Jus­tice

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Ac­cord­ing to Henry Stob, “jus­tice is the best de­fined as “giv­ing ev­ery one his due,” the term “due” be­ing a wide and neu­tral term serv­ing to cover all forms of jus­tice.”177 He fur­ther said, jus­tice, “it would ap­pear, has as much to do with desert

as it has to do with rights; as much to do with in­equal­ity as with equal­ity; as much to

do with at­tri­bu­tion and ret­ri­bu­tion as with dis­tri­bu­tion.”178

It is im­por­tant to know whether things are just or not. Only af­ter know­ing you are act­ing on the side of jus­tice, are you able to claim your rights.

Henry Stob de­scribes more about Jus­tice, “it has an eye for rights and claims, weighs

mer­its and de­mer­its, ef­fects pre­cise dis­tri­bu­tions, and the like. And Jus­tice is con­cerned with the del­i­cate bal­anc­ing of scales.” Henry Stob com­pares Jus­tice and Love for clearer un­der­stand­ing. “For love, how­ever, scales and bal­ances are

scrim­i­nately al­lo­cates goods and evils af­ter care­ful cal­cu­la­tion. Jus­tice, it is said, reigns in the public arena; loves reigns in the pri­vate sec­tor. Jus­tice reg­u­lates the in­ter­ac­tions of im­per­sonal col­lec­tiv­i­ties; love

reg­u­lates in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tions.”179 By this jus­tice can be un­der­stood, to be a kind of im­ple­men­ta­tion of a

so­ci­ety’s ethic, mea­sur­ing and com­par­ing, and than pro­nounc­ing the re­sults to be ei­ther good or bad. The im­por­tant thing is that jus­tice de­mands ac­tual equal­ity of treat­ment.180 In­equal­ity may be of a type, which may re­quire more than guar­an­tee­ing lib­erty and rights to pro­tect the weaker party.181

Jus­tice must co­op­er­ate with Love; per­haps this is be­cause love is a char­ac­ter­is­tic of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. “Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion is a fur­ther step one takes when the claim­ing of rights has re­dressed the bal­ance of in­jus­tice.”182

It is the pur­pose of law to re­al­ize jus­tice in hu­man so­ci­ety. More­over, law is more prac­ti­cal than any other sys­tem; on the other hand, law has no ex­cuse.

As long as hu­man be­ings should love one another con­tin­u­ously, it would not be nec­es­sary to in­tro­duce the term “law.” In the case of gen­uine love, Luther said,

“love needs no law”.183 Luther’s view was con­cen­trated upon love more than on law.

How­ever, for Calvin love is the law: “The Gospel is noth­ing else than a ful­fill­ment of the law”.184 In­deed, as is the gospel, “the law is a man­i­fes­ta­tion of God’s love and God’s care.” As Calvin says, “the pur­pose of the whole law [is] to form hu­man life to the archetype of di­vine pu­rity.”185 God has de­picted His char­ac­ter in His law. The law, for Calvin, is thus God’s full and suf­fi­cient act of self-rev­e­la­tion.

Calvin’s view was more con­cen­trated upon law than on love. His un­der­stand of law is based on faith. By faith Chris­tians ful­fill the law through the grace of God. The first part of Chris­tian free­dom for Calvin, then, is noth­ing like

free­dom from the law. “It is free­dom within the law, even free­dom as a re­sult of the law (when me­di­ated by grace).”186 Af­ter study­ing dif­fer­ent churches the­olo­gians’ views, it is un­der­stand­able the Ad­ven­tist church po­si­tion. The Ad­ven­tist church po­si­tion seems close to Calvin’s view. By faith be­liev­ers ful­fill God’s law as the fruit of faith, by the grace of God, not by their own works.

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