Conversation about Walter Rauschenbusch: “I


Conversation about Walter Rauschenbusch:

“I really appreciate the perspective you bring to the table when talking about the problem with contemporary evangelical theology- namely that the totality of it is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. In my view, your emphasis on the kingdom is right on. I think this is one of the reasons I was attracted to Anabaptism. Something seemed incomplete about the gospel I had heard, the one about Jesus and me. What about everyone else? What about everything else? Had God created the whole world and everything in it only to love and care for me and possibly some of my friends? I digress…

The point is that I found in Anabaptism a Kingdom ethic that made much more sense to me. One writer, Robert Friedman, put it this way, ‘Is the Gospel to be understood through Paul or is Paul to be understood through the Gospel?’ I think that what he was trying to say is the same point you were making, substitutionary atonement (along with other doctrines of atonement) is one major component of the larger vision of the Kingdom. In other words, if you ‘seek first the Kingdom and its righteousness all these things will be added as well.’

This is why I love Walter Rauschenbusch. He seemed to really understand what was at stake. The vision he articulated in his Theology of the Social Gospel was on target because he saw the division that had taken place with regard to social and personal faith. He attempted to dispel the myth that the two were opposed to each other.”

Definitely worth following the link above and reading the rest of the article…

(Via Brian McLaren.)

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...