Philomena – A Film That Reveals Gospel Grace and Forgiveness

John ArmstrongCurrent Affairs, Feminism & Women, Film, Forgiveness, Gospel/Good News, Personal, Roman Catholicism, Sexuality, The Church14 Comments

I saw the new movie Philomena last week. I was unprepared for how much this film would move me to the depths of my spirit. It is my “sleeper” film for 2013! I noted this weekend, with great joy, that it was nominated for the Golden Globe as “Best Picture.” (There are only five nominees. The Academy now has ten … Read More

A New Kind of Leader in the Irish Methodist Church

John ArmstrongChurch Tradition, Current Affairs, Feminism & Women, Leadership, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Pastoral Renewal, Roman Catholicism, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church, The Future, Women in the Church18 Comments

Dr. Heather Morris, the first female leader of a major church body in Ireland, was recently installed as the President of the Methodist Church, at a gathering at Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim. Martin O’Brien, editor of The Irish Catholic, writes that he first heard Dr Morris preach to a huge congregation at Clonard Novena where “she held in rapt attention” a … Read More

My Sisters the Saints (6) – An Inspiring Journey in Faith

John ArmstrongBooks, Church Tradition, Contemplation, Discipleship, Faith, Feminism & Women, Friendship, Marriage & Family, Mysticism, Prayer, Roman Catholicism, Sexuality, Spirituality, The Church, The Future, Women in the Church2 Comments

Colleen Carroll Campbell’s journey to femininity did not lead her to embrace a kind of Catholic “fundamentalism” with regard to the social, professional and economic gains that she had previously experienced because of feminism. John and Carroll Campbell clearly share a marriage of mutuality. They have just as clearly learned how to sacrifice and give up their personal agendas, one … Read More

My Sisters the Saints (5) – An Inspiring Journey in Faith

John ArmstrongBooks, Church Tradition, Contemplation, Discipleship, Faith, Feminism & Women, Marriage & Family, Mysticism, Prayer, Roman Catholicism, Sexuality, Spirituality, The Church, The FutureLeave a Comment

As Colleen Carroll Campbell tried to settle into her new work at the White House she found that she had never been so profoundly challenged in her work but so deeply dissatisfied with her life in general. She writes: I wanted to blame patriarchy for my conundrum., blame my job, blame John. Deep down, though, I knew something else was … Read More

My Sisters the Saints (4) – An Inspiring Journey in Faith

John ArmstrongBooks, Church Tradition, Contemplation, Discipleship, Faith, Feminism & Women, Marriage & Family, Mysticism, Prayer, Roman Catholicism, Sexuality, Spirituality, The Church, The Future, Women in the Church5 Comments

In the spring of 2001, five years after Colleen Carroll Campbell had moved from Memphis to St. Louis to write for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, she fell in love with John Campbell, a young physician in training who would become her husband. Their love story is endearing and genuinely sweet. During this same time, in 2001, she took a … Read More

My Sisters the Saints (3) – An Inspiring Journey in Faith

John ArmstrongBooks, Church Tradition, Contemplation, Discipleship, Faith, Feminism & Women, Love, Marriage & Family, Mysticism, Prayer, Roman Catholicism, Spirituality, The Church, The Future9 Comments

As Colleen Carroll Campbell’s spiritual memoir, My Sisters the Saints, evolves we begin to understand how her relationship with men was being changed profoundly. These changes clearly grew out of the spiritual formation that was now powerfully shaping her life as a growing Catholic Christian. She writes that before Christmas break was over she did not want to make long-term … Read More

My Sisters the Saints (1) – An Inspiring Journey in Faith

John ArmstrongChurch Tradition, Contemplation, Discipleship, Faith, Feminism & Women, Marriage & Family, Mysticism, Prayer, Roman Catholicism, Sexuality, Spirituality, The Church, The Future10 Comments

Collen Carroll Campbell is an accomplished, award-winning author, as well as a print and broadcast journalist. I have followed her writing and professional career, at least from a  distance, since I read her first book, The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy, back in 2002. I later quoted from that hopeful book in my own book, Your … Read More

How Exile Came About: Theological and Cultural Developments in the Nineteenth Century (2)

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Church History, Culture, Evangelism, Feminism & Women, Kingdom of God, Religion, The Church, Women in the Church

Near the end of the nineteenth century the evangelical experience of Christianity in America changed things in the church even more radically than previous movements had done within historic Protestantism. While the paradigm of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress remained deeply embedded in the evangelical conversion system a new version would soon emerge in the Protestant psyche by the first decade … Read More

How Exile Came About: Theological and Cultural Developments in the Nineteenth Century (1)

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Church History, Culture, Current Affairs, Feminism & Women, Freedom, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, The Church

My recent blogs have been devoted to developing a perspective I refer to as missional-ecumenism. I want to show where I believe we are in America today–particularly in terms of the church, culture and our mission. I am a passionate missional-ecumenist. This passion is deeply rooted in three principal texts, all found in the Fourth Gospel; John 13:34-35, 17:20-23 and … Read More

When Jesus Met Mary: A Conference on Friendship with a Unique (and Controversial) Emphasis on Friendship with the Opposite Sex

John ArmstrongFeminism & Women, Friendship, Sexuality, The Church, Unity of the Church, Women in the Church

Can men and women be close friends without the sex part getting in the way? Can men and women who are married enjoy opposite sex friendships? What would our marriages, our friendships, our churches, and our communities look like if men and women were not afraid of connecting with each other in deep ways? What would male-female relationships look like … Read More