CHRISTIANITY AND MODERN SOCIAL- ECONOMIC PROBLEMS
By ALVA W. TAYLOR
I COULD undertake my problem with a consideration of the prophetic message that we find in the teachings of Jesus relating to social issues, or from the standpoint of institutionalized and organized Christianity, but I think it would hardly be scholarly and just to do either one. You can no more part a religion, when you talk about its contribution to social progress, from its institutionalized life and its ideologies than you can part a mind from a body.
The recorded teachings of Jesus are brief. Thomas Jefferson segregated them, and you can read them very deliberately in an hour. There is within that brief body of recorded precepts a certain irreducible minimum that applies to social relationships and therefore to the social complex of which we are a part.
The prophets were nationalists. They attacked immediate political, social, and economic problems, and they did it with a concrete forthrightness. They were contemporary political and social reformers as well as religious revealers. But Jesus apparently saw the break-up of Jewish nationalism. He wept over Jerusalem that would, as he foresaw, be destroyed if it went on its way. He warned the people about the great disaster that was to fall upon them and tried to call them back to something that was more fundamental than nationalism. He took the national concept of it and broadened the term "Kingdom of God" into a universal brotherhood of righteousness. He replaced the stat