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Book review: Inside a High Council

Book review: Inside a High Council

Book review: Inside a High Council

16 April 2018

Incumbent General Andre Cox (right) with Commissioner Brian Peddle who has summoned the High Council to elect a new general next month.

By Commissioner Harry Read

General John Larsson’s fascinating and fast-moving book 1929 – A Crisis That Shaped The Salvation Army’s Future – whetted the appetite of its readers for a sequel.

In that book we felt the tidal flow of change and shared the vision of those who, reluctantly but rightly, believed the still-young Army had outgrown the precedent of a leader nominated by his/her predecessor and, instead, should have a leader elected by his/her peers. Inside a High Council fulfils the need of a sequel admirably and, in the process, dispels lurking assumptions that the High Council is a dull but necessary institution. Like its predecessor, this book is compelling reading.

Members of High Councils have always been people just like us: awed and redeemed. Like us, their wide experience gained in Salvation Army warfare and their mature judgments owe much, if not everything, to the Holy Spirit. As we read these chapters it’s clear that the blending of human experience with the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit is a supreme element in the work of the Council. Did not God create our movement? Has he not continued to own it? By prioritising faith, prayer, wise questions, thoughtful answers and presentations, each High Council has aspired to achieve our heavenly Father’s intentions. Inside a High Council reveals how sincere that longing is, as the sense of destiny with which each member votes demonstrates.

General Larsson makes clear that each High Council reflects the growth and development of our Army: essentially, its members are forward-looking, intent on facing the future in partnership with God. This long-established institution, therefore, is not sterile, but progressive and has served us well; any backward look to previous High Council minutes is for reference only.This book is a must-read for all who are linked with our Army. It is a treasure.

Inside a High Council is available from Salvationist Supplies in Sydney (1800 634 209) or Salvation Army Supplies in Melbourne (1800 100 018).

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