A Practical Theology of Salvation Army Health Ministry
Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2012
£16.00 Pb 222pp
Dean Pallant, Head of International Health Services for the Salvation Army, looks at the place of faith-based organisations in providing health services in the developing world and asks the fundamental question'Whose faith are we serving?'
The temptation for Christian hospitals and faith-based health organisations is to go where the money is- towards commercial, international donor or state sponsored health priorities. And in a climate where Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) are currently being feted as the'next big thing' it is easy to get sucked into all of this. Alternatively, we get driven by the profit motive, seeing health services as a cash cow to fund mission, rather than as mission in its own right. Pallant is arguing that we need to take another view- one that puts our faith at the centre of all we do in health and seeks to work with the poor to find health solutions that spring from our deepest theological and spiritual convictions.
Instead it means understanding and rediscovering a theology of health that focusses on becoming 'healthy people'- not just free of illness, but freed to become the people God created us to be. This does not mean ignoring the global community or global goals and strategies. But it does mean not being hidebound by their external agendas.
Steve Fouch is CMF Head of Allied Professional Ministries