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WBC Journal

Welcome to the pilot edition of what is proposed will be an occasional online publication, from The Salvation Army’s William Booth College (WBC), of academic articles and book reviews. 

Initially, this project has been designed to open a window on the ever increasing amount of learning and reflection sponsored by The Salvation Army, through WBC’s School for In Service Training and Development (SISTAD), and engaged upon by Salvation Army Officers and Employees around the UK and Ireland Territory. The journal aims to uncover hard earned insights and perspectives that might otherwise remain hidden in the recesses of University or College libraries, and make them accessible to all through succinct articles. It is anticipated that, in time, these contributions will be added to by many others engaged in study and learning, both from within a UK context and internationally, from Salvationists and Christian friends alike.

The first pilot edition seeks to illustrate some (but by no means all) of the range of study presently being undertaken, by a few of those who have most recently completed their work:

Emma Knights investigates early documented accounts of physical healing in pioneering Salvation Army mission, traces the ebb and flow of this emphasis in subsequent generations, and appropriately asks whether we have sustained a clear emphasis upon healing and wholeness in our contemporary Salvationist mission?

Similarly, Jonathan Roberts traces the eighteenth century American roots of the ‘altar call’, and its adoption by the early Salvation Army. He investigates its contemporary use within denominations in Britain and Ireland, and intriguingly asks whether it remains an effective evangelistic method in a developing postmodern culture?

Louisa Parrales, from the cross cultural experience of her own family, and in particular her children, investigates the extent to which the cross cultural environment of second generation young people effects their faith development. She proposes a redefined ‘theology of marginality’ as a positive liminal position, in a thought provoking challenge to the church in supporting such families.

Colin Scott, reads the account of Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand in Johns’ gospel, and provides us with a fine example of thoughtful biblical exegesis followed by a short contemporary sermon, taking advantage of appropriate hermeneutical insights which expand our horizon. In the process, he gains a fresh understanding of Jesus’ radical announcement of the nature of God’s kingdom.

Stephen Oliver, in engaging with the Wesleyan roots of sanctification, from a lecture series given by Dr. Noble of the Nazarene Theological College in 1988, explores the relationship between the incarnation of Christ and the sanctification of fallen humanity. He inspiringly draws us into a final consideration of what it means for us to ‘participate in Christ’, the one who entered our fallen humanity and opens up the potential of our transformation.

Finally two helpful book reviews are provided by Laurence Bennett and Christopher Button, in the hope that others will follow in making known the value of books that they have engaged with, and would like to recommend as being well worth the investment of reading.