Pepperdine University's Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics hosted "The Role of the Church in Doing Justice," on February 19, 2010 at the School of Law in Malibu, California.
Featuring some of the church's foremost Christian leaders, the event explored the biblical foundations of justice, the history of the church's leadership and failure of leadership on social justice issues, and the ways that churches today can address the mandate to "seek justice." The conference was cosponsored with International Justice Mission (IMJ) and Advocates International (AI).
"The second millennium brought with it the closing of some tragic events and a sobering landscape for the future," says Robert F. Cochran, Jr., director of the Nootbaar Institute and Louis D. Brandies Professor of Law. "With the genocide in Rwanda and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans still fresh in our minds, other horrors began filling the headlines: a slaughter in Darfur, child soldiers in the Congo, 27 million lives enslaved, and two billion around the globe living in poverty. In all of this, where was the Christian church? With biblical commands to "seek justice" entrenched in its very being, the church should be front and center in the human rights crisis."
Distinguished speakers included Rich Stearns, president of World Vision U.S.; Bethany Hoang, director of International Justice Mission Institute; Mark Labberton, Lloyd John Ogilvie Associate Professor of Preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary; Tim Jones, director of mission and outreach at Malibu Presbyterian Church; Sam Casey, executive vice president and general counsel, Advocates International; Jim Martin, national director of church mobilization, International Justice Mission, among many others.
The purpose of the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics is to bring the redemptive capacities of religious faith and moral insight to law, to find ways in which persons trained in law can serve “the least of these” throughout the world, and to explore how the practice of law might be a religious calling.
Visit the conference Web site.