A Theology for the Social Gospel

By Walter Rauschenbusch | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
THE KINGDOM OF EVIL
THIS chapter will be the last step in our discussion of the doctrine of sin. We have sought to show that in the following points a modification or expansion is needed in order to give the social gospel an intellectual basis and a full medium of expression in theology.
1. Theological teaching on the first origin of sin ought not to obscure the active sources of sin in later generations and in present-day life, by which sin is quickened and increased. An approximation to the reticence of Jesus and the prophets about the fall of man, and to their strong emphasis on the realistic facts of contemporary sin, would increase the practical efficiency of theology.
2. Since an active sense of failure and sin is produced by contrast with the corresponding ideal of righteousness, theology, by obscuring and forgetting the Kingdom of God has kept the Christian world out of a full realization of the social sins which frustrate the Kingdom. The social gospel needs above all a restoration of religious faith in the Reign of God in order to create an adequate sense of guilt for public sins, and it must look to theology to furnish the doctrinal basis of it.
3. The doctrine of original sin has directed attention to the biological channels for the transmission of general sinfulness from generation to generation, but has neg-

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