In Search of Deep Faith

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Books, Church History, Church Tradition, Current Affairs, Discipleship, Education, Emergent Church, Faith, Missional Church, Personal, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church10 Comments

I had the joy of meeting Dr. Jim Belcher some years ago when he pastored Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California. I cultivated a growing relationship with Jim, and his family, and spoke several times to his congregation. I was loved and honored and thus retain great memories of those days where Jim and I shared ministry together. Jim … Read More

A Baptist Minister Drawing Lessons from Pope Francis

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Current Affairs, Homiletics/Preaching, Leadership, Personal, Roman Catholicism, Spirituality, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church2 Comments

In late October I visited with Michael and Nancy Ristau, two dear friends who live in Lexington, Kentucky. I met Michael while speaking on a mens’ retreat for several churches in California years ago. Michael and Nancy are like other people I’ve met in my travels here and there, persons who feel drawn to form a deep and growing friendship … Read More

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama – The Legacy Lives (2)

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Church Tradition, Civil Rights, Missional Church, Personal, Race and Racism, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church3 Comments

The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church calls itself: “A Bible-Centric Ministry.” The Sunday bulletin proclaims, just under the name of the church, that this is a place “Where Jesus Christ Is the Main Attraction.” Inside the bulletin there is a vision statement, a mission statement and a statement of the church’s philosophy of ministry. Rarely have I read anything so biblically … Read More

Leaders Who Focus on People, Not Just Ideas

John ArmstrongFriendship, Leadership, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church11 Comments

Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) was a Dutch-born Catholic priest and writer who is best known as the author of 39 books about spirituality. Nouwen studied psychology and theology and has had a profoundly human way of making spirituality come alive for many people, including a large number of evangelical Protestants. He taught at Notre Dame, Yale Divinity School and then Harvard … Read More

The Missional Paradigm and Effective Seminary Education

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Culture, Discipleship, Kingdom of God, Leadership, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Pastoral Renewal, Renewal, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church, The Future7 Comments

Last week I wrote several blogs on the state of theological education in North America. I suggested that seminaries need to adjust their mission to the rapidly changing context of the church in twenty-first century America. I further suggested that we need to teach theology and mission as integrated topics, not as separate or unrelated academic disciplines. This story, told … 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

Same-Sex Marriage Redux (1)

John ArmstrongHomosexuality, Love, Marriage & Family, Personal, Separation of Church & State, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church20 Comments

Gay marriage is clearly “the great debate” of the hour. People on both sides, and all sides in between, debate the meaning of Scripture’s witness to the covenant of marriage and the role of the state in making civil law. On one side, Christians argue that “gay marriage” is not clearly envisioned in Scripture but the idea itself is acceptable … Read More

Being Accountable?

John ArmstrongDiscipleship, Freedom, Leadership, Personal, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church

Today’s blog is written by guest writer Dr. Stephen R. Crosby. Stephen is the president of a ministry called “Sword of the Kingdom.” You can see his various blogs and learn about him at Sword of the Kingdom. I post this blog for several reasons. First, Stephen is an insightful writer from the background of charismatic and Pentecostal experience who … Read More

Living as Aliens in a Post-Christendom Culture (2)

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Culture, Current Affairs, Discipleship, Emergent Church, Faith, Ideology, Kingdom of God, Lordship of Christ, Love, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Politics, Religion, Renewal, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church, The Future

If living the Christian life as “aliens” really describes Christian community/church then we can understand why we are a “colony of heaven” in a “strange” land. The biblical portrait of the Christian church is one in which the church “exists for mission as fire exists for burning” (Emil Bruner). This gives us our clear identity. The DNA of such “aliens” … Read More

My Theology is Getting More Complex – My Faith Is Growing More Simple

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Church Tradition, Creeds, Emergent Church, Postmodernity, Religion, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church, Theology

On Thursday evening I engaged with a long thread of discussion on my Facebook page about a post made by a popular author by the name of Jim Palmer. Jim lives in Nashville and is a former evangelical pastor who left the pastoral ministry several years ago. He writes some helpful and genuinely provocative stuff. I have not read his … Read More