Philip Schaff and the Unity of Christendom – Part Two

John ArmstrongACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Church History, Church Tradition, Creeds, Current Affairs, Missional-Ecumenism, Orthodoxy, Reformed Christianity, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church1 Comment

Last week I wrote about the unity of the church in light of my visit to Moody Bible Institute on December 3 and the dialogue that took place between Fr. Robert Barron and me before Moody students in Chicago. I then cited the work of the famous theologian Philip Schaff. I ended my final blog of the week last Thursday … Read More

Philip Schaff and The Unity of Christendom – Part One

John ArmstrongACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Church History, Church Tradition, Current Affairs, History, Kingdom of God, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Orthodoxy, Personal, Reformed Christianity, Roman Catholicism, The Church, The Future12 Comments

In the year in which he died (1893), Philip Schaff wrote what I take to be an extremely important piece on ecumenism with the title “The Reunion of Christendom.” It begins by quoting John 17:20–21 and then states the difficulty of the ecumenical problem by saying that the answer to the question the disciples asked Jesus, when they said – … Read More

A Meditation on Thanksgiving

John ArmstrongChurch History, Church Tradition, Culture, Current Affairs, Prayer, The Church3 Comments

Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a time of giving thanks for the blessings of the harvest and the preceding year. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. In America it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, which is today. (As you’ve no doubt noticed it is quite late this year.) The day is celebrated on the second … 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

The Depth & Extent of God’s Forgiveness Displayed in the Atonement – Part 2

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Christ/Christology, Church Tradition, Creeds, Forgiveness, God's Character, Gospel/Good News, Incarnation, Love4 Comments

Over the centuries theologians have developed numerous models for expressing the saving significance of Jesus’ death. We have sketched out several of these models, ever so simply I freely admit, in several blogs the past few weeks. I have concluded, along with Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, that: “No interpretation of the atonement can … Read More

The Atonement and the Grace of Forgiveness

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Church Tradition, Forgiveness, God's Character, Gospel/Good News, Love, The Church9 Comments

If you follow the idea of atonement that I began to develop yesterday, namely that the atonement is ultimately about divine forgiveness, then you can readily see that a payment is truly made to atone (lit: to make us one again). This payment, says Jim Danaher, is one that “God makes to himself, which means that he suffers the loss” … Read More

What Does Christ’s Victory Mean for Understanding His Death?

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Christ/Christology, Church Tradition, Death, God's Character, Gospel/Good News, Kingdom of God, Patristics, Personal, Postmodernity, The Church, The Future1 Comment

The New Testament is filled with material concerning the victory of Christ over the powers of evil, a victory finally accomplished, and announced, through his death and resurrection. One of the seminal texts that comes to mind here is in Matthew’s Gospel. 22 Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that … Read More

How the Enlightenment Took the Church Away from Jesus & Him Crucified

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Church Tradition, Faith, Gospel/Good News, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Patristics, Postmodernity, The Church, The Future12 Comments

The ancient church did not debate ideas about “appeasing the wrath of God through Christ’s death.” The Christ they worshiped, as we’ve seen, was the victor over the powers. They expressed this in their worship. This can also be discovered in their hymns, in baptism, in their preaching, at the eucharist, and in the recorded prayers of the earliest Christians. … Read More

How Shall We Understand the Atonement?

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Church History, Church Tradition, Jesus, Patristics, Reformed Christianity, The Church, Theology5 Comments

It must be stated, before we even consider several of the ways Christians have traditionally understood the atonement (the meaning of Christ’s death) and its relationship to our sin(s), that all Christians believe this great central truth – Christ’s death reconciles us to God. Whatever else you read, or think you hear me saying in the next few days, please … Read More

The Atonement Debate: “Why Did Christ Die?” Part 3

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Church Tradition, Death, God's Character, Jesus, The Church5 Comments

The centrality of Christ’s death on the cross has influenced everything we believe as Christians. Make no mistake about this simple fact. Even our language is influenced, giving us words like “crucial,” which literally means “pertaining to the cross.” When we say something is crucial we are making the point that this is central to our belief, argument or practice. … Read More