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Walter Rauschenbusch

What is salvation? How is it received? Scripture continually holds two images of salvation in tension with one another, with neither image neglecting the other. […] Read More

Trained as a Baptist minister, Walter Rauschenbusch, consumed with a passion for social justice, thought America had made great economic strides forward but was still far behind in its moral responsibility. What would he say today? […] Read More

Poverty and homelessness are choices. Before you close your browser window, upset that I am blaming impoverished and unhoused persons for poor choices that led to their predicament, hear me out. Poverty and homelessness are choices society makes, that you and I make, each and every day. By convincing ourselves that we, the “haves,” are […] Read More

If we were to slip back just over a century ago, we would find a certain Baptist just gaining prominence as well as controversy: Walter Rauschenbusch. It is fitting that we gather in April 2018 for a conference to remember such a significant theologian. Recalling significant Baptists from our 20th-century heritage is helpful as we […] Read More

Pope Francis addressed recently an ever-present challenge for local church leaders – the disconnect between the academy (seminaries, religion departments, divinity schools) and the local church. The theme of a papal address at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina was “church doctrine must never be isolated from a practical pastoral context.” “Not infrequently an opposition […] Read More

I have read a great deal of liberation theology, which arose first in the late 1960s to early 1970s among Roman Catholic scholars, particularly in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries. Gustavo Gutiérrez’s landmark book, “A Theology of Liberation,” continues to resound as a major moment in late 20th century theology, an engagement of “history, politics and […] Read More

Emphasis on the kingdom, reign or rule of God ebbs and flows in Christian history. For example, Walter Rauschenbusch lamented in 1917 that the “individualistic theology” of his day “carefully wrapped in several napkins and forgot” the kingdom of God. A growing number of Christians now emphasize the pursuit of the common good through social […] Read More

A fervent desire for social justice exists today among many Christians, but realism about the extent to which change can happen is often lacking. To address this issue two things are required. First, an inspiring call to advance the common good that is rooted in the teachings of Jesus. Second, a realistic understanding of human […] Read More

Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) affirmed a deep relationship between his Christian faith and ordinary daily work. He was a bright student who quickly realized that seminary training (1883-86) in Bible, theology, church history and preaching did not prepare him to minister to his Baptist congregation of immigrant laborers who lived near Hell’s Kitchen in New York […] Read More

I’m not sure how it happened. I grew up in Baptist churches and attended a Baptist university. Yet, I do not remember learning about Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) – a Baptist pastor who emphasized the social nature of the gospel proclaimed and embodied by Jesus – until my last year of seminary. Maybe I missed it […] Read More