Russell Moore on the Social Gospel

Russell Moore has a great piece on the social gospel in the latest 9Marks journal. Among other things, he asks and answers the question whether the emerging church represents a revival of the social gospel. He writes:

“The doctrinal left wing of the ’emerging’ movement isn’t clarifying the doctrinal content of Christianity, but using, it seems, cunning words to downplay this doctrinal content in order to substitute a social program there instead. This can—and has—happened on the political right as well as on the political left, and with the same kind of wreckage left in its wake. . .

“Let’s remember that the gospel is social but the social gospel isn’t good news. And a church that embraces it, ’emerging’ or otherwise, will not long be a church.”

This is a really helpful article, and you can read the rest of it here.

(HT: Trevin Wax)

4 Responses to Russell Moore on the Social Gospel

  1. Don Johnson January 14, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    The gospel is both cosmic and personal, according to Moore.

    I agree and like that phrasing, as cosmic includes society/social.

    The conserves have a temptation to make it only personal and the libbies have a temptation to make it only cosmic/social. Fall into neither temptation, as that changes the gospel.

  2. russware January 14, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    “Let’s remember that the gospel is social but the social gospel isn’t good news.”

    Great statement.

  3. Mark January 15, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    Social justice is a fruit of the gospel not its core. Why so many so-called Christians don’t understand truly confounds me.

  4. russware January 15, 2010 at 10:36 am #


    As fallen people, we tend to extremes. I agree with your statement related to social justice being the fruit of the gospel, but am no more surprised by those who would erroneously see it as the seed than by those who would completely deny the fruit.

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