Original Research - Special Collection: Faith practices

The Social Gospel movement revisited: Consequences for the church

Pierre Jacobs
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a3022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.3022 | © 2015 Pierre Jacobs | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2015 | Published: 31 August 2015

About the author(s)

Pierre Jacobs, Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Pastor, Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa, Gaborone, Botswana


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Abstract

This article introduces South African churches to the reasons why elements of the late 19th and early 20th century Social Gospel movement encourages local churches to participate in their respective communities through social contribution. The article argues that the Social Gospellers understood Christian responsibility as an imperative of ‘participatio Jesu’ through social integration of living an ethos of oikoumenē. The history of the Social Gospel should be a relevant influence on mainline churches to understand the tension in the decision to participate or withdraw from social contribution today.


Keywords

Social Gospel; South African church; Emplot

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