and how does one go about doing it?
The term in Greek (metanoia) literally means a change of mind.  As used in the New Testament it can refer to either the initial conversion event, involving a change in one’s entire course of life from disregard for God to reverence for him, or the subsequent, ongoing repentance that characterizes the daily, Spirit-led work of sanctification.
It’s the latter that I want to address, and more specifically, repentance for sins committed against a neighbor.  What does this sort of repentance look like? 
The first thing to be said is that it has a look, which is to say that it can be seen.  It’s not merely an unobservable matter of the heart.  Genuine repentance originates in the heart, to be sure, but it’s not confined to the heart.  It’s insuffic…

The ongoing ministry of Christ

The full name of the book of Acts is The Acts of the Apostles.Luke himself didn’t give this name to the book, of course, but this is the name by which it came to be known in the early church.[1]The name is indicative of the subject matter, although it’s a bit misleading because there is very little information given about the ministry of any of the other apostles except Peter and Paul—and Paul wasn’t even one of the original twelve.
Because of the prominent role played by the Holy Spirit, some have suggested the book should be called The Acts of the Holy Spirit.[2]There is some merit to this.  Clearly the Holy Spirit plays a vital role in the book.
I think the book might best be called The Continuing Acts of Jesus Christ.[3]Why?Because in it we find Jesus continuing the ministry he began while he was on earth.This is how Luke himself viewed the situation.
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he…

Keeping up with the Herodians

When reading the New Testament, it can be difficult to follow who’s who in the family of Herod.  Here’s a brief overview of the Herodian dynasty, at least of those members who play a prominent role in the Gospels and the book of Acts.

The most famous member of the dynasty is its founder, Herod the Great.  He’s not called “Great” because he was good or wise or just, but because he was an ambitious builder.  The ruins of his many projects can still be seen all over Israel.  It was Herod the Great who attempted to put Jesus to death as a baby by ordering all the male children in Bethlehem under two years of age to be killed.
He died a few months after our Lord was born and his dominion was divided among three of his sons.  He had more than three, but these are they who inherited his kingdom:   Archelaus and Herod Antipas, brothers from the same mother (Malthrace), and Herod Philip, a brother from another mother (Mariamne II).
Archelaus is mentioned in Scripture just in passing (Matt. 2:22)…