When first looking into the Social Gospel online you might come across the assertion that the Social Gospel puts forth the idea that Christian works are required for salvation. By placing so much emphasis on Christian Behavior it is said that the Social Gospel obscures the fact that Christians are saved by the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ who came to earth and died for out sins. It is by Grace alone that we are saved. No amount of good works is ever going to be enough to overcome ones sins.
Shailer Mathews, dean of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago from 1908 until his retirement in 1933 was a prominent advocate of the Social Gospel. In 1914 he published The Individual and the Social Gospel. He stated in no uncertain terms that “The Social Gospel Is Not Another Gospel.” As a matter of fact, it was the title of the first section of the first chapter of the book. Here are the first two paragraphs:
Long ago Paul made it plain that, however various may be the conditions and persons to whom the gospel applied, there is only one gospel. Peter and James might preach to the Jew, and Paul and Barnabas might preach to the Gentile, but each had the same message of divine power, of Continue reading