I've picked up Nicholas Wolterstorff's new book, Justice in Love, and am reading it slowly, trying to savor each paragraph as he discusses the relationship—which sometime feels like a conflict—between justice and love.

Wolterstorff comments on and critiques Anders Nygren's classic Agape and Eros and Reinhold Niebuhr's An Interpre­tation of Christian Ethics, with its notion that Jesus' ethic is an "impossible possibility." According to Wolterstorff, the basic Christian ethical concept is that individuals have a right to justice because they are loved by God. He builds his case for a new "care-agapism" in which justice and love, instead of being in conflict, are in harmony with each other and part of one ethical/moral position.

Wolterstorff points to Jesus' parable of the Good Samari­tan, and the striking moral mandate that appears in all three synoptic Gospels: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." That, Jesus said, is the heart of the Torah. "That sums it up," says Wolterstorff.