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The Ethics of Incarnational Ministry Within The Salvation Army
by Aaron White


Jesus Christ’s incarnation is one of the formational inspirations for early Salvation Army mission and ministry. The Salvation Army in its inception emphasised the importance of its soldiers and officers identifying with the poor, the oppressed, and other cultures as they ministered amongst them, and there are still Salvation Army ministries that operate in the same spirit today. There are however genuine theological and ethical concerns over the idea of incarnational ministry. Some theologians argue that it is impossible, unnecessary, or unwise for humans to imitate Christ’s incarnation. Others worry about the dangers of cultural appropriation, gentrification, paternalism and other harmful missional practices. There are also significant apprehensions about the inherent physical, emotional, and spiritual risks for missionaries living in dangerous areas. Advocates of incarnational ministry argue that these issues can be addressed by focusing on union with Christ instead of the imitation of Christ, which leads to an understanding of holiness and hospitality as participation in the life and mission of God. When incarnational ministry is thus properly contextualised, it is consistent with The Salvation Army’s theology, ethics, and history, and can be a powerfully effective approach to Salvation Army mission.


The doctrine of Christ’s incarnation rests upon the idea that “in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that he is truly and properly God, and truly and properly man.”[1] He was sent into the world by the Father, and later prayed to the Father: “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world,” (John 17:18). Advocates of incarnational ministry see this as a commission for the Church to model mission after the incarnation of Christ. This means that believers should imitate the love that entered the world through Christ to reach those “caught in the snares of non-love and seduced by injustice, deceit and violence.”[2] The ecclesial, missional, and ethical activity of Christians should, in this view, be patterned after Jesus’ humility, self-sacrifice, and complete identification with humanity. Just as Christ took on the flesh and experiences of humanity, so too should the Church take on the cultural, political, and socio-economical experiences and concerns of the communities where they minister, particularly amongst the poor and suffering. Jesus embodied all the pain, temptation, sorrow, and conflict of humanity, and this should characterise the way the Church embraces and encounters men and women today.[3] Incarnational ministers often highlight the importance of relocating to the abandoned places of world as the first step towards modeling after Christ’s ministry. Abandoned places are defined as locations that have “no attraction for the ‘world of what’s happening now,’ and [are] therefore left alone by the political, economic and social powers that be.”[4] The act of relocation “expresses conversion and commitment, the decision to resist imperial pressures and the pleasures and rewards of conformity to the way of all empires: pride, power, and reduction of all values to the ‘bottom line.’”[5] The incarnational Church is to imitate Jesus in his rejection of the glory of this world, in his acceptance of self-denial, and in his “divine labor of love’s suffering and risk.”[6] 


The Salvation Army, in its inception, endeavoured to put this suffering, risky, incarnational love into practice in many “abandoned places”. William Booth was not interested in disembodied and disengaged Bible scholarship, but rather wanted to translate Scripture “into the hearts and conduct of living men and women,” as he believed “it is of no use making correct translations of words if we cannot get the words translated into life.”[7] The innovation of The Salvation Army was this “marriage of belief and action, the holistic union of spiritual and social concern incarnated in the slums, the pubs, the mines, the street corners, and under the bridges.”[8] Once Salvationists had the message of the Bible imprinted upon their hearts, William Booth’s next advice for cross-cultural missionaries, officers and soldiers was to “Get into their skins!”[9] The idea was to enter as fully as possible into the culture and conditions of the people one served, in imitation of Christ’s incarnation for humanity. One notable example of this incarnational effort is Frederick Booth-Tucker, an English Salvationist who moved to India, changed his name to Fakir Singh, adopted Indian dress, and conducted his ministry barefoot and begging for food. His efforts captured the imagination of Salvationists around the world, to the point where he had to set the following conditions for anyone who wished to join him:


Service will be a matter not merely of being willing to go anywhere, but of wishing to live and die for the particular race to which you are sent. You will be absolutely alone and under close scrutiny. It will be essential to learn at least one Indian language. You must leave entirely and forever behind you all your English dress and habits. Officers will be barefoot. You will avoid the English quarter, but will always live among natives – sometimes in a cave, a shady tree, or someone's veranda – or in a mud hut 16 by 10 feet. You will cook as they do, and wash your clothes in the stream with them. You have nothing to fear from the climate. The people are different and intensely religious. Find out what their thoughts are before you share yours. And if you are planning to return, don't go. We would not think of sending anyone out who did not plan to make it a life work.[10]


Incarnation also became a staple of The Salvation Army’s slum ministry: “No Salvation Army slum post could do its work…either from the pedestal of patronage or without the sympathy bred by a personal twenty-four-hours-a-day experience of slum life.”[11] The Salvation Army’s continual presence in the slums helped it to understand the complex problems besetting the people living there. Regular house-to-house visitation in East London, Salvationists reported, “brought to light an amount of vice and misery that we could not have conceived of.”[12] By 1889, sixty British Salvation Army officers had responded to the call to move into the slums to minister, and the program later expanded to America under the name “The Garret, Dive and Tenement Brigade.” There, the War Cry reported, “in the midst of the squalor, misery and sin of one of the worst neighbourhoods of the great city of New York…two officers are commencing the Saviour-like work of visiting, helping, and reclaiming the lost,” by moving into the neighbourhood.[13] Most of the officers who made such a move were women, leading to the nickname “Slum Sisters” or “Slum Angels.” These officers regularly scheduled three hours a day for visitation, sometimes managing thirty visits a day per officer, and focused on meeting practical needs, minding children while parents worked, praying with families, and witnessing through Bible studies and preaching.[14] It was believed that the Army in the 1890’s “had an almost unequalled knowledge of the conditions and needs of the lower classes” because of its “officers’ identification with the masses in terms of origin and aim as well as continuing residence.”[15] Officers living and working “just where slum conditions are at their most difficult” provided the Army with both insight and motivation, and led to the conclusion that “the problem of the slums can effectively be grappled with only from the inside.[16] The slum brigades were a deeply practical response to the desperate urban poverty of the late 19th century, but they also involved theological reflection, as evidenced in the statement offered by one high-ranking officer: “God had one son, and He was a slummer.”[17]


God’s son may have been a “slummer”, but that does not mean anyone can or should attempt to copy him. A theological danger of an incarnational model for ministry is the temptation to minimize the vast gulf between God and his creation that could only be bridged by Jesus himself. Christ’s incarnation was unique and unrepeatable, leading some theologians to reject the idea that it could ever be a model for Christians to copy.[18] The best that we can do is point to Christ’s incarnation as a saving event, something that God did for us, and not something we can or should try to replicate. It is also debatable whether it is feasible or appropriate for Christians to attempt incarnational ministry by means of cultural identification.[19] However noble the intentions, Christians cannot fully take on the flesh of another culture in the same way that Jesus assumed humanity, and there are serious ethical dangers involved in trying to do so. Billings notes that “missionaries can find it impossible, practically speaking, to become ‘one’ with the people they are ministering to.”[20] General Shaw Clifton illustrates this difficulty in his discussion of cultural differences throughout The Salvation Army world. Issues ranging from abortion, pre-marital sex, and bribery, to men holding hands in public or a Western husband allowing his wife to walk ahead of him in the bazaar are all culturally-conditioned to such a degree that the best a  foreign missionary might hope to do is “behave well”.[21] Even the most ardent supporter of incarnational ministry would likely not advocate injecting drugs in order to “get into the skin” of an addict, nor committing heinous crimes in order to authentically share the experiences of a convict.


This boundary stands in some tension with William Booth’s original instructions to his officers on the matter of incarnating into other cultures: “I say to my officer who is going to Holland: ‘Can you be a Dutchman?’ To the man who is going to Zululand: ‘Can you be a Zulu?’ To the one going to India: “Can you be an Indian?’ If you cannot, you must not go at all.”[22] Booth’s call to “get into their skins” might now be perceived as a form of cultural appropriation, which involves the use or adoption of another culture for one’s own purposes. This typically occurs when a dominant culture attempts to copy the dress, habits, language and customs of a minority culture. Frederick Booth-Tucker could be suspected of cultural assimilation when he, an Englishman, adopted dress, customs and name from the Indian sub-continent where he was sent to minister. It is reasonable to question how genuine and complete this cultural incarnation could have been from the perspective of the local Indians, irrespective of Booth-Tucker’s noble and sacrificial intent. It is highly unlikely that a Salvationist from India could have “incarnated” into English society in the same way, given the difference in power dynamics between the two cultures. Though the purpose of incarnation may be evangelism and identification, the result could be an unintentional reinforcing of cultural imperialism. Incarnational ministry could be characterised as the preserve of the privileged as they relinquish position and power to communicate with cultures that are socially and economically less dominant. This same critique could be leveled at the “Slum Sisters”, and it is likewise legitimate to question how deeply these missionaries could identify with families living in generational poverty and oppression, unless they themselves came from that socio-economic background. No amount of study and effort can reproduce lifetimes or generations of cultural experience, and suggesting that one can fully adopt another person’s worldview, history, hope and suffering risks belittling the host culture, or reducing it to leverage in evangelistic efforts. Additionally, one may ask if the host cultures have any option to resist this incarnation and assimilation, or if they are required to be passive recipients of this downwards social movement.


Gentrification and paternalism are two other potentially harmful consequences of incarnational ministry. There has recently been a surge of interest in young, missional Christians moving back into the city, and much accompanying work has been done by theologians and pastors to develop incarnational urban theologies. These theologies tend to “talk a lot about moving in and contributing to the flourishing of a city, but say little on the negative disruption that these moves can make in the existing community.”[23] New Christian missions and Church plants can make huge impacts – and not always positive - on existing Church-life, neighbourhood dynamics, the price of housing, and the types of businesses that flourish. Read notes that even when there is a positive desire to bring transformation to an environment, “so many schemes of social reform patronize and objectify or pity the objects of their reform-mindedness; they reduce human beings to statistics, and predicate the value of their interventions on a demonstration of their efficiency.”[24] Incarnational church plants may begin with the desire to get into the skin of the neighbourhood, but they often default into an attempt to bring the neighbourhood up to the societal standards with which they are comfortable.[25] This is damaging to the social fabric of a neighbourhood, and can lead to socio-economic displacement of families and residents who have been there for generations. This approach may even undermine the already existing local Church expression, as “the unspoken assumption in the books, sermons, and conferences targeting missional-minded evangelicals is that the city—prior to white, hip church planters—is a foreign mission field, pristine and untouched by the work of the Lord.”[26] Nate J. Lee explains,

any kind of language that implies that God’s work or God’s plan starts when we arrive … is indicative not only of terrible theology, but of white Christian exceptionalism, the oppressive belief that the correct kind salvation and healing can only be facilitated through us, on our terms with our methods—and us always happens to be white missionaries, white pastors, and white churches.[27]


Finally, in addition to the concerns around cultural assimilation, gentrification, and paternalism, incarnational ministry exposes missionaries to certain physical, emotional and spiritual dangers. Jesus warns his disciples against being of the world even while they are in it (John 17:14-15) and James advises that true religion includes keeping oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:26-27). One of the dangers of incarnational ministry is becoming so focused on adopting the host culture that you fail to see aspects within it that must be challenged by the Gospel. This can lead to compromise or syncretism. When Jesus took on human flesh he perfectly identify and communed with us, but he also overcame sin and brought us to redemption.[28] The humanity that Jesus assumed was “suffering from fear and distress, conflict with others, anxiety before death, betrayal and isolation, separation from God—all the qualities of death-infused, sin-corrupted life that require remedy,” but he did not surrender his holiness in the face of this challenge. [29] Human ministers may not be capable of such resiliency. These qualities of suffering and oppressive humanity, so dangerous to the spiritual life of the incarnational minister, are also dangerous to the emotional and physical life of incarnational minister. Eliza Shirley and another young female officer were tasked in 1879 to lead a Corps in Bishop Auckland, and after moving into the neighbourhood were faced with regular verbal and physical threats, and had to survive by eating the food that was thrown at them during open-air meetings.[30] Missionaries who cross cultures or who move into impoverished urban environments are often subject to higher levels of loneliness, emotional hardship, and physical hazards, and these dangers extend to their children as well. For these reasons, it could be considered unethical to subject Salvation Army officers, soldiers, and families to the extra difficulties of incarnational ministry.


For incarnational ministry to be considered theologically meaningful and ethically responsible, these various critiques must be addressed. Though Christ’s unique incarnation is not an action that can be copied or repeated by the Church, the union between Christ and his Church can still serve as the basis for incarnational ministry. 2 Peter 1:4 claims that believers can “become partakers of the divine nature,” an idea that inspired Orthodox theologians to depict salvation as the “transformation of believers into the likeness of God.”[31] Protestants tend to be nervous about all the implications of this theology, but have developed similar concepts in their exploration of holiness and entire sanctification. John Wesley argued that in Christ we share “all the mind which was in Christ, enabling us to walk as Christ walked,” and can know “a renewal of the heart in the whole image of God, enabling us to walk in the full likeness of Him that created it.”[32] This is the experience that General William Booth describes as being “saved to the uttermost! Saved now and every day!” and that results in “the condition of the perpetual indwelling of God,” which is essential for a sustained holy life and ministry.[33] In the same spirit, General Clifton describes holiness as the process by which believers are “changed into Christ’s person.”[34] All humans, he avers, are made in “the image of God…to which we owe all honour and love,” but this applies particularly to Christians “because in them that image of God, marred and distorted by the Fall, has been renewed and restored by the Spirit of Christ.”[35] The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine states that “by His incarnation and atonement Jesus so identified Himself with men [sic] that He is one with those who receive his saving grace,”[36] and that the life of holiness means “becoming like Christ who is the true image of God…Holiness is Christlikeness.”[37] If Christians can live in this restored likeness of Christ, having been changed into the very person of Christ through the uniting of humanity and divinity in his own flesh, then incarnational ministry may be seen as a divinely-mandated participation in the life of Christ, rather than a human-initiated attempt to copy the actions of Christ. As Yoder puts it, in Christ “we find an utterly precise and practicable ethical instruction, practicable because in him the kingdom has actually come within reach. In him the sovereignty of Jahweh has become human history.”[38] This takes the onus off the ability of Christians to imitate Christ, and places it on Christ’s real and active presence in the midst of his people. The Church, of which The Salvation Army is a part, can be likened to a sacrament of Christ, a physical manifestation of the “real, eschatologically triumphant and irrevocably established presence of Christ in the world.”[39] Volf declares that the one who went to the cross in the power of the Spirit, now dispenses the same Spirit to empower his followers to participate in the downward movement of God’s love which forgives sins and creates a community of joy in the midst of suffering (John 20:19-23).[40]


This means that as the Church makes itself present in the pain, poverty and suffering of the world, it is appropriate to say that Christ is present with his message of temporal and eternal salvation. This is the work of Christ, the Missio Dei, in which the people of God participate but do not seek to imitate or initiate.


For William Booth, Jesus was an example of how to live, but even more so he was the saviour who empowered his people to live. Though Booth increased his emphasis upon social work in the model of Jesus’ incarnation, he never allowed “Christ as teacher of ethics, as a model for men [sic],” to replace “Christ as the way toward salvation.”[41] In this Booth managed to combine “the theology of the Atonement with the social conscience of the Incarnation.”[42] It is therefore in and through Christ’s salvation and self-giving incarnation into the world that The Salvation Army may genuinely engage in incarnational ministry. God cannot be fully grasped, and neither can the painful and conflicted reality of world, but both may be fully engaged from within, through the incarnate person of Jesus. [43] That is, Jesus invites his people both into the life of the Trinity, and into the life of the broken world, because he knows both those realities firsthand. This means that The Salvation Army should seek to find God through prayer, worship, community, and devotion to the word, but also in the daily suffering and hope of human existence, an incarnational attitude that helps The Salvation Army resist the temptations towards dualism that beset the Church. It does this by emphasising God’s care for the physical and relational as well as the spiritual, which is a hallmark of The Salvation Army’s commitment to social holiness. Read highlights this commitment as a fundamental motivation for the socio-political scheme laid out in “The Darkest England Scheme”, and advances it as justification for adopting a rights-based discourse that treats human beings as if their whole lives, and not just their immortal souls, actually matter.[44] Phil Needham likewise asserts that “while God was fully incarnate in Jesus Christ, he is also incarnate today. The ministry of health, healing and wholeness is a ministry 'conducted in his name, in his power, by following his example, and by recognizing that ... [our] work is in his presence'.”[45] This agrees with The Salvation Army’s anti-dualistic doctrines ten and eleven, which state that “it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and that in addition to the immortality of the soul, The Salvation Army believes in “the resurrection of the body.”[46] Incarnational ministry, properly pursued, embodies this belief in God’s concern for the whole human being, and all of human relationships.


It is this holistic pursuit of God in every sphere of life that can safeguard the Salvationist against syncretism, compromise, and the loss of spiritual vitality while still living in the world. The early Salvation Army understood the importance of prayer and worship, but they also knew that “the wonder-working presence of a real and loving God is to be found ‘not far from every one of us,’ but, beyond all question, in the slums.”[47] If true union with Christ is the foundation of incarnational ministry, there should be no fear of being contaminated through immersion in the impure and sinful world; rather, “there is every reason to bring the sinful, the death-ridden, the impure, into direct contact with the holy: that is the very means of their sanctification.”[48] Christ himself demonstrated this when he touched the bleeding woman (Luke 8:43-48) and the leprous man (Matthew 8:1-3). According the Law and custom, this contact should have made Jesus unclean, but his holiness was such that his cleanness infected those who were unclean, and not the other way around. If Salvationists are united with Christ; participating in his life; obedient to his direction; filled with his holiness; and empowered by his Spirit, then this should be our expectation as well. In this way, Salvationists can live out a sacramental life of holiness. The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine states: “Christ is the one true Sacrament, and sacramental living – Christ living in us and through us – is at the heart of Christian holiness and discipleship.”[49] Needham expands on this, saying that “all of life is a sacrament of grace, a celebration of grace in the everyday…the Christian is to live his [sic] holiness in the world, avoid the dualism of sacred and secular, and seek the presence and grace of God everywhere.”[50] It is in this way, Needham states, that “the Lord’s table was moved from the sanctuary to the streets.”[51]


It is by linking this theology of sacramental holiness to the ancient Christian practice of giving and receiving hospitality that the obstacles of assimilation, gentrification, paternalism, and fear of danger can truly be overcome. Christ’s instructions to his missionaries in Luke 10:1-23 was not to begin by preaching, by enacting a justice project, or even by offering hospitality, but by receiving hospitality. Just as the incarnate Jesus was received into the world, in some cases with welcome, in other cases with hostility, Jesus’ followers are to experience the welcome or hostility of the world as they carry the presence of Jesus into cities, towns, neighbourhoods, and cultures. When Salvationists are welcomed by people of peace they are truly engaging in the work of incarnational evangelism, because Jesus promises that “the one who hears you hears me,” (Luke 23:16a). The posture of relying upon the hospitality of one’s neighbours requires humility, self-emptying, vulnerability, and gratitude. It is the opposite of the privileged and paternalistic approach which assumes that God is just waiting for us to arrive before he begins to work in a culture. It means that Salvationists must accept the welcome that is offered by the host culture, and not the welcome they might find most comfortable (Luke 10:7). It does not automatically seek to alter the socio-economic relationships of a neighbourhood or culture, but begins by participating in these relationships, at the lowest possible level, and causing the least amount of disruption. This helps to guard against the dangers of gentrification. All of this puts our neighbours into the enviable position of being “sheep” who, even unknowingly, welcome Jesus as they offer hospitality to us, the least of Jesus’ brothers and sisters (Matthew 25:31-46). This approach also allows for the possibility of rejection. When Salvationists face the rejection of the world, they experience the rejection Christ faced from his own: “the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me,” (Luke 23:16b). Incarnational presence must not be forced on a culture or community, and Jesus instructs his followers to either find people of peace, or to shake the dust off their feet. If there are aspects of the culture that need to be challenged by the Gospel, this should begin from within the household and by the authority of those who already know and embody the culture, and who have accepted and applied the message of Jesus in their own lives. Applying these principles to the example of Booth-Tucker, although he could never truly become Indian, he did display a Christ-like humility, a desire to listen and learn from the culture, and a commitment to share the Gospel from a lowly posture. He participated socio-economically at the lowest level available to him, and he attempted first to receive hospitality rather than making assumptions and immediately working for societal change. The power dynamics inherent in British colonial imperialism, as well as the natural obstacles of human finitude and sin, necessarily limited his ability to incarnate. Nevertheless, the spirit with which Booth-Tucker approached cross-cultural, incarnational mission is a worthy model for Salvationists to study today.


Once the Salvationist has learned to receive hospitality, he or she can practice extending hospitality to others, and in so doing can learn to encounter Christ in a new way. Christine Pohl declares that when we open up our home, our space, our lives to others, we discover that “Jesus, the most desired guest, comes in the form of the vulnerable stranger. The possibility that hosts are welcoming Jesus can overcome resistance and fear.”[52] There is a great suspicion of neighbour in our world today, which is one of the reasons Salvation Army officers and soldiers are often taught to stringently separate their “home” life from their “ministry” life. The practice of hospitality, however, allows the Salvationist to find Christ in unexpected places. As Dr. Aimee Patterson puts it, the virtue of hospitality requires getting to know the stranger, learning how they think of themselves and their needs, and decreasing the “distance between host and guest.”[53] As the host’s understanding of the Gospel is enriched by the perspective of the guest, it could be said that “the guest becomes the host…the stranger becomes the neighbour…and the neighbour becomes Christ.[54] This takes seriously the notion that Christ is present in the guise of the stranger - particularly in the company of the poor - and recognises that the Lord’s Table is found wherever the people of God encounter the presence of Christ in the world.


Our experience of receiving and giving hospitality as an incarnational Salvation Army community in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside bears out this sacramental belief. Fully getting into the skin of people with vastly different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds is beyond us. However, we can be part of forming a community where a wide variety of people and cultures inform one another, offer hospitality to one another, and commit to worshipping the Lord and praying together. As we gather in homes, cafes, treatment centres, and community halls, we witness the Spirit of God drawing people together from every tribe, nation, tongue and background of our neighbourhood. We believe that in this we are being united to God through Christ, and to one another in the Spirit of Christ. Being welcomed into the homes of our neighbours is an act of evangelism, because we know that as they invite us in they are also in a real way inviting Christ. Welcoming our neighbours into our homes and lives is likewise an act of welcoming the image of God into our midst, and sharing God’s good gifts with one another. There is no ministry scenario where the safety of the ministers or their families can be guaranteed, but getting to know our neighbours well has significantly increased our sense of safety and community, and helps us to overcome the isolation that many people experience in our atomistic Western society. People in our neighbourhood are very protective over our children, and often warn us when dangerous situations are about to occur. We accept, however, that there will be some level of danger around us, because that is the daily reality of our neighbours, and we believe that Christians – Salvationists in particular – should be present for people in their moments of crisis. This allows us to truly rejoice when our neighbours rejoice, to mourn when they mourn, and to stand alongside them, lending our voices to theirs as they fight for justice and dignity, because we are in some measure experiencing the triumphs and struggles of the neighbourhood first hand. In all of this, we believe that we are not so much imitating Christ as being brought up into the life of God, and brought down into the life of the world, in and through Christ’s incarnation. The result is that The Salvation Army in the Downtown Eastside is not simply known as a good social service provider or Church, but as neighbours who try to live out the Gospel in the daily life, joy and pain of the community.


When the focus of incarnational ministry is on receiving and giving hospitality instead of initiating programs; listening to neighbours instead of telling them what you think; and looking for where God is already present instead of assuming that you are beginning the work of the Kingdom; then concerns around cultural assimilation, paternalism, gentrification, and safety risks are significantly mitigated, though they are never entirely resolved. This allows The Salvation Army to partner with the people of peace in a neighbourhood, rather than pursuing its own agenda. This posture helps The Salvation Army to genuinely recognise the dignity of its neighbours, which is consistent with its belief that each person, made in the image of God, possesses “inherent dignity, and that each life is a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and redeemed.”[55] These sacred lives were created by God “for relationships and for those relationships to be expressed living in community.”[56] Read reminds us that although every human being is in need of the redeeming and transforming work of Christ in their lives, our ministry and mission should also be motivated by “the simple, utter sacredness of each and every human being,” that should “make us stand in awe.”[57] This posture of awe, love, respect and relational community can be powerfully engendered by a proper understanding of incarnational ministry, which comes about through the union and identification of Christ with his children. Incarnational ministry, which stands faithfully within The Salvation Army’s history and theology, can help position The Salvation Army to receive the Spirit’s guidance in behaving well within various cultures, and in translating supra-cultural truths so that “the gospel of new life in Jesus is constantly being renewed and made universally meaningful for all persons in all cultures in all periods of history.”[58]







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 Shape of Social Engagement.” Modern Theology 14.3 (July 1998): 403-423.

White, Aaron. “Warriors in the Salvation War: Who are these Primitive Salvationists?” In Saved,

Sanctified and Serving: Perspectives on Salvation Army Theology and Practice, edited by Denis Metrustery. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2016.

Woodall, Ann M. “What Price the Poor: William Booth, Karl Marx, and the London Residuum.”

The Economic History Review, Vol 59 Issue 4 (November 2006): 853-854.

Yoder, John Howard. The Politics of Jesus. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing

Company, 1972.



[1] The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, (London: Salvation Books, 2010), 320.

[2] Miroslav Volf, “’The Trinity is Our Social Program’: The Doctrine of the Trinity and the Shape of Social Engagement,” Modern Theology 14.3 (1998): 415.

[3] Kathryn Tanner, “Incarnation, Cross, and Sacrifice: A Feminist-Inspired Reappraisal,” Anglican Theological Review Vol 86:1, (Winter 2004): 46.

[4] Sr. Margaret M. McKenna, “Mark 1: Relocation to Abandoned Places of Empire,” in School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism, ed. The Rutba House, (Eugene: Cascade Books, 2005), 15.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Volf, “Trinity,” 413.

[9] Paul Rader, “Intercultural Ministry: The Army Perspective,” in Vision Splendid: Intercultural Mission and The Salvation Army, ed. Mal Davies, (Wellington, NZ: Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory, Australia Southern Territory, and New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory, nd), 33.

[10] St. John G. Ervine, God's Soldier, Volume I, (London: The MacMillan Company, 1935), 576.

[11] Hugh Redwood, God in the Slums, (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1931), 27.

[12] Catherine Booth, cited in Norris Magnuson, Salvation in the Slums: Evangelical Social Work 1865-1920, (Grand Rapids: Baker House Books, 1977), 31.

[13] Redwood, God in the Slums, 35.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Magnuson, Salvation, 32.

[16] Redwood, God in the Slums, 26.

[17] Ibid., 35.

[18] J. Todd Billings, Union With Christ: Reframing Theolog and Ministry for the Church, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011), 124.

[19] Ibid., 13-14, 160.

[20] Ibid., 125.

[21] Shaw Clifton, Selected Writings: Volume 2, 2000-2010, (London: Salvation Books, 2010), 9-13.

[22] William Booth, cited in White, “Who are these Primitive Salvationists?” 207.

[23] D.L. Mayfield, “Church Planting and the Gospel of Gentrification: Are we seeking the ‘welfare of the city,’ or just our own?” Sojourners, July 2017, https://sojo.net/magazine/july-2017/church-planting-and-gospel-gentrification.

[24] James E. Read, “Social-Political Holiness in the World,” Word & Deed 13, no. 2 (May 2011): 30.

[25] Mayfield, “Church Planting,”.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Nate J. Lee, cited in Ibid.

[28] J. Todd Billings, “’Incarnational Ministry’ and Christology: A Reappropriation of the Way of Lowliness,” Missiology: An International Review 32:2, (April 2004), http://jtoddbillings.com/2004/04/incarnational-ministry-and-christology-a-reappropriation-of-the-way-of-lowliness/, accessed July 8, 2017.

[29] Tanner, “Incarnation,” 46.

[31] Stephen Finlan and Vladimir Kharlamov, eds., Theosis: Deification in Christian Theology, (Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2006), 1.

[32] Charles W. Carter, ed., A Contemporary Wesleyan Theology: Biblical, Systematic and Practical, Vol 1, (Grand Rapids: Asbury Press, 1983), 350.

[33] William Booth, cited in Andrew M. Eason, and Roger J. Green, eds. “Holiness,” in Boundless Salvation: The Shorter Writings of William Booth, (New York: Peter Lang, 2012), 86-87.

[34] Clifton, Selected Writings: Volume 2, 127.

[35] Shaw Clifton, Selected Writings: Volume 1, 1974-1999, (London: Salvation Books, 2010), 44.

[36] Handbook of Doctrine, (London: International Headquarters, 1969), 132.

[37] The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, 192-193.

[38] John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972), 107.

[39] Karl Rahner, cited in Alister E. McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction, (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1999), 474.

[40] Volf, “Trinity,” 418-419.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Kilby, “Trinity,” 82-86.

[44] Read, “Socio-Political Holiness,” 21, 28.

[45] Phil D. Needham, “The Theology: The Healing Gospel,” in Health, Healing and Wholeness: Salvationist Perspectives, ed. Graham Calvert, (London: Salvation Army International Headquarters, 1997), 30-31.

[46] The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, 320.

[47] Redwood, God in the Slums, 19.

[48] Tanner, “Incarnation,” 55.

[49] The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, 300.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Christine D. Pohl, Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999), 97.

[54] Ibid.

[55] The Salvation Army International Positional Statement: “Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide,” 2.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Read, “Socio-Political Holiness,” 30.

[58] Clifton, Selected Writings: Volume 2, 15.








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