02 July 2015
The Salvation Army is known as a hands-on Army, a people who live their faith by action. However, we also need to constantly reflect on what we believe, reconnect with Scripture and express it in a language for our generation and culture.
Helping us do that was the Boundless seminar ‘Salvationist Theology Today’, hosted by the International Theological Council (ITC), an advisory council to the General, and moderated by its Chair, Lieut-Colonel Karen Shakespeare.
The seminar started with a presentation on the theme ‘Boundless Grace’ by Lieut-Colonel Ian Barr, a UK officer and member of the ITC. He emphasised the broad and generous dimension of Salvationist teaching on salvation for all – ‘so that whosoever will may be saved’ (doctrine 6) – not only in terms of a personal conversion experience but for the whole of humankind and Creation.
Lieut-Colonel Barr encouraged a more communal approach to entire sanctification, and a move away from the individualistic perspective of Western culture. ‘Salvationists preach a gospel that reaches into every society and announces that the saving power of Jesus is at work transforming every culture.’
He also urged Salvationists to listen more to voices from the Southern hemisphere – embracing Christ as healer and life giver, as do Africans, or Christ as liberator, as do South Americans. The enthusiastic public response during the open forum indicated Salvationists’ desire for a better understanding of our doctrines.
This article was included in issue three of Boundless Today. Click to read all issues of Boundless Today.