The life and teaching of Samuel Logan Brengle

Listen to this article

Sanctified Sanity

by Raymond L. Peacock, Lt Colonel – 

Samuel Logan Brengle

Peacock was an instructor at the 55th annual session of the Brengle Holiness Institute in Chicago, held at the Central Territory’s College for Officers’ Training.

Released too late to be featured at Brengle this year, but sure to be highly quoted in coming years, is a new book, Sanctified Sanity: The Life and Teaching of Samuel Logan Brengle by R. David Rightmire.

The book contains two main sections: Part one unpacks Brengle’s Life and Ministry and part two focuses on Brengle’s Holiness Theology. Rightmire concludes his book with a question that begs a response from all Salvationists: “Although Brengle’s influence has been widely felt in days gone by, the question remains—is the Army in danger of losing the legacy of this holiness apostle out of neglect?”

Rightmire tells us “…the holiness theology of the Army was dominated by members of the Booth family and George S. Railton in the first three decades of the movement’s existence.” Thereafter, Samuel Logan Brengle became the Army’s “official” holiness theologian and guided the Army to a more orthodox Wesleyan expression.

The importance of the latter is that there are at least five views of holiness (sanctification): the Wesleyan view, the Reformed view, the Pentecostal view, the Keswick view and the Augustinian-Dispensational view, each explained in Five Views on Sanctification by Stanley N. Gundry.

Samuel Brengle was promoted to Glory in 1939. In 1945, General Albert Orsborn suggested the creation of a “Brengle College” where “scriptural holiness would be taught and re-taught,” and for 55 years it has been. Since Brengle’s passing the Army has had other holiness teachers, but it would be safe to say that none are as highly recognized and regarded in Salvation Army and the wider holiness movement circles as Samuel Logan Brengle. Even so, Rightmire points out that Brengle has received diminished recognition, neglect even, in several of our history books.

But it is not only his life and influence that should interest us, but his thoughts. We can thank Rightmire for tackling Brengle’s thoughts and categorizing them in a way that is helpful in understanding how he dealt with the tensions contained within the 19th and early 20th century dialogue on this doctrine and practice.

Rightmire makes mention that Brengle’s influence on the Army’s holiness teaching was predominant until 1969. At that time Frederick Coutts offered a revised interpretation of sanctification, which was included in the 1969 Handbook of Doctrine.

Rightmire’s book provides a good transition to rediscovering Brengle’s thoughts and rediscovering holiness in the 21st century. Inside and outside the Army, there is renewed interest in scriptural holiness. One of my professors at George Fox Seminary, Dr. Larry Shelton, has written A Wesleyan/Holiness Agenda for the Twenty-First Century. Another author, Steve Deneff has written Whatever Became of Holiness? and More Than Forgiveness: A Contemporary Call to Holiness Based on the Life of Jesus Christ. In the latter book, it is argued that holiness is not a doctrine, not a crisis or a process, but a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The above authors have inspired me to challenge Brengle delegates, cadets, and all Salvationists to think, pray and take holiness into the 21st century. We need those familiar with the urgency of holiness in our post-modern times. We need teachers, preachers, songwriters, holy living individuals who will bring the dialogue into current expression. We need to value our Wesleyan/Salvationist contribution to the Church universal. We need to reclaim our legacy, before we forfeit our legacy. These we need, because God still desires and requires holiness of heart.

Sanctified Sanity, written by Dr. David Rightmire and published by Crest Books, is available at the Western Territory’s Supplies and Purchasing for $9.95 plus shipping and handling. To order, call 1-800-937-8896.


Salvation Army plans for continued Iraq relief

Salvation Army plans for continued Iraq relief

THE FIRST SALVATION ARMY pin in Iraq was hand made by a grateful Iraqi and given



Community support rallies Lodi’s capital campaign by Kista Noonan – 

You May Also Like