An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Paperback)

By Tim Suttle

Cascade Books, 9781610975414, 126pp.

Publication Date: May 13, 2011

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Description

Description: Jesus taught that love for others is the path to God, that you can't love God if you don't love your neighbor. In An Evangelical Social Gospel?, Tim Suttle shows how the exaggerated individualism of American culture distorts the gospel and weakens the church. He reaches back a full century to the writings of the great Baptist pastor Walter Rauschenbusch and offers an imaginative vision for how evangelicals can once again impact the world. Bypassing the culture wars and liberal/conservative squabbling, Suttle offers a way in which the corporate nature of Christianity can be held alongside the evangelical belief in personal salvation. In so doing, Suttle provides valuable theological rationale for the moves many are making toward social justice and helps us rediscover why the nexus of personal and corporate faith is where we find the power to transform lives and cultures alike. His approach to corporate sin and salvation, the kingdom of God, and missional theology are deeply rooted in the life of a pastor, yet informed by a rich theological mind. Endorsements: ""There is a dreadful pattern evident in church history where we continually overcompensate where our Christianity has become imbalanced. We exaggerate the truth that has been neglected, and we keep ending up with a lopsided faith . . . then we wind up with Jesus-lovers that forget justice and justice-lovers that forget Jesus. It is my hope that this book helps cure our bifurcated 'either/or' mentality that keeps separating things that must be held together-loving God and loving people, the great commandment and the great commission, a God that is personal and a God that is social . . . may the pages of this book remind us that Jesus and Justice must kiss, and that loving God and loving people are like the blades of scissors-they've got to stick together."" -Shane Claiborne author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical ""An Evangelical Social Gospel? is a joy to read because Suttle is so deadly serious about matters that matter. The book is filled with delightful surprises, not the least being the recovery of Walter Rauschenbusch to challenge the individualism of evangelical Christianity. But this book is more than critique, it is a wonderful imaginative attempt to develop a folk theology that is faithful to the gospel."" -Stanley Hauerwas author of Working with Words: On Learning to Speak Christian (Cascade Books) ""This is a down-to-earth account of how the thinking of a young Evangelical changed his understanding of the Gospel from a message that addressed individualistic sin management to a holistic Gospel that includes a strong emphasis on justice. He makes the teachings of Walter Rauschenbusch accessible to all readers, but undoubtedly this book will have a special appeal to youth who are going through the same growth process that marked the author's life."" -Tony Campolo author of Red Letter Christians: A Citizen's Guide to Faith and Politics ""Tim Suttle's first book, An Evangelical Social Gospel?, brings a message of balance and challenge needed by us all. This gifted new writer helps us rediscover one of our most-misunderstood old writers from a century ago. Highly recommended."" -Brian McLaren author of A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith ""Combining elements of history, theology, and autobiography, Tim Suttle has written a thought-provoking book that serves as a fresh assessment of Walter Rauschenbusch for the twenty-first-century church. In an age when many Christians use labels such as 'evangelical' and 'liberal' in an uncritical fashion, Suttle calls upon his audience to reflect on how a recovery of the past can lead to a fresh understanding of Christianity today. While written primarily with an evangelical audience in mind, Suttle's study provides a welcome perspective not only on Walter Rauschenbusch and the social gospel, but on how Christianity in America might unfold over.
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