1. Take Flight! Explore little-known chapters of the Christian story from far-flung destinations around the globe.
Human Nature, Interest, and Power
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

Human Nature, Interest, and Power


Wipf & Stock 2013

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.

Your Custom Discount

Reg. Price $15.95
Pre-order Price $12.95
Your Price $12.95
You Save $3.00 18%
Your Price What’s Pre-Pub?
Reg.: $15.95
Gathering Interest


This book criticizes three basic concepts in Reinhold Niebuhr’s social thought: his views of human nature, interest, and power. Attention is directed especially at the way Niebuhr’s concepts lack sufficient historicity, obscure social and political dynamics, and, finally, lack adequate descriptive power. An alternative to each of these concepts is offered and used as a way to open up social thought to more complex analysis, more concrete and material uses, and a discussion of implications for alternative direction and action.

In the Logos edition, this valuable volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Critiques the theology of Niebuhr in a penetrating and relevant manner
  • Discusses Niebuhr’s thoughts on themes such as human nature, interest, and power
  • Pursues social justice in not only theory but practice as well


  • Human Nature: The Transcendent and Finite Self
  • Niebuhr’s View of Interest
  • Niebuhr’s Concept of Power
  • The Balance of Power in Niebuhr’s Social Thought
  • Internal Power: A Brief Excursus of Formation in Niebuhr
  • A Narrative Illustration
  • Political Implications

Praise for the Print Edition

Tex Sample has written a shrewd and penetrating critique of Reinhold Niebuhr. With reference to recent critical theory, he goes beneath the generalizing abstractions to contextual work; he traces the way in which our attentiveness to contextual differences has advanced since Niebuhr. Future work on Niebuhr will want to take Sample’s study into close consideration.

Walter Brueggemann, professor emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary

Sample deftly moves between theory and practice to produce a lively interpretation of Reinhold Niebuhr focused on his social thought. Using the themes of human nature, interest, and power he guides the reader into Niebuhr’s world to ask how he is or is not relevant for the thorny realities of our contemporary world. Grounded by his lifelong pursuit of social justice, this is Tex Sample at his best—probing, candid, rigorous, and relevant.

—Emilie M. Townes, associate dean of academic affairs, Yale Divinity School

Tex Sample stands among a small number of theologians who understand theory must be informed by practice and experience. His critical challenges to Niebuhr’s concepts of power and self-interest reflect both his serious engagement as a scholar of Niebuhr and his on-the-ground experience as a leader with the Industrial Areas Foundation organizations in Arizona

—Ernesto Cortes, cochair, executive director, Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation

Product Details

  • Title: Human Nature, Interest, and Power: A Critique of Reinhold Niebuhr’s Social Thought
  • Author: Tex Sample
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 186
  • Christian Group: Reformed
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: Anthropology

About Tex Sample

Tex Sample is the Robert B. and Kathleen Rogers Professor Emeritus of Church and Society at the Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City. Author of 10 previous books, his most recent is The Future of John Wesley’s Theology (Cascade, 2012). Sample is a freelance speaker and workshop leader in the United States as well as overseas. He is also active in broad-based organizing in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition