Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thanks to the Baptists

I just spent the morning at St Kilda Baptist church sharing breakfast and listening to Dave Batstone talking about human traffiking. I went as the result of an invitation that went out to those associated with Whitley College and the House of the Gentle Bunyip. As well as Dave's thoughts, we also heard a bit about the new release of Athol Gill's book "Life on the Road". Athol was my first lecturer at Whitley and his son Jonathon was my first tutor.

It occurred to me sitting there amongst some of my past teachers, as well as some fellow students, how much my journey as a Salvationist has been enriched by my studies with the Baptists at Whitley College. I've previously considered it ironic, perhaps even tragic, that I had to move across to Baptist theological education to learn about social justice, liberation theology and mission alongside the poor and oppressed of the world. Surely these themes should have been the 'bread and butter' of Salvationist thinking? Unfortunately, it has not always been so. This situation has changed a bit now in The Salvation Army but I think we still have a long way to go.

Anyway, my thanks go out to all my Baptist friends who have challenged me and enlightened my journey. Your input has shaped my life as a Christian and (perhaps surprisingly to you) as a Salvationist. Grace and peace to you all.


Nicky said...

Hi Jase,

As a person who has grown up in the Salvos, I think the DNA of The Salvation Army has always been one of social justice and mission alongside the poor, however, I think there was some kind of genetic cross breeding that caused a "radical" or "mutatated" hybrid. I think some of us grew up when the mutation was still in its early stages and were caught up in corps that had more mutant hybrids than GM free strains.

Thank God for the GM free varieties, lets hope we can keep the DNA un-mutated.

Thanks for your blog.

(Hope this analogy is not taken too seriously, just a bit of fun. ;-D)

Anonymous said...

Thank God the army doesn't buy into that liberation theology rubbish. It never has and I pray it never does.

JDK said...

Thanks Nicky - it could be argued that it's the mutations that allow us to evolve... ;-)

Anon - it won't surprise you that I disagree entirely. The Army's intuitive theology has much in common with liberation theology, not surprising given the similarities in missiological focus. I suggest you take some time to learn more about what you are so ready to criticise.

Regards, JDK