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Encyclopedia > Walter Rauschenbusch

Walter Rauschenbusch (October 4, 1861-1918) was a progressive American Baptist minister, known as a leader in the social gospel movement. From 1886 to 1897, he was a pastor at a Baptist church in the Hell's Kitchen area of Brooklyn, New York. From 1902 until his death, he was a professor at the Rochester Theological Seminary. October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in Leap years). ... 1861 is a common year starting on Tuesday. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... A Baptist is a member of a Baptist church. ... In most Protestant churches, a minister is a member of the ordained clergy who leads a congregation or participates in a role in a parachurch ministry; such a person may also be called a Pastor, Preacher, Bishop, Chaplain or Elder. ... The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant movement that was most prominent in the late 19th and early to mid-20th century. ... 1886 (MDCCCLXXXVI) is a common year starting on Friday (click on link to calendar) // Events January 18 - Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England. ... 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Hells Kitchen (also known as Clinton) is a neighborhood of New York City that includes the area between 35st Street and 56th Street, from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River. ... A map of New York City, highlighting Brooklyn. ... Official language(s) English Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ...

Rauschenbusch was born in upstate New York to a German preacher who taught at the Rochester Theological Seminary. He was raised on the orthodox Protestant doctrines of his time, including biblical literalism and the substitutionary atonement. But when he attended Rochester Theological Seminary, those teachings were challenged. He learned of the Higher Criticism, which led him to later comment that his "inherited ideas about the inerrancy of the Bible became untenable." He also began to doubt the substitutionary atonement; in his words, "it was not taught by Jesus; it makes salvation dependent upon a trinitarian transaction that is remote from human experience; and it implies a concept of divine justice that is repugnant to human sensitivity." But rather than shaking his faith, these challenges reinforced his faith. He came to admire Congregationalist Horace Bushnell and Anglican Frederick W. Robertson. Official language(s) English Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ... Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Biblical inerrancy is the view that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is in every detail infallible and without error. ... Substitutionary atonement is the act of restoring balances by substitution. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with The Historical-Critical Method. ... Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation indepedently and autonomously runs its own affairs. ... Horace Bushnell (April 14, 1802 - February 17, 1876) was an American theologian. ... The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... Frederick William Robertson (February 3, 1816 - 1853), English divine, known as Robertson of Brighton, was born in London. ...

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." Fire and brimstone is a motif in Chrisitan preaching that uses vivid descriptions of hell and damnation to prompt its hearers to fear divine wrath and punishment. ...

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. The term robber baron dates back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and originally referred to feudal lords of land through which the Rhine River in Europe passed who abused their position to stop passing merchant ships and demand tolls without being authorized to do so. ... Child labor or labour is the term for the employment of children. ...

In 1892, Rauschenbusch and some friends formed a group called the Brotherhood of the Kingdom. The group's charter declared that "the Spirit of God is moving men in our generation toward a better understanding of the idea of the Kingdom of God on earth," and that their intention was "to reestablish this idea in the thought of the church, and to assist in its practical realization in the world." In a pamphlet, Rauschenbusch wrote: "Because the Kingdom of God has been dropped as the primary and comprehensive aim of Christianity, and personal salvation has been substituted for it, therefore men seek to save their own souls and are selfishly indifferent to the evangelization of the world." 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...

Because of his views, Rauschenbusch was largely condemned as heretical, Romish, and socialist. Dr. James Willmarth, a Philadelphia Baptist preacher and premillennialist, asserted that Rauschenbusch's views had no scriptural basis. Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the ‘catholic’ or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. ... The Roman Catholic Church, (also known as the Catholic Church), is the ancient Christian Church led by the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. ... The color red and particularly the red flag are traditional symbols of Socialism. ... Philadelphia is a village located in Jefferson County, New York. ... This article specifically relates to Premillennialism in Christian eschatology, for political millenarianism and other uses of the word see Millennialism Premillennialism in Christian eschatology is the interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation in the Bible which sees Christs second coming as occuring before or pre- his...

In Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907), Rauschenbusch wrote that "no man shares his life with God whose religion does not flow out, naturally and without effort, into all relations of his life and reconstructs everything that it touches. Whoever uncouples the religious and the social life has not understood Jesus. Whoever sets any bounds for the reconstructive power of the religious life over the social relations and institutions of men, to that extent denies the faith of the Master." The significance of this work is that it spoke of society's responsibility rather than the individual's responsibility. 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...

In his Theology for the Social Gospel (1917), he wrote that for John the Baptist, the baptism was "not a ritual act of individual salvation but an act of dedication to a relgious and social movement." 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... The Baptism of Christ, by Piero della Francesca, 1449 John the Baptist (also called John the Baptizer or Yahya the Baptizer) is regarded as a prophet by at least three religions: Christianity, Islam, and Mandaeanism. ... A Catholic baptism Baptism is any water purification ritual practiced in any of various religions including Christianity, Mandaeanism, and Sikhism, and has its origins with the Jewish ritual of mikvah. ...

However, critics of Rauschenbusch argue that he neglected the needs of the individual as a moral and spiritual being in his fervor to reform society. In other words, he failed to teach that a love for one's neighbor flows directly from and is required by one's own love for God.

Rauschenbusch's work influenced Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Desmond Tutu, among others. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Devanagari/Hindi: मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी; Gujarati: મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી; October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) was the spiritual and political leader of India who led the struggle for Indian independence from the British Empire, empowered by tens of millions of Indians. ... The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, Ph. ... Archbishop Desmond Tutu Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born October 7, 1931) is a South African cleric and activist who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. ...

In addition to his work as a theologian and minister, he also translated a number of English hymns into German.


As a key intellectual leader of the social gospel movement, Rauschenbusch wrote several books, including:

  • Christianity and the Social Crisis. 1907. New York: Macmillan.
  • Christianizing the Social Order. 1912. New York: Macmillan.
  • Theology for the Social Gospel. 1917. New York: Abingdon Press.


  • Bawer, Bruce (1997). Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80222-4.

  Results from FactBites:
Sejarah Alkitab Indonesia / Doktrin Kerajaan Allah Menurut Walter Rauschenbusch (3365 words)
Dengan membuang aspek keakanan dari Kerajaan Allah, maka teologi Rauschenbusch adalah pengingkaran terhadap berita Perjanjian Baru itu sendiri.
Dalam proses pembangunan teologi yang berdasarkan Kitab Suci inilah, Rauschenbusch mendapatkan pengaruh dari filsafat-filsafat yang berkembang pada waktu itu.
Boleh saja ada yang menentang teologi Rauschenbusch habis-habisan, tetapi sekali lagi, jeritan hatinya bahwa teologi seharusnya mampu menggerakkan gereja untuk menghadapi tantangan zaman, perlu untuk direnungkan.
Walter Rauschenbusch Summary (1469 words)
Walter Rauschenbusch was born on Oct. 4, 1861, in Rochester, N.Y., the son of a German missionary, and reared in a pietistic environment.
Rauschenbusch's first pastorate was on the edge of New York City's infamous Hell's Kitchen area, and daily observance of the terrible poverty of his block led him to question both laissez-faire capitalism and the relevance of the old pietistic evangelism with its simple gospel.
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.
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