By Lawrence Shiroma, Major –
With many years of officership in the ministry of The Salvation Army adult rehabilitation center (ARC), Major Glen Doss has authored “Called To Be God’s Own” drawing from three bodies of knowledge—the 12 vital areas highlighted by The Salvation Army’s International Spiritual Life Commission, the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 11 doctrines of The Salvation Army.
The book is the official text for the new ARC recovery program for those seeking membership in The Salvation Army, and thoughtful discussion questions following each chapter make it both useful for personal times of reflection and shareable in small groups.
Doss starts off with the call to Salvationists and defines the mission of the Army as reaching out to a suffering and needy world with God’s love. Doss puts it correctly when he states that The Salvation Army’s outward movement of love for the world requires a corresponding inward movement, a calling from ourselves to God.
He then reviews 12 distinct calls, the first of which is the call to worship, acknowledging that it is essential for new believers to gather regularly for worship in order to develop a Christian worldview. Doss invites the reader to consider The Salvation Army as their church home if they have none. He explains the Sunday altar call at a corps in the call to the mercy seat—the spiritual principle of taking a knee before the cross of Christ is an outward expression of an inward surrender and humble obedience before God.
In the call to soldiership, Doss writes that costly discipleship, obedience and soldiership are one and the same. The calling to take up one’s cross is still relevant today and we are to “Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3). Confession is the focus on the call to our life together. James 5:16 reads, “Confess your sins one to each other.” This chapter brought to my mind the writing of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Life Together,” in which he asks, “Why is it easier to confess our sins to God rather than to another person?” One who openly confesses his sins in the presence of another is no longer alone, and with his burden lifted is able to move forward in his life’s journey.
As the target population for the ARC’s “Called to Be God’s Own” curriculum are individuals in recovery seeking membership in The Salvation Army, additional information on the processes and prerequisites of becoming a corps soldier would be a helpful addition. That being said, Doss does a remarkable job of juxtaposing elements from three historic bodies of knowledge and weaving them together into one cohesive text that will be an important read in any Salvation Army setting for years to come.
Find “Called to Be God’s Own” at tradewest.com.