I signed a deal a few moths ago with Wipf & Stock Publishers to write a book. It’s going to be a sort of post-liberal reading of Walter Rauschenbusch’s Theology for the Social Gospel (1917). Has to be to the publisher by the end of November, 2010. I’m stoked!
I just wrote the longest paper of my life; 64 pages, 19,000 words, which is a precursor to the book. I’m attempting to show that Walter Rauschenbusch has been mislabeled and misunderstood as a failed Protestant Liberal, and that he said some really good things we should reconsider. I want to try and provide pastors some theological rationale for the moves that they are making in their church concerning social justice by exploring the social nature of sin, salvation and a theology of the kingdom of God. As I’ve been reading his work, what others say about him – good and bad – and forming my own argument, I realize how much I respect this man’s life.
I see brilliance in 2 of his assertions:
Sin: make whatever claims you want about sin, but if your doctrine does not deal with the social manifestation of sin, it misses the mark.
Salvation: make whatever Christological claims you want, but if your doctrine does not deal with the social aspect of salvation, it will never be an effective means of social change.