TEACHINGS OF JESUS
The new civilization, with its social problems, has led us to search for the social teachings of Jesus, which had been long neglected; and we find that those teachings fit modern conditions as a key fits its lock.
THE confluence of several currents that resulted in the discovery of the social teachings of Jesus around the turn of the century provided the maturing social gospel with a permanently valid scriptural and authoritarian basis. Although a few pioneer social Christians -- notably Professor Stuckenberg1 had pointed out the necessity of basing a "Christian sociology" upon Christ's teachings, the ideal of the kingdom nevertheless continued to be the accepted religious foundation of the social goal until about 1900. During the early years of the new century American theology's debt to Darwin remained an open account and the "ruling ideas" of the 1890's -- the immanence of God, the solidarity of society, and the earthly presence of the kingdom -- were assumed as corollaries to the doctrine of progress. However, in the latter years of the 'nineties continental New Testament scholarship, mediated through British scholars and a few Americans who had studied in Germany, began to make itself felt in the United States. This discovery of the Jesus of history furnished the growing social-gospel movement with ethical and religious formulae according to which it eagerly constructed for itself a rationalistic and autonomous foundation that not only rested the kingdom hope upon the ethics of Jesus but afforded a frame of reference within which either a theistic or a humanistic social creed might be phrased. With____________________