Mark Tooley on a Surprising Mainline Descent into Gehenna
The Christian Century, the long-time flagship magazine for liberal mainline Protestantism in America, recently featured a symposium on hell. Somewhat surprisingly, most of the respondents, coming primarily from Evangelical backgrounds, seem to believe in it. The liberal theological patriarchs who guided the journal through the twentieth century, wherever they are now, might be slightly aflutter.
Founded in the late nineteenth century, The Christian Century early on became a chief voice for the Social Gospel, which displaced orthodox doctrine with strenuous emphases on progressive social reforms. The magazine predictably but thoughtfully articulated the trends of mainline Protestantism, which dominated American religious life until the 1960s. Reinhold Niebuhr began writing for it the 1920s. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” made its debut in The Christian Century in 1963.
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