Speak up and judge fairly; speak up and defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Coming up next week, Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia is hosting a unique event: its second-annual conference for Christian legal professionals and students committed to incarnating Christ in the law.
This year’s conference is focused upon the idea of Christian advocacy, trying to articulate what differences there are, if any, from secular advocacy. It’s a big question with a lot of space for dialogue, and all of the contributors here at the Pro Deo blog are interested in seeing what conversations God will stir up among attendees.
The conference is taking place March 22nd and 23rd in the heart of Philadelphia, and full event information including a list of speakers and topics is available by clicking here. We know many readers are from outside the Philadelphia area, so where appropriate we’ll post videos of the speakers’ presentations over the course of the weeks following the conference.
Please pray for attendees’ hearts as the conference commences, that God will soften them and re-mold them to better do His work in the world!
Guest Post by J. Lance Conklin
Is breaking the law ever justifiable?
As someone who has worked in immigration law for a number of years, I have good sense of the immigration situation in the U.S. In addition, as someone who has graduated from a Southern Baptist seminary, been a pastor and is an evangelical, I am acutely aware of what many in the evangelical church think about immigration, and particularly those who are undocumented. I have come to the conclusion that I do not think that many in the evangelical church understand how bad it is for those across the border. In addition, as has been the case many times, people in the church improperly emphasize one passage of the Bible over the other. Finally, I believe that many evangelicals have lost sight of what is most important – seeking to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples. My fear is that many evangelicals, rather than focusing on making disciples, have taken a position that communicates to the undocumented that they are not welcome in the church. Continue reading
The next video in our series of presentations from the first Pro Deo Conference hosted in Philadelphia features CLCP executive director Peter Hileman presenting on Biblical peacemaking and conflict resolution.
It’s been a while in coming, but this video is worth it! Continuing in our series of videos from the first Pro Deo Conference hosted in Philadelphia this past March, this entry features attorneys and law graduates Cathy Williams-Frank, Regina Guerin, Deb Ortiz-Vasquez and Grace Lim-Ayres in a panel discussion moderated by Jaimee Moore.
Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia (CLCP) hosted a unique opportunity for Christian legal professionals and students to come together in March called the “Pro Deo Conference.” You can view videos of other speakers at the conference on YouTube here.
Considering whether the substance of our work aligns with God’s heart and will is a vital reflective process. To not submit our work to this scrutiny is to wander through a haze, justifying our choices based on our whims and appetites and ending up at a destination other than where we ought to be.
In 1997, pastor John Piper published the following list of questions that can help kick off an earnest assessment of our current job or a contemplated one.
While extremely useful, there seems an inherent pitfall: reality falls short of aspiration. Continue reading
-You may thank God that we have got this man, he said. He is a great man, and one of the greatest lawyers in South Africa, and one of the greatest friends of your people.
-I do thank God, and you too, father. But tell me. I have one anxiety, what will it cost? My little money is nearly exhausted.
-Did you not hear him say he would take the case pro deo? Ah yes, you have not heard of that before. It is Latin and it means for God. So it will cost you nothing, or at least very little.
-He takes it for God?
-That is what it meant in the old days of faith, though it has lost much of that meaning. But it still means that the case is taken for nothing.
Kumalo stammered. I have never met such kindness, he said. He turned away his face, for he wept easily in those days. Father Vincent smiled at him. Go well, he said, and went back to the lawyer who was taking the case for God.
-Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
The Rev. Stephen Kumalo is stunned. A black South African and Anglican parson living under apartheid, his only son has accidentally killed a white man in Johannesburg and is caught up in the justice system, soon to stand trial. And what is the news that has left the reverend staggering? A lawyer, a respected one, has agreed to help Kumalo in his time of need by taking his son’s case on pro deo–for God.
Sadly, 2012 doesn’t seem so different from the 1930s in which Alan Paton’s magisterial novel was set. Continue reading