I was impressed with an articleÂ on HuffingtonPost.com today.Â It is called, “Evangelical Social Gospel” by Tim Suttle.
Suttle saysÂ the Christian message is divided into the personal gospel and the social gospel.Â Billy Graham has personified the personal gospel.Â That isÂ where one worries about sin, accepts Jesus as God and goes to heaven.Â ThisÂ approachÂ is mostly about “me”.
The social gospel is about how people in society can live together.Â It was personified by Martin Luther King.Â While Graham talked about the need to heal the person, King talked about the need to heal society.
In Suttle’s view, the personal gospel has crowded out the social gospel in today’s Christian message.Â That’s the impression I get as well.Â It could beÂ this is the central reason young people are not as interested in the faith.Â Â They might be looking for something bigger than themselves to reach for, but they find churchÂ limited toÂ the self.
Suttle, a minister, believes both halves are part ofÂ Christianity’s history and the Bible.Â HeÂ wishes for new leader and a movement that personifies both gospels andÂ the approaches of both King and Graham.
The “New Atheists” and their powerful pens have taken aim at the personal gospel.Â They lob morter shellsÂ andÂ hit their target often enough.
I think if the personal and social gospels were combined, there would be much less of a target for the new atheists.Â I wish it would happen.