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A Theology for the Social Gospel [Paperback]

By Walter Rauschenbusch (Author)
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Item description for A Theology for the Social Gospel by Walter Rauschenbusch...

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III NEITHER ALIEN NOR NOVEL In these introductory chapters my aim is to win the benevolent and serious attention of conservative readers for the discussions that are to follow. I have thus far tried to show that the spread of the social gospel will inevitably react on theology, and that this influence is likely to be constructive and salutary. Let us add the important fact that the social gospel imports into theology nothing that is new or alien. Frequent attempts have been made in the history of our religion to blend alien elements with it. The early Gnostics and the mediaeval Albigenses, for instance, tried xo combine historical Christianity with dualistic conceptions of the universe and strict asceticism. Modern Mormonism, Theosophy, and Christian Science represent sy .cretistic formations, minglings of genuine Christian- itywith new and alien elements. The belief in the universal reign of law, the doctrine of evolution, the control of nature by man, and the value of education and liberty as independent goods, these are among the most influential convictions of modern life and have deeply modified our religious thought. But they are novel elements in theology. They are not alien, but certainly they held no such controlling position in the theology of the past as they do with us. We may discover prophetic forecasts of them in the Bible, but we have to look for them. On the other hand the idea of the redemption of the social organism is nothing alien. It is simply a proper part of the Christian faith in redemption from sin and evil. As soon as the desire for salvation becomes strong and intelligent enough to look beyond the personal sins of the individual, and to discern how our personality in its intake and output is connected with the social groups to wh...

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Pages   289
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.97" Width: 5.63" Height: 0.65"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 12, 1996
Publisher   Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN  1579100228  
ISBN13  9781579100223  

Availability  0 units.

More About Walter Rauschenbusch

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Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) was the major exponent of the Social Gospel movement of the early twentieth century. A pastor to a Baptist congregation of impoverished German immigrants in New York City, he also taught at Rochester Theological Seminary (now Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School).

Christopher H. Evans is Professor of History of Christianity and Methodist Studies in the School of Theology, Boston University. He is the author and editor of several books, including, "The Faith of Fifty Million" (2002), "The Social Gospel Today "(2001), and "Histories of American Christianity" (2013). In 2005, "The Kingdom is Always but Coming" won the "Award of Merit" for outstanding title in history/biography in "Christianity Today" magazine.

Walter Rauschenbusch was born in 1861 and died in 1918.

Walter Rauschenbusch has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Library of Theological Ethics

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Reviews - What do customers think about A Theology for the Social Gospel?

Awesome book  Jun 8, 2006
This classic of Christian ethics is a must read for anybody who is even concerned with the history of Christian thought. Rauschenbusch writes about why Christianity must be focused on helping the other and not so much on correct doctrine and an assent to that doctrine.
Theology, Social good, but No God  Apr 22, 2006
How does on conceive who God is? How does one perceive how God has worked in the past and the future? What agenda does one bring into interpreting the bible? What philosophy does the reader have about God and His creation? Dr. Rauschenbusch perspective about God, His creation, and the bible is at variance to mine. His respect for the bible as a historic document and God's inspired word is quite different from mine. His theology is based on a more open mind then mine. He states the bible is inspired then proceeds to redefine what it means to be God's inspired word. I believe God through His providence has given the Christian community of Saints an inerrant group of books compiled into one cannon commonly known as the bible. Rauschenbusch teaches that God wants to test every spirit for truth. He refers to Paul when he asks Christians to test every spirit for truth.

This book is written in fine eloquence. Yet his biblical interpretation is quite subjective, and convenient. This book first came to my attention while reading about the theology of Dr. Martin Luther King jr. the Book titled King Came Preaching stated Dr. Rauschenbusch had great influence on the formulation Dr. King's theology and sermon subject manner. Later I saw the book cited as a major influence on theological debate in these United States inside Ligonier's devotion Table Talk.

Rauschenbusch's Paradigm

"The argument of this book is built on the conviction that the social gospel is a permanent addition to our spiritual outlook and that its arrival constitutes alarge development of the Christian religion."

Rauschenbusch writes about the evaluational nature of Christianity. He even is critical Martin Luther not being more open minded about what is truth. Anyway he argues the Social Gospel is a further point of evolution in Christian theology. Rauschenbusch argues that individual Christians organize and work together work together in a corporate manner to improve lives of all individuals by changing society. I believe Christianity should have a positive effect on society as a whole. Ialso believe Christians should organize themselves in an effort to improve society. Yet I believe this without denying that the Bible is God's written word, finale authority, and ultimate source of truth. Rauschenbusch felt compelled to argue for social justice and to change Christian theology that is at odds with scripture. Rauschenbuschuses uses rationale to openly dismiss what he does not deny the clear meaning of scripture. He does not make an argument on this or that doctrine impedes Christians from working for Social justice.

I read the bible and other Christian books to understand God and His creation. Some theological scholars are dismissive of the bible as God's recorded word. Rauschenbush believed a 'theologians' job was to question the bible not just interpret the bible. Yet he wanted to use the institution of the Christian Church to work for social change. I have come to the conclusion that he felt traditional Christian theology was at best a waste of time and at worst one of the social philosophies he felt needed to be destroyed to better man. He wanted to inspire people to work for a more fair humane society without a belief in the supernatural or man's damnation.
A Very Good Book  May 13, 2005
This book is a very heavy theological book (in concept), while remaining a light read. Rauschenbusch does a masterful job of commencing a discussion of what it means to be an active Christian in the world we find ourselves. This means never turning a blind eye to the manifest social evils of our society.

Therefore, as Christian we must reconsider what it means to be Christian outside of Christendom, realizing that we are part of a broken world of hurt and anguish.

Chief among the social problems is poverty, and Rauschenbusch seeks to explicitly name this problem and then call and mobilize the church to be the chief combatants of this problem.

Rauschenbusch is particularly qualified to write this book because of his solid theological background/expertise (He became a thologican at Rochester Seminary) and saw the social evils he seeks to combat as pastor in Manhattan's "Hell's Kitchen" in the early 20th century.

Finally, it must be stated that this book is an important read for Christians for two reasons: (1) it is academic enough that it was assigned in a Master's Level course that I took and (2) the rhetoric is light enough that anyone that is prepared to love their neighbor in a profound and transforming way could be profoundly affected by the content in these pages.

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