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With all of the chaos happening in the United States and on the worldwide stage, There is a place in history that has divided our topic into two categories while at the same time there is really only one.  Divine justice includes retributive justice but is better described as relational or restorative justice although they both may seem to contradict one another. But this is not the case.

     First of all divine justice is visible. The Hebrew language for justice means the same as righteousness. In the Bible the meaning overlaps. The death and resurrection of Christ for Christians is the controlling frame of reference for comprehending the true mean of divine justice. The biblical notion of righteousness refers broadly to doing, being, declaring, or bringing about what is right. Righteousness is a comprehensively relational reality. It is something that inheres in our relationships as social beings. To be righteous is to be true to the demands of a relationship, whether that relationship is with God or with other persons. To be unrighteousness – say, through criminal activity – is to violate the meaning of the relationship. When such violations occur, offenders stand in need of restoration. But the goal of the punishment is not to maintain some abstract cosmic balance, but to put right what has gone wrong, to protect the community, and to restore the integrity of its life and its relationship with God. Justice is satisfied by the restoration of peace to relationships, not by the pain of punishment per se. God’s justice is retributive inasmuch as it is never prejudiced, arbitrary, or impulsive, and is always morally attuned to human deeds and deserts. Yet it focuses not on imposition of retribution on wrongdoers, but the restoration of right relationship.

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