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social justice, evangelicalism, and history

October 3rd, 2018 | 1 min read

By Matthew Loftus

I tried not to follow the brouhaha over the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel too closely — too much to keep up with when I felt like the original statement was a whole lot of shadowboxing and thus not worth taking all that seriously. However, I appreciated this comprehensive response from Justin Hawkins & Malcom Foley on the main site. I also love Quick to Listen, the podcast Morgan Lee hosts for Christianity Today, and this episode with Thabiti Anyabwile on the subject is well worth listening to. Here’s Hawkins and Foley:

We do not even wish to hint at the idea that the authors of this Statement might support lynching. But we see these same analytical and theological mistakes that prolonged that injustice continuing in modern conversation about race and justice among evangelical Christians in America. The errors of the past ought to induce us to be exceedingly careful in the ways that we discuss matters of social justice in the present and future, and we do not see that care being manifest in the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. That statement instead assumes that “social justice” is some kind of abstraction, ignoring the fact that the idea is rooted in seeking concrete ways to love our neighbors (the abstraction can be seen in the fact that while it vilifies the Social Justice movement, the statement never mentions a single author or practice against which they are arguing). A response like the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel comes across to many as hollow at best and vicious at worst.

Andrew Wilson has summarized some of the highlights of Thabiti’s argument on the podcast here.


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