René Girard: The Passing of an Amazing and Iconic Thinker

John ArmstrongBiblical Theology, Culture, Hermeneutics, Philosophy, Religion, Roman Catholicism10 Comments

I think it is quite unlikely that many readers of this post know the life and thought of René Girard. I discovered him late in life, only about fifteen years ago. I found his work on human desire both insightful and brilliant. Agree or disagree with Girard’s thought he helped us rethink human desire, anthropology and sin. If you reject … Read More

James Martin Shows the Importance of the Pope’s Encyclical in Ten Ways

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Culture, Current Affairs, Environmentalism, Ethics, Ideology, Personal, Roman Catholicism, The Future4 Comments

Some readers know that I am a big fan of James Martin, the best-selling Jesuit author who is one of our most powerful Christian communicators today. Fr. Martin summarizes, in this short video, why the new papal encyclical is so important for all Christians.

Who Needs a “Jubilee of Mercy”?

John ArmstrongBiblical Theology, Forgiveness, God's Character, Jesus, Roman Catholicism, Spirituality11 Comments

“Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us.” Each one of us, many times during our lives, have raised our voices and cried, “Lord have mercy.” Mercy is the kind of forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly. From a Christian perspective, it is the gift that God or another person … Read More

The Lord’s Supper: A Roman Catholic and Reformed Evangelical Dialog (Video)

John ArmstrongACT 3, Biblical Theology, Church Tradition, Missional-Ecumenism, My Christian Unity Story, Personal, Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Sacraments, The Church18 Comments

Who should participate in the Lord’s Supper? How frequently should we observe it? What does this meal mean? What happens when we eat the bread and drink from the cup? What do Christians disagree about and what do they hold in common? These and other questions are explored in my book, Understanding Four Views of the Lord’s Supper. This volume in … Read More

The Wilderness and the Desert: Images for Christian Living?

John ArmstrongBiblical Theology, Church Tradition, Discipleship, Patristics, Personal, Spirituality, The Church24 Comments

Two of the most lasting images used by the Christian church to describe the spiritual life, especially among the desert fathers and mothers, are wilderness and the desert. Had I not learned these two images in the early 1990s I am not sure I would have profited so deeply from my own spiritual journey. First, the feeling of God’s absence … Read More

An Evening for Ecumenical Conversation @ St. Procopius Abbey

John ArmstrongACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Love, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, The Church, Unity of the ChurchLeave a Comment

On Monday, February 9, St. Procopius Abbey (Lisle, IL) hosted a wonderful evening gathering dedicated to Catholic-Evangelical ecumenism. Several hundred guests, representing scores of Catholic and Protestant parishes throughout the Chicago area, gathered to listen to two long-time friends engage in a ninety-minute conversation about Christian unity. Taking their cue from the current actions, and written initiatives, of Pope Francis … Read More

Debating Doctrine and Preserving Unity: What Conservative Christians Can Do (2)

John ArmstrongACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Love, Missional-Ecumenism, Orthodoxy, Personal, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church12 Comments

In the story that I related yesterday I ended with a friend who was teaching an adult class in his church and a couple that had quit attending because my friend did not embrace a six-day, twenty-four hour, recent creation of the earth. My friend asked me to pray as he responded to this relational breakup. After two weeks this … Read More

Debating Doctrine and Preserving Unity: What Conservative Christians Can Do (1)

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Love, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, The Church, Unity of the Church12 Comments

A very good friend, who is mature and wise from solid life experience, recently taught what he describes to me as “a somewhat ecumenical message in my adult Sunday School class (while unpacking the Greatest Commandment).” He told his class that when true believers disagree on peripheral matters we are to remember that we are in the family of God … Read More

The Way of Jesus (2)

John ArmstrongACT 3, Biblical Theology, Church History, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church30 Comments

We welcome once again Rev. Dr. George Byron Koch as our guest blogger. As the Church moved out from Israel into the surrounding cultures, and the leadership of the Church became more and more Gentile, this understanding of following the Way, which was very Jewish and rabbinic, changed into a process of analysis and proposition construction—the development of theology, doctrine and … Read More

The Way of Jesus (1)

John ArmstrongBiblical Theology, Church Tradition, Missional-Ecumenism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church5 Comments

We welcome Rev. Dr. George Byron Koch as our guest blogger for today and tomorrow. I remember the first time I learned that the early believers, long before they were called “Christians,” referred to themselves as followers of “the Way” of Jesus. I heard it as an apt and beautiful poetic metaphor—which I assumed they had invented for themselves. I have … Read More