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the four-paned window

August 30th, 2018 | 1 min read

By Matthew Loftus

I like Carl Ellis’ take on the four-paned window of Biblical righteousness:

If we pair these dimensions in all possible combinations, we get four manifestations of righteousness: personal piety, social piety, personal justice, and social justice. This can be illustrated by the Window of Righteousness. Think of this four-paned window as a picture of how the gospel plays out in individual lives and society.

The Bible itself clearly covers the whole window, and when we do theology we should do likewise. Therefore, when the body of Christ is fully functional, all four panes will be engaged. Unfortunately, for a long time most of us in the evangelical community have been functional on one pane—personal piety. This means we’ve neglected 3/4 of the gospel’s implications in this four-fold framework.

Matthew Loftus

Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at