Evans, Christopher H.
Dr. Christopher H. Evans is the Pastor of the Minetto United Methodist Church in Minetto, NY. He received his Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies from Northwestern University/Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.1999 0-7734-8042-0
These essays address the important question of defining the term “social gospel”, showing that the social gospel, once seen as a clearly identifiable time period in American religious history, is not as easily defined as once thought, suggesting that it covers a broad spectrum of religious and theological traditions that can point beyond liberal Protestant and North American origins.
“. . . this collection seeks to give a more critical and fairer account of the Movement and to trace important continuities in later theology. Many who have read Rauschenbusch directly will welcome such a reassessment. . . . together they give a fresh and balanced perspective.” – Theological Book Review1996 0-7734-8778-6
Tittle, the renowned minister of First Methodist church, Evanston, IL, was among the prominent representatives of the post-World-War I social gospel movement. This study analyzes how Tittle's theology of social reform, based on racial justice, economic equality, and pacifism, was influenced by the upper middle class context of First Church Evanston. Using Tittle's life as a biographical prism, the volume provides important insights into the development of post WWI Methodism, explores how he adapted the leadership paradigm of the social gospel preacher as the primary means to define and articulate his theology for the middle class. Using research in church history, biography, theology, and social history, it shows how Tittle's cultural and theological world view interpenetrated with his congregation to produce a genre of liberal idealism not frequently examined by other scholars. Within Tittle's theology are the seeds for the social idealism that has had ongoing impact upon 20th century American culture, notably evident in the thought of Martin Luther King, Jr.