A Theology for the Social Gospel

By Walter Rauschenbusch | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
ESCHATOLOGY

ESCHATOLOGY raises two questions of profound interest to the human mind. First, What is the future of the individual after his brief span of years on earth is over? Second, What is to be the ultimate destiny of the human race?

These questions are important to every thoughtful mind, and they are inseparable from religion. Religion is always eschatological. Its characteristic is faith. It lives in and for the future. In all other parts of our life we deal with imperfect things, fluctuating, conditioned, relative, and never complete. In religion we seek for the final realities, the absolute values, the things as God sees them, complete, in organic union.

All religions of higher development have some mythology about the future. The Christian religion needs a Christian eschatology. To be satisfying to the Christian consciousness any teaching concerning the future life of the individual must express that high valuation of the eternal worth of the soul which we have learned from Christ, and must not contradict or sully the revelation of the justice, love, and forgiving mercy of our heavenly Father contained in his words, his life, and his personality. Any doctrine about the future of the race which is to guide our thought and action, must

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