Engage: What Do We Do with Evil? #7

Read: “The Spiral of Violence”

This chapter shows the inadequacy of retributive justice. Punishment does not overcome evil because it only addresses the effects of it, not the causes of it. Punitiveness is not transformative. It leaves “the filthy rotten system” in place to continue its deformation and destruction.

Restorative justice, on the other hand, overcomes evil with good. It includes the rehabiliation of individuals, but it goes on to change the system–or at least keep calling for its change.

Rohr rightly notes that “overcoming the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2) is the deeper, more-engaging work to which we are called by God. This is the biblical invitation to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8).

Restorative justice breaks the system, not the people caught in it. It not only asks, ‘Who did this?” but also, “Why is this kind of thing happening?”

Reminder: Our next Zoom call is this Friday, July 15th at Noon (ET). We will focus on chapters 4-7. I have subscribed to the Zoom Pro Plan, so we will not be limited to 40 minutes. But we will be good stewards of our time and keep our meeting to one hour. Here is the link to the meeting. I hope you can join in…


Meeting ID: 931 408 5719
Passcode: s32xDL

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 43 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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