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A Theology for the Social Gospel

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A Theology for the Social Gospel is undoubtedly Walter Rauschenbusch's most enduring work. It is here that Rauschenbusch, the father of the social gospel in the United States, articulates the theological roots of social activism that surged forth from mainline Protestant churches in the early part of the twentieth century. Skillfully examining the great theological issues ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published 1990)
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Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: seminary-reading
Walter Rauschenbusch states in his 1917 work, A Theology for the Social Gospel: “We have a social gospel. We need a systematic theology large enough to match it and vital enough to back it.” This is the first statement in the book under the chapter heading. It seems at first to be a very agreeable comment that we should all board quickly. However, it very clearly points to Rauschenbusch’s heart and own personal theology. If we are in the business of modeling our theology to something man-derived ...more
Etienne OMNES
Apr 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Une théologie pour l'évangile social est l'ultime livre écrit par Walter Rauschenbusch, figure majeure de l'évangile social. C'est une sorte de présentation et systématisation de l'évangile social à destination des évangéliques américains du début du 20e siècle.

Le livre est divisé en 19 chapitres qu'on peut grouper en trois parties: 1. Des prolégomènes, où il expose la nécessité de développer un évangile social, et en quoi il n'est pas dangereux pour l'évangile tout court (chaps 1-3) 2. L'hamart
The author's final work; a systematic exploration of the "social gospel" as formulated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and its relationship to "traditional" formulations of faith and doctrine prevalent in churches of the time.

I was going in and expecting to find much disagreement. The author was very much enraptured with positivist postmillennial progressivism, and most of my criticism derives from those assumptions. But Rauschenbusch is not easily or glibly dismissible; his critiques
Z. J. Pandolfino
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
A Theology for the Social Gospel is one of the most important works of Christian theology of the last one hundred years and the premiere catalyst for modern liberal Christian thought in the United States following the emergence of the social gospel movement. Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918), a graduate of the Rochester Theological Seminary (now known as Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School), was a Baptist preacher of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who served for eleven yea ...more
Donovan Richards
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it
The Nature of Sin and Salvation

When attempting to manufacture a systematic theology, the nature of sin and salvation becomes integral components of the position. Slight changes in these core beliefs cause vast differences externally. Having previously labored toward the notion of “the social gospel,” Walter Rauschenbusch writes A Theology for the Social Gospel with the aims to fill in the gaps.

Interestingly, Rauschenbusch begins his endeavor under clearly inductive principles. Where many theol
Bryce Safrit
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Written in the midst of WWI, this systematic theology is still relevant to the modern issues of social justice. One of Rauschenbush's great contributions is to bring back the sin of nations and its implications for the well-being of humanity, as opposed to looking at individual sin. When Luther and the reformers focused solely on the personal relationship with God, Protestantism lost touch with the sins that affected humanity or nations wholistically. Throughout the Old Testament, sin was linked ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rauschenbusch saw the need to further develop the budding theology of the social gospel from his formidable debut in Christianity and the Social Crisis. Here he expands his thinking into the different loci of theology: sin, salvation, God, Christ, eschatology, ecclesiology, atonement. While I don't agree with everything he has said, this review gives him 5 stars for its prophetic power, stylistic beauty, and theological originality.

Much of what he said can be affirmed by even conservative Chris
Calvary Church
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Here is an old classic by a liberal theologian. I find that reading an occasional liberal is good for at least two reasons. First, it helps keep me honest about what liberals really believe. There is too much of a tendency to build the proverbial “straw man” without reference to what the other person actually said. Second, it helps me evaluate my own evangelical theology by opening it up to others for scrutiny. Sometimes I find inadequacies exposed, other times I find my own faith strengthened, ...more
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
An interesting approach to a--still common today--problem: capitalization. Rauschenbusch goes to great lengths to convince us that the nature of all sin is essentially selfishness, and promotes a refining of theology to account for not just the biological implications of original sin, but the social context that is of more relevance to us today. While he positions himself as a liberal theologian, I can't help but wonder how tendencies for post-millenialism fit in: he argues most for the kingdom ...more
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know the words "important" and "revolutionary" get thrown around a lot when it comes to books. However, both apply here. Every Christian should read it. I haven't even finished processing it in my mind yet, but it has changed the way I see the gospel. ...more
Russ Booton
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wish I had read this book a long time ago. It contains much material that seems as relevant today as it was in 1918.
Renee Goodwin
Oct 04, 2012 marked it as to-read
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