'I have never been in any doubt as to the importance of the Jubilee Centre.
We as Christians have made a contract with society not to be more Christian.
The Jubilee Centre stands prophetically to bust open the lie of that.'
Ann Holt OBE, Director of Programme, Bible Society
‘In the life of Christians the law of God—though still binding on them—functions in a completely different way. It shows you the life of love you want to live before the God who has done so much for you. God's law takes you out of yourself; it shows you how to serve God and others instead of being absorbed with yourself. You study and obey the law of God in order to discover the kind of love you should live in order to please and resemble the one who created and redeemed you, delivering you from the consequences of sin.’
Tim Keller, King's Cross (2011), p.41
The Jubilee Centre's vision is for a movement of organisations, churches and individual Christians to advance a coherent and positively-stated biblical social agenda that is of benefit to the whole of society.
By ourselves, we believe our impact on society would be negligible. However, working in partnership with others who are also actively engaged in social reform, we believe there is great potential for making a positive contribution to the collective witness of the church as Christians seek to shape society according to biblical principles.
The biblical social vision: Right relationships
What does a better society look like? Where do we look to discover the content of our reform agenda? We believe that there is a clearly discernible and coherent social model, or 'paradigm', in the Scriptures - what we might call the 'biblical social vision'. Its contours and governing principles are present in the laws given to Israel, in their subsequent national history and in the witness of the prophets. They are strongly reaffirmed in the New Testament. 'I tell you the truth', says Jesus, 'until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the law.' (Matthew 5:18)
At the heart of this social vision is a concern for right relationships. When questioned regarding the greatest commandment Jesus replied, 'Love the Lord your God... and love your neighbour as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.' (Matthew 22:37-40) The relevance of this relational agenda (or Relationism) for modern society is evident from the wide range of topics that the Jubilee Centre has explored over the years.
We accept that understanding, applying and communicating biblical teaching today is a challenging enterprise. Difficult judgements must be made regarding the right interpretation of a text or the most appropriate means of incarnating a biblical principle today. We may well need to be politically pragmatic if we would achieve some progress rather than none at all.
Nevertheless, we have found the Scriptures exceedingly rich in insight regarding social, political and economic life, and capable of offering positive solutions to the concerns of modern society. It remains our conviction, our vision and our prayer that God's word proclaimed by God's people will once again transform the life of nations.