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From My Journal:

A friend sent me Salvation in the Slums by Norris Magnuson. It's Magnuson's doctoral thesis, published in 1977 and reprinted by Baker in 1990. What a tremendous overview of evangelical social ministry from 1865 to 1920.

I've harbored a sense of embarrassment over the seeming evangelical naivety regarding how the biblical gospel intersects with the real world of need and struggle. Magnuson does a masterful job of pointing out that this hasn't always been so. There was a time when the foremost expression of one's faith was his or her unrestrained compassion for the disadvantaged: the economically deprived, the immigrant, the orphan, the famine-plagued, the oppressed, etc. Our heritage of ministry is deep and powerful. Not only did earlier generations of evangelicals spring to the needs of the poor, they were in the forefront of powerful innovative thinking that sparked legislation, social planning, and organized efforts to change the environmental conditions that so often ...

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