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Social Gospel

America’s foreign interventions over the last century arise from deeply held religious motivations. The source of these motivations reaches back to the end of the 19th century and the invention of the “social gospel.” A gospel that would redeem not only individual souls but groups and even nations, the social gospel took root in the […] Read More

Not long after announcing to my home church my intention to enter the ministry, one of the senior deacons came to me with some advice. He put his arm around my shoulder and said, “We’re all real proud of your decision. There’s just one thing you need to be careful about. Be sure you don’t […] Read More

I am told that at the recent Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, a popular American preacher and author vigorously asserted that evangelism – understood as the verbal proclamation of the Gospel – was the Church’s foremost “priority.” Since this is a typical, knee-jerk reaction that talk about social justice or “integral mission” elicits […] Read More

A reader chided me recently for promoting what he called a social gospel. It’s a complaint I have heard before. The social gospel is the idea that the church should make social applications of the teaching of Jesus Christ. Social-gospelers have accomplished some amazing things. They helped abolish slavery in the 19th century. After the […] Read More

Biographer Dores Sharp reports that 3-year-old Walter Rauschenbusch responded to the common question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with the uncommon response, “I want to be John the Baptist!” Out of the mouth of a babe came words that Baptist and Christian history is still trying to fully appreciate. By […] Read More