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Thursday, March 12, 2015

What I’m Reading: Inside a High Council

I am ambivalent about General John Larsson’s book Inside a High Council: How Salvation Army Generals Are Elected.  The book is a brief description of the process by which The Salvation Army elects its international leader, and a history of how that process has changed over time, but it is bloodless. 

The book succeeds in presenting a step by step description of the process.  But it is often dull, bogged down in the legal minutia of the constitutions, deed polls, amendments and orders of procedures.  This is important information, but making it readable is a challenge.

General Larsson is discreet and maintains the dignity of The Salvation Army throughout this brief book. I would not expect a former General of The Salvation Army to write a shocking tell-all exposé about the conflicts and arguments in the secret meetings of the High Council.  I’m not interested in a sordid airing of dirty laundry, but Inside a High Council comes very close to being hagiography instead of history. 

Larsson, John. Inside a High Council: How Salvation Army Generals Are Elected. Alexandria, Virginia. Crest Books. 2014.

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