Why are conservative Christians against social programs?
Walter Rauscenbush published his classic book Christianity and the Social Crisis in 1907. It went on to become a defining work of the social gospel movement. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the social gospel this season. That is because it has been identified by historians as the key movement that fundamentalists rebelled against. So we really should understand it, right?
In this episode, Chris takes us through highlights of this classic book in order to understand how the social gospel differed from evangelical Christianity. While it lifted up the necessity of doing good works, the social gospel often omitted salvation altogether. Contrast that to evangelical preachers like D.L. Moody who lived their lives with the sole purpose of evangelism.
This division between evangelicalism and liberal theologies led to the Great Reversal when theologically conservative Christians went from participating in public acts of goodwill to distancing themselves from it. Why are conservative Christians against social programs? Because people like Rauschenbush tied social programs to liberal theology and socialism.
Christianity and the Social Crisis
Breakdown of points made from Christianity and the Social Crisis
- Rauschenbush’s thoughts on socialism (p152)
- Theories on prophets of the Old Testament creating Judaism – p3 – 5
- Amos and Jeremiah denied that God ever told them to sacrifice – p6
- Morality is the only thing God cares about – p6
- God is interested in the morality of the nation over the individual – p11, 29
- The Bible has been altered when it comes to the stories of Jesus – p62-63
- Wealth is associated with the wicked in the Bible – p13
- Jewish people distributed land in communistic ways – p14
- John the Baptist and Jesus both wanted to restore theocracy to Israel – p53
- Rauschenbush’s ideas about how industry chews people up – p370
- Socialism is inevitable – outside link page 153
- What is Christianity?
- How much of Christianity can you remove before it becomes something else?
- Why are we so split between those of us who think of good works and those of us who think of salvation?
- What is the role of Christians in society?
- Now that you’ve decided on the role of Christians in society, how do you match up with your own expectations?