Author Archives: John Armstrong

The Letter to Ephesus

This summer my local congregation, Lutheran Church of the Master, is engaged with a series of sermons from Revelation 2-3. I am filling in for our pastor for many Saturday evening vespers services. So far I have preached on the … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical Theology, Church History, Current Affairs, The Church | 3 Comments/Likes

Jesus’ Upside-Down Kingdom

The kingdom of Jesus turns everything “upside down.” We settle far too easily for a tame and non-threatening gospel where grace does not surprise us. This sermon was preached at Lutheran Church of the Master, Carol Stream, IL, on June … Continue reading

Posted in ACT 3, Biblical Theology, Homiletics/Preaching, Jesus, Kingdom of God, The Church | 3 Comments/Likes

Should Ecclesiastes Be in the Biblical Canon?

My question will likely startle some. It seems obvious to others. Count me among the latter group. I have read the book many, many times but it has never seemed clearly apparent to me that it belongs, even among the … Continue reading

Posted in Biblical Theology, Current Affairs, God's Character, History, Spirituality | 24 Comments/Likes

The Life and Last Days of a Saint: Dr. Ben Campbell Johnson

Dr. Ben Campbell Johnson, a Presbyterian minister, and author, served as Professor of Evangelism and Director of Spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia (1981-2000). Since his retirement at CTS Ben has been a professor emeritus and taught many classes, written … Continue reading

Posted in Evangelism, Love, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Spirituality | 12 Comments/Likes

A Swedish House Church Movement of Revival

Pietism produced many expressions and forms. In the end, Pietism was a rival/renewal movement in the centuries following the Reformed and Lutheran Reformations of the sixteenth century. I personally believe the post-Reformation produced a new type of scholasticism that help … Continue reading

Posted in Charismatic Christianity, Church History, Pietism, Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, Renewal, Spirituality, The Church | 9 Comments/Likes

Was Pietism an Expression of an Early Pentecostal Movement?

The Assemblies of God maintains an official heritage center called the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC) in Springfield, Missouri. Dr. Darrin Rodgers is the director of the Flower Center. In this video he addresses the important question of the relationship of the Pentecostal … Continue reading

Posted in ACT 3, Charismatic Christianity, Pietism, Renewal, Spirituality, The Church | 11 Comments/Likes

The ACT3 Cohort Group Begins Monday, May 23

On Monday, May 23, the next ACT3 Cohort begins in Carol Stream, IL. We meet in the beautiful garden room at Windsor Park on Rt. 64. If you are interested in being a participant in this dynamic group you need … Continue reading

Posted in ACT 3, Discipleship, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church | 5 Comments/Likes

ACT3 Monday Evening Forum

The first ACT3 Monday Evening Forum of 2016 takes place this evening at 7:00 p.m. My guest is Dr. Jon Nilson, professor of theology emeritus at Loyola University in Chicago. The topic is: “Good Theology Must Be Ecumenical: Why & … Continue reading

Posted in ACT 3, Missional-Ecumenism, Roman Catholicism, Theology, Unity of the Church | 4 Comments/Likes

Does What We Sing Matter to the Faith of the Church?

Since the 1970s we have had a raging debate about singing and music in the church. This debate has often come down to “traditional” music, or (old) hymns, versus “modern,” or popular music. The real truth is that the great … Continue reading

Posted in ACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Liturgy, Music, Personal, Prayer, Protestantism, Renewal, Spirituality | 19 Comments/Likes

Martin Marty on the Roots of Pietism

The famous church historian Martin Marty is part of a new series on pietism. This short clip is well worth watching. Marty “nails it” when it comes to what was lacking in the early Lutheran Reformation and the doctrinal emphasis … Continue reading

Posted in ACT 3, Church History, Protestantism, Renewal, Spirituality, The Church | 7 Comments/Likes