Book Review – Aggressive Christianity

Book Review – Aggressive Christianity



Book: Aggressive Christianity

Author: Catherine Booth

“While we have been standing upon our dignity, whole generations have gone to hell.” Catherine Booth (1880)

These words penned by Catherine Booth over a hundred and thirty years ago, echo through the halls of time and rock our sense of complacency and self-satisfaction. The co-founder of The Salvation Army, a slight woman of 5.6” with fiery eyes and dark hair, might have appeared weak and inferior to the untrained eye, but within her beat a heart of passionate love for the lost that forged her life’s choices from childhood until her untimely death at the age of sixty-one.

Her children knew her as mother and warrior: one who darned socks at the fireplace while, at the same time, preparing a sermon that she was to preach later that week. Her husband William cherished her as both wife and teammate in the daily war waged for the souls of men and women.

In a world where women were considered more ornament than orator, this Woman-Warrior stood firm on the spiritual battleground representing both the ‘fairer sex’ and the ‘fighting soldier’. Perhaps some of her seminal writings can be found in a compilation of her writings entitled Aggressive Christianity.

This collection of The Army Mother’s sermons became the missional pulse that propelled the early Salvation Army into the dark streets and dirty alleys of the East End of London and across the seas into countries around the world.

The writings of Catherine Booth should come with a warning to all readers: CAUTION: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

With the focused logic of a lawyer, Mrs. Booth laid out the foundations for Christian ‘warfare’.
Through a series of analogies, Booth describes the Christian warfare as:

1. Aggressive: having a passion to reach the lost with the message of the Gospel.
2. Adaptive: communicating the gospel in relevant ways without compromising the
3. Anointed: living as a credible witness for Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Catherine sums up her thoughts with this rhetorical and yet profound question:
‘What is [the world] dying for? – downright, straightforward, honest, loving, earnest testimony about what God can do for souls. That is what it wants.’

The challenge issued by Catherine Booth to her generation is as relevant and challenging today as it was then. PURITY of heart is required as we seek to set aside complacency and root out compromise in our lives. PASSION is needed to courageously disturb the present and improve the future. Holy Spirit POWER must be sought after if believers are to be consistent and effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.

Order your copy online here.
To read Catherine Booth’s writings for yourself, click here.


Catherine Booth
Catherine Booth

How William and Catherine Booth started The Salvation Army