Westminster Theological Seminary – Can Institutions Respond to Controversy in Radical Love? (Part Five)

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Church Tradition, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Hermeneutics, Leadership, Personal, Reformed Christianity, Spirituality17 Comments

A common view, at least within many evangelical circles, is that a “culture” cannot be changed. Before I proceed to argue against this view let me define my terms just a bit. I am using the word “culture” as it has evolved in English usage through the social sciences. It came to refer, in the 20th century, to a central concept … Read More

Westminster Theological Seminary – Can Institutions Respond to Controversy in Radical Love? (Part Four)

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Church Tradition, Current Affairs, Education, Patristics, Personal, Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, The Church, The FutureLeave a Comment

A friend has asked me, “John, can you market a seminary today without suggesting that we are the really faithful heirs of our particular tradition?” He added, “Could a school market itself as a loving, caring, and biblical community and still succeed?” My answer is that this is the only way in which I think a school will survive, and thrive, in … Read More

Westminster Theological Seminary – Can Institutions Respond to Controversy in Radical Love (Part Three)

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Christ/Christology, Church History, Current Affairs, Education, Hermeneutics, History, Personal, Reformed Christianity, The Church, The Future8 Comments

There have been a number of previous controversies at Westminster Theological Seminary (PA). In the middle of the last decade there was one that many believe is linked (in some way) to the “retirement” issue of Doug Green. The Enns debate surrounded the teaching of Dr. Peter Enns, an Old Testament professor who left the faculty six years ago. It is widely believed … Read More

Westminster Theological Seminary: Can Institutions Respond to Controversy in Radical Love? (Part Two)

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Current Affairs, Hermeneutics, Personal, Reformed Christianity, The Church17 Comments

Yesterday I provided a general historical overview of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. I wrote this overview because of my long interest in the school, its faculty and its students, mostly those who are graduates and who remain friends. I am not a Westminster graduate. I have never been a Presbyterian. I am an ordained minister in the Reformed Church … Read More

Westminster Theological Seminary: Can Institutions Respond to Controversy in Radical Love? (Part One)

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Current Affairs, Hermeneutics, History, Personal, Reformed Christianity, The Church10 Comments

In early June I commented on my Facebook wall about the “retirement” of Old Testament professor Dr. Douglas Green at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia (WTS). You can read the official Westminster announcement online. The seminary says that Dr. Green is leaving for early “retirement.” But Doug Green is not of retirement age in the normative use of this word, meaning he … Read More

Must the Reformation Wars Continue? (Part Two)

John ArmstrongACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Apologetics, Church History, Church Tradition, Personal, Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, Roman Catholicism, The Church43 Comments

In a blog that I published here last week, on May 7, I linked to an article by pastor and blogger Tim Challies. His blog argued that Pope Francis was not a Christian. I debated for days with myself about responding to this sadly uninformed post. To be completely honest I do not like to engage with this kind of Internet “yellow” … Read More

I Am the Adult Child of a Dysfunctional Ecclesial Culture

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Church History, Church Tradition, Missional-Ecumenism, Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church38 Comments

At first glance the very mention of ecumenism, in the same sentence with the word evangelical, seems oxymoronic. Modern evangelicals have a well-deserved reputation for being less than excited about serious, modern ecumenical dialogue. I know this because I have lived my entire Christian life inside evangelical Protestantism, expressed in several different varieties or outward forms. I have come to … Read More

Salvation and the Christian Life – Doing Theology in the Era of Global Ecumenism, Part 5

John ArmstrongBiblical Theology, Faith, Missional-Ecumenism, Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, Roman Catholicism, The Church, Theology9 Comments

What I have written in my previous four posts on salvation and the Christian life can be stated very precisely in the following way – we are saved by grace alone, but we are saved for works and through works in the sense that such works are evangelical and always proceed from faith and serve the advancement of our real sanctification. Our … Read More

Salvation and the Christian Life – Doing Theology in the Era of Global Ecumenism, Part 3

John ArmstrongDiscipleship, Faith, Gospel/Good News, Lordship of Christ, Reformed Christianity, Roman Catholicism, The Church, Theology9 Comments

When Catholics and Protestants engage in the polemics of theological polarities they quite often misrepresent one another. In the process they miss the deeper fruit of real ecumenism in doing confessing Christian theology. Non-theologians often do this more poorly because they adopt the views they have been taught by their favorite teachers and then treat them as the gold standard. … Read More

What Can Be Done to Seek Unity Between Catholics and Evangelicals?

John ArmstrongACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Current Affairs, Evangelism, Friendship, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Reformed Christianity, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church19 Comments

It is no secret that I am an evangelical Protestant. (I do not think the word “evangelical” makes for a good noun thus I use it here intentionally as an adjective.) I was originally ordained in an evangelical Protestant context (Southern Baptist, a fellowship of churches that actually resisted the name “evangelical” until more recently), received three degrees from evangelical schools … Read More