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Showing posts from June, 2011

Why did you join the Army?

I find that when I start investigating some Army history I always find a little nugget of gold or two... Here's another one of those from a book called Drum Taps by Elizabeth Reeves Swift (pg169-170). There's no date for this one, sorry, but it seems to be a late 19th Century publication. This is quoted as it is written, and it's an attempt to capture the Scottish accent of the "Salvation Lassie" being interview here. I think it's got a lot to say about the significance of testimony in the early Army.
"And did no one object to your going to the Army instead?""Ay, when I joined it. My minister came efter me, an' asked why I didna' come to kirk [church] any mair? I tellt him 'at I got mair good at the Army. 'But they talk aboot theirsel's,' he says 'an' I preach Jesus.'"But I wasna sae; the Army folk tellt what God had dune for them, and so I kent 'at He could do it for me. I understood the sairmons, bu…

PowerPoint - 1891 style

I've been preparing for a lecture on the characteristics of The Salvation Army and stumbled across this interesting quote from The Salvation Army - Its Origin and Development (London: Salvationist Publishing and Supplies, 1945), 60. I find it interesting because what's described here we would consider normal now (at least in locations that can afford data projectors). But this is describing 1891. They were way ahead of their time.
The system of special Memorial Services, introduced in connection with the passing of the Army Mother, has been wonderfully blessed. The first of these services was held on the first anniversary of Catherine Booth's death, in the Agricultural Hall - then one of London's largest buildings. It was impossible for the speakers to be heard in so large a hall, so each part of the service was indicated by large illuminated signs. Thus the audience of some 15,000 was able closely and unitedly to join in all the songs and prayers. Scenes from Mrs Booth…

Bizarre Phrases...

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There are a few frequently heard phrases that I just don't get.
"Common sense". Since when is it common?"Getting some exercise". You don't get it. It's something you do. Well, apparently some people do. I wish I could just get it, but I don't (nor do I do it for that matter!) "Losing your virginity". You lose your wallet, or your car keys, or even weight. Your virginity... that's given away (or tragically stolen for some)."Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so." This last one strikes at the heart of what we understand the Bible to be and do. Frankly... it doesn't talk to me. It doesn't do anything. It's a book. Paper and print. That's all. 
Now before you go and stone me, let me qualify this statement. The reason the Bible is "Sacred Scripture" is because the church has found it to be a way that God has revealed himself to his people. The Bible hasn't done this in and of itself, Go…

The Fork

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I thought I would have a go at some poetry. I don't know if it's any good or not, but something tells me it's less about being good, and more about just having a go. So here goes... I call this "The Fork".

Salvation Army Sacramental Theology - Part 3

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This post is a continuation from Parts OneandTwo in a series covering The Salvation Army's position regarding the sacraments. In this post we summarise the explanations commonly given for both the original decision, and for the Army's choice to maintain it's non-observing stance. This is based on research I did for my Honours dissertation, where I listed these reasons under seven headings. I've subsequently added an eighth, for reasons I think will become clear. Here they are, in no particular order.

Salvation Army Sacramental Theology - Part 2

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This post is a continuation from Part 1 on The Salvation Army's position regarding the sacraments.

In this post we consider the decision itself, as it was found in the War Cry of 17th January, 1883. It was, just prior to this date, William Booth's New Year's address, perhaps suggesting that this was the mark of a new phase in the Army's life; a kind of New Year's resolution, if you will. The original article has been reprinted and made available again in Robert Street'sCalled to be God's People (Pg 135).

Keep going!

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I stumbled across this poem by Michael Leunig. I like it because of its simple profundity.

Enjoy!
How To Get There Go to the end of the path until you get to the gate. Go through the gate and head straight out towards the horizon. Keep going towards the horizon. Sit down and have a rest every now and again. But keep on going.  Just keep on with it. Keep on going as far as you can.   That's how you get there.

Salvation Army Sacramental Theology - Part 1

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A distinctive part of The Salvation Army's self-understanding has been the decision taken to discontinue practising the dominical sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist in any form within Army worship. This decision was made by William Booth and published in the War Cry of 17th January of 1883, and means that, along with the Society of Friends (Quakers), the Army is one of two denominations to take this stance officially. Many others in practice share this position by virtue of the infrequency of their partaking of the sacraments.