The Kingdom Is Always but Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch

The Kingdom Is Always but Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch

The Kingdom Is Always but Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch

The Kingdom Is Always but Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch

Synopsis

Christopher H. Evans examines Rauschenbusch's life and career and assesses his impact on American religious and intellectual history.

Excerpt

In May 1904, an article entitled “The New Evangelism” appeared in the popular weekly magazine The Independent. Its author was a professor of church history at Rochester Theological Seminary, a prominent Northern Baptist seminary in Rochester, New York. At the time of the article’s publication, Walter Rauschenbusch was known primarily among GermanAmerican Baptist constituencies in the United States and among liberal clergy and academics, associated with a movement in late nineteenthcentury Protestantism that contemporaries referred to as “social Christianity.” In the Independent article, Rauschenbusch took aim at those who saw Christian evangelism merely as a matter of personal conversion. What was needed in the church, Rauschenbusch argued, was a new model of evangelism that would bring persons in touch with the nation’s social and economic sins caused by late-nineteenth-century industrialization. Yet he concluded his article with a conciliatory tone, insisting that in awakening America to confront its social sins, he was really invigorating an ancient Christianity. “The tongue of fire will descend on twentieth century men and give them great faith, joy and boldness, and then we shall hear the new evangel, and it will be the Old Gospel.”

1. Walter Rauschenbusch, “The New Evangelism,” The Independent (May 12,

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.