As you can tell, I’ve been doing some study on Christianity and “social justice.” Tim Keller’s Generous Justice is very helpful. What I find really great are the quotes from some of my Reformed heroes like Edwards on helping the poor etc. This one is from John Newton (1725-1807),* the great Calvinist hymn-writer who gave us Amazing Grace. Newton is commenting on Luke 14:12-14 (click here to read), about inviting the poor and not your friends to a banquet:
One would almost think that Luke 14:12-14 was not considered part of God’s word, nor has any part of Jesus’s teaching been more neglected by his own people. I do not think it is unlawful to entertain our friends; but if these words do not teach us that it is in some respects or duty to give a preference to the poor, I am at a loss to understand them (John Newton, The Works of John Newton [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1985], 1:136.).
Those are some pretty strong words.
* For more on John Newton check out Michael Haykin’s lecture.