Joseph’s Utterly Unique Vocation

John ArmstrongAdvent, Discipleship, JesusLeave a Comment

The late philosopher and atheist Jean Paul Sartre one wrote a Christmas play called Bariona. In this play he tries to imagine Joseph in Bethlehem, and writes: “He [Joseph] feels himself slightly out of it. He suffers because he sees how much this woman whom he loves resembles God; how she is already at the side of God. For God … Read More

Living My Way Into the Life of the Trinity

John ArmstrongChrist/Christology, Contemplation, Discipleship, Forgiveness, God's Character, Jesus, Love, Personal, Prayer, Scripture, The TrinityLeave a Comment

No truth is (perhaps) more complex than that of the Trinity, one God in three persons. But I am persuaded that no truth is more central to living well as a follower of Christ. The Trinity is not a debate, at least for me. It is revealed yet it is a stunning mystery. A professor, playing on an earlier line, … Read More

Hearts and Minds Book Notes

John ArmstrongACT 3, Biblical Theology, BooksLeave a Comment

One of my good friends is Byron Borger, the owner/manager of Hearts and Minds Books in Pennsylvania. Byron regularly prepares a great review of a wide array of books. I encourage you to read his reviews (which you can get by email) and buy books from him. Yes, you can buy books for a larger discount at Amazon but Byron … Read More

A Sleepless Night and a Gentle and Powerful Morning Reminder

John ArmstrongBiblical Theology, Discipleship, Faith, Friendship, Jesus, Love, PersonalLeave a Comment

In Matthew 19 Jesus welcomes little children to himself, (gently) touches them and prays over them. The disciples, in contrast, seem too stern and busy to feel the is important kingdom work. The story tells us: 13 Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly … Read More

How Does Jesus Speak to Our Modern Religious and Social Context?

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Culture, Current Affairs, Economy/Economics, Kingdom of God, Lordship of Christ, LoveLeave a Comment

I am currently reading, rather slowly I confess, through the Gospel of Mark. It is a fast-paced narrative a rooted in oral tradition, something easily forgotten by modern readers. At the beginning of the second century CE this Gospel was affirmed in several texts as the work of Mark. It was also attributed to Peter, who was his companion. Because this … Read More

War: The Most Dreaded Enemy of Liberty

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Culture, Current Affairs, Ethics, History, The War on Terrorism4 Comments

During the course of my lifetime (b. 1949) America has fought many wars. In fact, we have been engaged in foreign struggles and combat for almost the entirety of my lifetime, with the exception of the four years of President Carter’s administration (1977-1981). This simple fact got me to thinking recently about an anniversary of a historic document in American … Read More

How Could Tyranny Destroy Our Democracy?

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Books, Culture, Current Affairs, Free Speech, Freedom, History, Ideology, Philosophy, Politics, Pope Francis, The FutureLeave a Comment

Political scientists and historians are increasingly expressing profound concerns about the future of democracy in the West. I have been asking, as an amateur historian of America, “How and why do democracies die?” The study of democratic backsliding, though around for a long time, is becoming more urgent as we watch events unfold so rapidly it creates deep concern in … Read More

Pondering the Syrian Context on the Day After Our Nation Launched Fifty Tomahawk Missiles

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Current Affairs, Personal, Politics, Pope Francis, The Church, The War on Terrorism2 Comments

Late late night I read the first news reports of our president’s authorization of the launch of fifty missiles on Syrian air bases. (He warned the Russians in advance so their soldiers would leave, wanting to avoid a direct conflict with Russia.) It appears this morning that we hit military targets and human casualties will be small, perhaps even none. … Read More