The Christian social ethics project hits a wall

For at least one hundred years, the primary project of Christian ethics in America has been American public reform.

Today, that project has hit a wall named Donald Trump. But it was already under serious question.

Beginning with early 20th century Social Gospel Christianity, and exemplified most strongly in the Baptist theologian/activist Walter Rauschenbusch, Christian ethics (especially Protestant ethics) turned its considerable energies to addressing major social problems in America. The biggest problem at the time was urban industrial capitalism, which was producing awesome products and making bushels of money but creating misery for a quickly growing urban-industrial working class.

Rauschenbusch and his cohort turned the Christian Gospel, Christian motives, and Christian principles to the task of softening the hard hearts of laissez-faire capitalists, changing business practices, improving urban living conditions, and standing up especially for the working class and the poor. The Social Gospel helped fuel progressive social reform from the

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