Published on January 13, 2021 by Benjamin J. Montoya

Zondervan, 2020 | 288 pages

A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance


Social justice is not optional for the Christian, but Thaddeus Williams wants us to pursue a genuine justice, biblically defined. Williams argues that not everything called “social justice” today fits the bill, and we must be discerning lest we advocate what is actually harmful.

Hopefully, Christians across the political spectrum can unite around the fact that not everything branded social justice is social justice. When Antifa and the American Nazi Party both consider themselves bastions of social justice, most can agree that there are forms of “social justice” that go too far (p. 5).

Topics addressed include:

  • Racism
  • Sexuality
  • Socialism
  • Culture War
  • Abortion
  • Tribalism
  • Critical Theory
  • Identity Politics


Why Write This Book?

Williams answers:

Why write about social justice, especially given all the personal and political landmines buried in that word combination? It was not to win the approval of online inquisitors (because I won’t) or because I have it all figured out (because I don’t) or because it was fun (because it wasn’t). Rather, I care about God, I care about his church, I care about the gospel, and I care about true justice. Not all, but much of what is branded “social justice” these days is a threat to all four. As we explore important questions about social justice together, my co-authors and I have zero interest in the kind of individualistic, head-in-the-clouds Christianity that plugs its ears to the oppressed. If you also care about advancing the kind of social justice that glorifies God first, draws people into Christ-centered community, and champions the good news of saving grace while working against real oppression, then this book is for you.


Table of Contents

What is “Social Justice”?

Part 1: Jehovah or Jezebel? Three Questions about Social Justice and Worship

  1. The God Question: Does our vision of social justice take seriously the godhood of God?
  2. The Imago Question: Does our vision of social justice acknowledge the image of God in everyone, regardless of size, shade, sex, or status?
  3. The Idolatry Question: Does our vision of social justice make a false god out of the self, the state, or social acceptance?

Part 2: Unity or Uproar? Three Questions about Social Justice and Community

  1. The Collective Question: Does our vision of social justice take any group-identity more seriously than our identities “in Adam” and “in Christ”?
  2. The Splintering Question: Does our vision of social justice embrace divisive propaganda?
  3. The Fruit Question: Does our vision of social justice replace love, peace, and patience with suspicion, division, and rage?

Part 3: Sinners or Systems? Three Questions about Social Justice and Salvation

  1. The Disparity Question: Does our vision of social justice prefer damning stories to undamning facts?
  2. The Color Question: Does our vision of social justice promote racial strife?
  3. The Gospel Question: Does our vision of social justice distort the best news in history?

Part 4: Truth or Tribes Thinking? Three Questions about Social Justice and Knowledge

  1. The Tunnel Vision Question: Does our vision of social justice make one way of seeing something the only way of seeing everything?
  2. The Suffering Question: Does our vision of social justice turn the “lived experience” of hurting people into more pain?
  3. The Standpoint Question: Does our vision of social justice turn the quest for truth into an identity game?

Epilogue:  12 Differences Between Social Justice A and B
Appendix A: Abortion and the Right to Life
Appendix B: Black and White
Appendix C: Capitalism and Socialism
Appendix D: Defining Sexuality
Appendix E: Ending the Culture War
Appendix F: Fragility and Antifragility
Appendix G: “Good News to the Poor”



*Tim Challies:

Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth is the book I’ve been waiting for! This is the book that explains and analyzes the social justice movement–that treats it fairly and evaluates it critically. This is the book that prioritizes the gospel as the foundation for any true justice. This is the book that helps Christians understand why they must emphasize social justice, but why they must emphasize the right kind of social justice. This is the book I highly recommend.


*David Dockery

‘Wherever one finds oneself in the debate related to Christians and social justice, this important work by Thaddeus Williams and friends will offer wise guidance to these challenging issues. Williams is to be commended for his courage in offering this road map for his readers. Anyone who wishes to engage in the debate regarding social justice in the days ahead will find Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth an essential prerequisite to that discussion.


Foreword by John Perkins

I was born on a Mississippi cotton plantation in 1930. My mother died of nutrition deficiency when I was just seven months old. My big brother, a World War II veteran, was gunned down by a town marshal when I was seventeen years old. As a civil rights activist, I was jailed and beaten nearly to death by police. They tortured me without mercy, stuck a fork up my nose and down my throat, then made me mop up my own blood. I have known injustice. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for me to answer hate with hate. But God had another plan for my life, a redemptive plan. Jesus saved me. He saved me from my sin. He saved me from what could have easily become a life of hatred and resentment. He saved me by his amazing grace. And it’s by that same grace that I have spent the last sixty years with my wife, Vera Mae, confronting injustice. We have literally poured blood, sweat, and tears into the causes of civil rights, multiethnic reconciliation, community development, building good relationships between urban communities and the police, education, teaching the gospel, and wholistic ministry. I have labored not by my strength but “by his strength that works powerfully in me,” as Paul said. And God has been faithful.

Through my sixty years of working for justice, I offer four admonishments to the next generation of justice seekers.

First, start with God! God is bigger than we can imagine. We have to align ourselves with his purpose, his will, his mission to let justice roll down, and bring forgiveness and love to everyone on earth. The problem of injustice is a God-sized problem. If we don’t start with him first, whatever we’re seeking, it ain’t justice.

Second, be one in Christ! Christian brothers and sisters—black, white, brown, rich, and poor—we are family. We are one blood. We are adopted by the same Father, saved by the same Son, filled with the same Spirit. In John 17 Jesus prays for everyone who would believe in him, that people from every tongue, tribe, and nation would be one. That oneness is how the world will know who Jesus is. If we give a foothold to any kind of tribalism that could tear down that unity, then we aren’t bringing God’s justice.

Third, preach the gospel! The gospel of Jesus’s incarnation, his perfect life, his death as our substitute, and his triumph over sin and death is good news for everyone. It is multicultural good news. In the blood of Jesus, we are able to truly see ourselves as one race, one blood. We’ve got to stop playing the race game. Christ alone can break down the barriers of prejudice and hate we all struggle with. There is no power greater than God’s love expressed in Jesus. That’s where we all find real human dignity. If we replace the gospel with this or that man-made political agenda, then we ain’t doing biblical justice.

Fourth and finally, teach truth! Without truth, there can be no justice. And what is the ultimate standard of truth? It is not our feelings. It is not popular opinion. It is not what presidents or politicians say. God’s Word is the standard of truth. If we’re trying harder to align with the rising opinions of our day than with the Bible, then we ain’t doing real justice.

Those four marks of my sixty years in ministry are exactly what this book is about and why I wholeheartedly stand behind it. Dr. Thaddeus Williams and his twelve coauthors are important voices for helping us pursue the kind of justice that starts with God, champions our oneness in Christ, declares the gospel, and refuses to compromise truth.

We are in the midst of a great upheaval. There is much confusion, much anger, and much injustice. Sadly, many Christian brothers and sisters are trying to fight this fight with man-made solutions. These solutions promise justice but deliver division and idolatry. They become false gospels. Thankfully, in these trying times, new conversations are happening, and the right questions are beginning to be asked. I believe the twelve questions Thaddeus raises in the book are the right questions we should all be asking in today’s troubled world.

So I encourage you, read with an open mind. Risk a change of heart. Dare to reach across the divides of our day. Venture beyond anger and hurt into grace and forgiveness. Don’t get swept along into false answers that lead only to more injustice. Love one another. Confront injustice without compromising truth— healing, unifying, biblical truth! May this book be a guide to do exactly that, for God’s glory and the good of every tongue, tribe, and nation.

John M. Perkins President Emeritus
John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation Jackson, Mississippi
Author of One Blood, Let Justice Roll Down, and With Justice for All

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Zondervan, 2020 | 288 pages

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