Author-Roger T. Green

Publisher-Abingdon Press

ISBN- 0-687-05273-4


Roger T. Green is a professor of theological studies and this fact should indicate the nature of biography of William Booth that he has written.  It is not a devotional look at the life of the founder( along with his wife Catherine) of the Salvation Army, however, it is full of insights into the complex and compelling person that William Booth was.  This is a valuable book, and shows how Booth was shaped by the life and ministry of John Wesley. The Methodist roots of the Salvation Army are amply demonstrated.  The influence of his own poverty in early life clearly shaped Booth, as did the power and intelligence of his wife Catherine.  Here we have a book giving us a balanced and provocative book which looks into the strengths and flaws of this man.  His humanity shines through, the fact that he was a man of his times which favored the military methods and was congenial to autocratic leadership, both of which were fundamental to the life of the Army.  He was a saint, this comes through and a soldier of the Lord determined to wrap his arms around the world and see it saved by the power of the gospel of the Lord Jesus.  The wrestling that he experienced in seeking to balance the spiritual and the social aspects of the ministry is patent.  He promoted a synthesis of Christian Holiness along with active social service but himself struggled and towards the end of his life returned wholeheartedly to his ministry of soul saving.  The book gives detailed accounts some defections from the Army which  took place among certain members of his own family.  Neither he nor his wife took kindly to anyone moving away to other ministries for the Lord although they themselves had defected from Methodism for various reasons.  This book is a portrait of an imperfect but dedicated leader whose heart burned for God, who was often troubled by his own failures and who demonstrated an indomitable spirit in the face of many obstacles.  He founded and organized a mission to this day operating in one hundred countries of the world.

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