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Social-Gospel

"Jesus seeks the root causes of why people are marginalized, there is no case of healing and exorcism in Mark that does not also raise a larger question of social oppression."    - Ched Myers ; Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, p. 14


"The call to discipleship demands more than an assent of the heart; it invites an uncompromising break with 'business as usual.'”    - Ched Myers ; Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, p. 10


"An apt paraphrase of Jesus’ invitation is: 'Follow me and I will show you how to catch the Big Fish!' (1:17). In the Hebrew Bible, the metaphor of 'people like fish' appears in prophetic censures of apostate Israel and of the rich and powerful . . . Jesus is, in other words, summoning working folk to join him in overturning the structures of power and privilege in the world!"    - Ched Myers ; Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, p. 10


"The class system, therefore, is a sinful denial of the Kingdom of God, and one of the characteristic marks and forces of the Kingdom of Evil."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 256


"Injustice between person and person is inevitable and bad enough. But it is far worse when the social institution set up in the name of justice gives its support to injustice . . . Even if the judge is wholly free from bias, the law itself in all countries, presumably, is on the side of property. The British Parliament, "the mother of free institutions," has always been an assembly of propertied men; only in recent years has it contained an efficient minority of representatives of the working class. Our own legislatures rarely contain any spokesman of the class which needs a voice most of all."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, pp. 252-253


"Those who are in control of the machinery of organized society are able to use it for selfish and predatory ends, turning into private profit what ought to serve the common good . . . the prophetic leadership of Jesus endangered the power of the ruling class. There is always an oligarchy, wherever you look; monarchial and republican forms of government are both protective devices for the-group-that-controls things. This group is the universal government. For every oligarchy political power is convertible into financial income and social influence, thus satisfying the powerful double instinct for money and for power."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 250-251


"When Evil is organized, the prophets suffer."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 247


"The social gospel approximates lay religion. It deals with the ethical problems of the present life with which the common person is familiar and which press upon his conscience. Yet it appeals to God, his will, his kingdom; to Christ, his spirit, his law. Audiences who are estranged from the Church and who would listen to theological terminology with frank scorn, will listen with absorbed interest to religious thought when it is linked with their own social problems."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, pp. 16-17


"When Christianity worked its way from the lower to the higher classes, its social sympathies became less democratic and fraternal, its language less simple, and its ideas more speculative, elaborate and remote. Origen felt he had to apologize for the homely Greek and the simple arguments of Jesus. Theology became an affair of experts. The first duty of the laymen was to believe with all their hearts what they could not possibly understand with all their heads."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 15-16


"The non-ethical practices and beliefs in historical Christianity nearly all centre on the winning of heaven and immortality. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God can be established by nothing except righteous life and action."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 15


"The more subtle and spiritual forms of pressure have doubtless been felt by every person who ever differed with his own church, whatever it was. This selfish ecclesiastical conservatism is not for the Kingdom of God but against it."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 12


"The social gospel calls for an expansion in the scope of salvation and for more religious dynamic to do the work of God. It requires more faith and not less."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 11


"The adjustment of the Christian message to the regeneration of the social order is plainly one of the most difficult tasks ever laid on the intellect of religious leaders. The pioneers of the social gospel have had a hard time trying to consolidate their old faith and their new aim. Some have lost their faith; others have come out of the struggle with crippled formulations of truth. Does not our traditional theology deserve some of the blame for this spiritual wastage because it left these humans without spiritual support and allowed them to become the vicarious victims of our theological inefficiency? If our theology is silent on social salvation, we compel [people] to choose between an unsocial system of theology and an irreligious system of social salvation. It is not hard to predict the outcome. If we seek to keep Christian doctrine unchanged, we shall ensure its abandonment."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 7


"The social gospel is the old message of salvation, but enlarged and intensified. The individualistic gospel has taught us to see the sinfulness of every human heart and has inspired us with faith in the willingness and power of God to save every soul that comes to him. But it has not given us an adequate understanding of the sinfulness of the social order and its share in the sins of all individuals within it. It has not evoked faith in the will and power of God to redeem the permanent institutions of human society from their inherited guilt of oppression and extortion. Both our sense of sin and our faith in salvation have fallen short of the realities under its teaching. The social gospel seeks to bring humans under repentance for their collective sins and to create a more sensitive and more modern conscience. It calls on us for the faith of the old prophets who believed in the salvation of nations."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 5-6


"It will be a similar increase of health when theology takes in hand the problems of social redemption and considers how its doctrines connect with the Kingdom of God in actual realization."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 17


"The social gospel approximates lay religion. It deals with the ethical problems of the present life with which the common person is familiar and which press upon his conscience. Yet it appeals to God, his will, his kingdom; to Christ, his spirit, his law. Audiences who are estranged from the Church and who would listen to theological terminology with frank scorn, will listen with absorbed interest to religious thought when it is linked with their own social problems.".    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, pp. 16-17


"When Christianity worked its way from the lower to the higher classes, its social sympathies became less democratic and fraternal, its language less simple, and its ideas more speculative, elaborate and remote. Origen felt he had to apologize for the homely Greek and the simple arguments of Jesus. Theology became an affair of experts. The first duty of the laymen was to believe with all their hearts what they could not possibly understand with all their heads."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, pp. 15-16


"The non-ethical practices and beliefs in historical Christianity nearly all centre on the winning of heaven and immortality. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God can be established by nothing except righteous life and action. There is nothing in social Christianity which is likely to breed or reinforce superstition. The more the social gospel engages and inspires theological thought, the more will religion be concentrated on ethical righteousness. The social gospel is bound to be a reformatory and Christianizing force inside of theology."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 15


"The social gospel is of that nature. It plainly concentrates religious interest on the great ethical problems of social life. It scorns the tithing of mint, anise and cumin, at which the Pharisees are still busy, and insists on getting down to the weightier matters of God's law, to justice and mercy."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 15


"The more subtle and spiritual forms of pressure have doubtless been felt by every person who ever differed with his own church, whatever it was. This selfish ecclesiastical conservatism is not for the Kingdom of God but against it."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 12


"The social gospel calls for an expansion in the scope of salvation and for more religious dynamic to do the work of God. It requires more faith and not less. It offers a more thorough and durable salvation. It is able to create a more searching sense of sin and to preach repentance to the respectable and mighty who have ridden humanity to the mouth of hell."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 11


"Every generation tries to put its doctrine on a high shelf where the children cannot reach it."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 10


"The pioneers of the social gospel have had a hard time trying to consolidate their old faith and their new aim. Some have lost their faith; others have come out of the struggle with crippled formulations of truth. Does not our traditional theology deserve some of the blame for this spiritual wastage because it left these humans without spiritual support and allowed them to become the vicarious victims of our theological inefficiency? If our theology is silent on social salvation, we compel [people] to choose between an unsocial system of theology and an irreligious system of social salvation. It is not hard to predict the outcome. If we seek to keep Christian doctrine unchanged, we shall ensure its abandonment."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 7


"The adjustment of the Christian message to the regeneration of the social order is plainly one of the most difficult tasks ever laid on the intellect of religious leaders."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 7


"The social gospel seeks to bring humans under repentance for their collective sins and to create a more sensitive and more modern conscience. It calls on us for the faith of the old prophets who believed in the salvation of nations."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, pp. 5-6


"The individualistic gospel has taught us to see the sinfulness of every human heart and has inspired us with faith in the willingness and power of God to save every soul that comes to him. But it has not given us an adequate understanding of the sinfulness of the social order and its share in the sins of all individuals within it. It has not evoked faith in the will and power of God to redeem the permanent institutions of human society from their inherited guilt of oppression and extortion."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 5


"The demand for disarmament and permanent peace, for the rights of the small nations against the imperialistic and colonizing powers, for freedom of the seas and of trade routes, for orderly settlement of grievances, these are demands for social righteousness and fraternity on the largest scale."    - Walter Rauschenbusch ; A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 4


"In the early twentieth century, an astute analysis of evil was offered by 'Social Gospel' Christians, who believed the purpose of Christian life was to 'bring in the Kingdom of God'—to fulfill the prophetic vision that 'earth might be fair and all men glad and wise.'"    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 399


"I do believe that one day our strength to love shall bring the Dream to fruition and the Beloved Community to earth."    - Coretta Scott King ; A Gift of Love: Sermons from Strength to Love and Other Preachings


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