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

America Divided: Why Christian Unity Matters More Than Ever

John ArmstrongACT 3, America and Americanism, Church History, Missional-Ecumenism, Unity of the Church3 Comments

  There are very few historical personalities with the magnetism of the famous Augustinian monk Martin Luther. Make no mistake, Luther has been praised and vilified. For some he bears specific blame for dividing the church. For others he remains a hero because he recovered the gospel and opposed massive church abuses. Love him or hate him, Martin Luther gets … Read More

Breach of Trust: Has Our U.S. Policy Lost Its Way?

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Current Affairs, Freedom, Personal1 Comment

Our American commitment to perpetual war now seems fairly self-evident. We have been engaged in some kind of military conflict, almost without significant pause, since the end of the Vietnam War. Our current military action in Iraq and Afghanistan (and the wider Middle East) is nearing fifteen years and there is virtually no reason to see a real (final) end … Read More

Do Not Confuse Your Plans with God’s

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Culture, Current Affairs, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Politics, Religion, Renewal, The Future1 Comment

One of the most persistent problems I face, as both a Christian thinker and leader, is to confuse my plans with God’s plans. I seek God, I pray, and I read widely and study a great deal. I often see a clear way forward, at least sometimes. I sometimes feel quite sure I know what God wants. But my plans … Read More

The 110th Birthday of One of the Greatest Christians of the Last Century

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Church Tradition, Current Affairs, Israel, Lordship of Christ, The Church, The Future29 Comments

Today, February 4, is the 110th birthday of the German pastor, theologian and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. When I arrived at Wheaton College, as a transfer student in January of 1969, one of the first great joys I experienced was finding the story of Bonhoeffer for the first time. The classic book, The Cost of Discipleship, was my introduction. Later I … Read More

“Black Lives Matter” – Michelle Higgins @ Urbana 2015

John ArmstrongACT 3, America and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Civil Rights, Culture, Current Affairs, Ethics, Race and Racism7 Comments

Many evangelical and conservative Christians, especially older white Christians of conservative persuasion, are weary of the popular slogan: “Black Lives Matter.” Some are even angry at the actual movement that is associated with this name and believe it is harmful to our culture. I’ve heard various responses regarding this negative view of the slogan and the movement but the most … Read More

Jimmy Carter: A Full Life

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Books, Civil Rights, Current Affairs, Ethics, History, Leadership, Personal, Spirituality, The Church30 Comments

Like so many I have had a mixture of feelings and responses to President Jimmy Carter over the years. It seems to me that most critics, left and right, have freely attributed to him the label of “poor president” or “political failure.” I wonder what history, long after his death, will actually say. Many thought that Harry Truman was a … Read More