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Wendte Charles William, Rauschenbusch Walter. Freedom and the Churches: The Contributions of American Churches to Religious and Civil Liberty

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Wendte Charles William, Rauschenbusch Walter. Freedom and the Churches: The Contributions of American Churches to Religious and Civil Liberty
American Unitarian Association, 1913. — 135 p.
Walter Rauschenbusch (1861–1918) was a Christian theologian and Baptist pastor who taught at the Rochester Theological Seminary. Rauschenbusch was a key figure in the Social Gospel and 'Single Tax' movements that flourished in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Rauschenbusch's view of Christianity was that its purpose was to spread a Kingdom of God, not through a fire and brimstone style of preaching but by leading a Christlike life. Rauschenbusch did not view Jesus' death as an act of substitutionary atonement but in his words, he died "to substitute love for selfishness as the basis of human society." He wrote that "Christianity is in its nature revolutionary" and tried to remind society of that. He explained that the Kingdom of God "is not a matter of getting individuals to heaven, but of transforming the life on earth into the harmony of heaven."
In Rauschenbusch's early adulthood, mainline Protestant churches were largely allied with the social and political establishment, in effect supporting the domination by robber barons, income disparity, and the use of child labor. Most church leaders did not see a connection between these issues and their ministries, so did nothing to address the suffering. But Rauschenbusch saw it as his duty as a minister and student of Christ to act with love by trying to improve social conditions.
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