Social Salvation: A Religious Approach to the Problems of Social Change

Social Salvation: A Religious Approach to the Problems of Social Change

Social Salvation: A Religious Approach to the Problems of Social Change

Social Salvation: A Religious Approach to the Problems of Social Change

Excerpt

This is a book about some of the religious problems which underlie the present widespread concern of Christians for the fate of society. It might be called "a theological preface to social action." Its aim is to emphasize the conviction that the problems of society should be organically related to Christian thought. Too often theologians, even when they have a strong social interest, relegate those problems to an optional appendix which Christians can choose to ignore. There have been surprisingly few books which follow up Rauschenbusch's A Theology for the Social Gospel.

Social salvation belongs to the heart of Christian thought, at least at the points suggested by the chapter headings of this book. Especially does it belong to any adequate treatment of the salvation of the individual soul. Social conditions do not of themselves save souls but they do of themselves damn souls, if damnation is interpreted not as a legal status known to God alone but as a quality of life known to men only too well.

This book is a "preface to action" rather than a program for action but in the end it is the preface which determines the program. What Christians decide to do will depend upon what they believe about man in society and his possibilities, about the meaning of the Christian ethic, about the true . . .

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