The Quality of Mercy: Stories of Justice and Reconciliation (An Open Forum)

We have all faced these questions at some point or another: How can you live with both justice and mercy in the world? Can mercy and justice be combined? Can forgiveness and justice be combined? I’m not sure that immediately grabs you as one of the great problems in your life or in the culture, but it is.

We have at least two problems, and I’m going to show you it’s because of a third. We have a problem of public justice. In public justice, when one group has really wronged another group, should there be forgiveness? How can there be forgiveness and justice? On the other hand, personally, if someone has wronged you, how can there be both forgiveness and at the same time justice? 

Let’s break this down, and let’s show there’s a problem of public justice, there’s a problem in the area of private justice, and it’s all because there’s a huge problem with perfect justice.

This talk was given by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on February 27, 2000 as part of the Redeemer Open Forum series. Open Forums were specifically designed for skeptics or those wrestling with the claims of Christianity.

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