Friends of Justice

By Alan Bean

This talk was originally delivered as an address at an MLK program at the Department of Veterans Affairs Dallas Campus on January 12, 2012

I was thrilled to be asked to speak to you today. For one thing, it gave me a chance to reflect on what Martin Luther King’s understanding of justice can teach us about leadership in the twenty-first century. There is a big picture of King in my office. “The ultimate measure of a man,” the caption reads, “is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

As we will see, Dr. King knew whereof he spoke.

When I arrived at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the summer of 1975, I entered a new world. There were more Baptists in a single Dallas church than in all of Western Canada. I…

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