"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
"Because we understand the present crisis of empire to have everything to do with the ordering of power, the distribution of wealth, and the global plague of militarism, radical discipleship necessarily approaches the Bible with social, political and economic questions in mind." - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus
"We begin with the simple historical fact that Jesus was a Jew . . . The second important fact for our consideration is that Jesus was a poor Jew . . . The third fact is that Jesus was a member of a minority group in the midst of a larger dominant and controlling group." - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited
"People read the gospel in accordance with the space they occupy in the dominant social order, and respond accordingly. If we 'listen but do not hear' it is not because of the obscurity of the word, but because of our loyalty to the prevailing ideology." - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus
"Mark's Gospel originally was written to help imperial subjects learn the hard truth about their world and themselves. He does not pretend to represent the word of God dispassionately or impartially, as if the word were innocuously universal in its appeal to rich and poor alike. His is a story by, about, and for those committed to Gods' work of justice, compassion, and liberation in the world." - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus
"The prophets have dirty hands (and mouths too sometimes), because you’ll find them wading without apology through the mess of life. Their target audience begins with the church and its religious leaders but extends to nations and heads of state and to corporations with their economic power brokers. They have unabashed social agendas and are not afraid of being perceived as political. Their concern is for the oppressed, the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the enslaved. The mature prophets call for both personal righteousness and social justice. They retreat inward in contemplation then explode onto the public scene as spokespersons for God’s heart and as advocates for the downtrodden." - Brad Jersak ; Can You Hear Me? Tuning in to the God who Speaks.
"The Nicene Fathers showed little interest in the christological significance of Jesus' deeds for the humiliated, because most of the discussion took place in the social context of the Church's position as the favored religion of the Roman State." - James H. Cone ; God of the Oppressed.
"Our American Christians are too busy saving the souls of white Christians from burning in hellfire to save the lives of black ones from present burning in fires kindled by white Christians." - Ida B. Wells ; Crusade for Justice