Updated: 24 March 2014
THE Salvation Army's International Doctrine Council (IDC) now has an online presence at www.salvationarmy.org/doctrine. The 'about' section of the website explains: 'The principal purpose of the IDC is to serve the General and the global Salvation Army by being faithful custodians of Army doctrinal positions, whether those positions are to be found in the eleven Articles of Faith, in official Army publications, or in formal statements approved by the General.'
Commissioner Robert Street, Chair of the IDC, says: 'One of the tasks of the council is to consider how doctrine can be presented in ways that help people understand the Christian faith better. In an Army working in 126 countries there are different approaches to learning. We need to have a world vision of what is required to assist in people's understanding. It isn't by accident that the council has members from every continent.
'Essentially, the council is responsible to the General and gives consideration to subjects that need addressing for this age, especially as they relate to Salvationists. It isn't always possible or wise to share each topic, though we hope the website will begin a new process of sharing information – and encourage comment and input on a variety of subjects.
'This year's International Theology and Ethics Symposium – an event which the council periodically arranges – provides opportunity for Salvationists worldwide to participate in looking at the theme "Jesus Christ: Universal Lord and Saviour". The new website invites comment and contributions on this statement – which is, of course, at the heart of who we are and what we believe. We look forward to hearing from Salvationists round the world.'
Salvationists and friends can visit the 'discuss' section to 'share what the title "Jesus Christ, Universal Lord and Saviour" means to you'.
The site also contains information about IDC members and copies of papers presented at the 2010 International Theology and Ethics Symposium, which took the theme 'Holiness'.
A series of articles has just started in The Officer magazine on the theme 'Doctrine for Today'. Commissioner Street says: 'The series explains each doctrine in turn, giving concise teaching in a brief, clear format. It is planned that the series will be published as a book in due course.' The commissioner's introduction to the series, which speaks about the importance of doctrine, has been made available to download from the IDC website.
The next meeting of the IDC will take place from 24-27 March. It will be the first meeting attended by new members Major Gabriel Adepoju (Nigeria), Major Geoff Webb (Australia Southern) and Territorial Songster Leader K. Zohmingthanga (India Eastern).
Report by IHQ Communications