Do Not Confuse Your Plans with God’s

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Culture, Current Affairs, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Politics, Religion, Renewal, The Future1 Comment

One of the most persistent problems I face, as both a Christian thinker and leader, is to confuse my plans with God’s plans. I seek God, I pray, and I read widely and study a great deal. I often see a clear way forward, at least sometimes. I sometimes feel quite sure I know what God wants. But my plans … Read More

The Life and Last Days of a Saint: Dr. Ben Campbell Johnson

John ArmstrongEvangelism, Love, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Spirituality15 Comments

Dr. Ben Campbell Johnson, a Presbyterian minister, and author, served as Professor of Evangelism and Director of Spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia (1981-2000). Since his retirement at CTS Ben has been a professor emeritus and taught many classes, written more books, and touched countless lives. I read several Ben Johnson books decades ago. Several of his better books are … Read More

Does What We Sing Matter to the Faith of the Church?

John ArmstrongACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Liturgy, Music, Personal, Prayer, Protestantism, Renewal, Spirituality19 Comments

Since the 1970s we have had a raging debate about singing and music in the church. This debate has often come down to “traditional” music, or (old) hymns, versus “modern,” or popular music. The real truth is that the great influence on church music has been a combination of the charismatic influence, much of which is good in directing our … Read More

Are You Ready to Become an Empowered Missional-Ecumenist?

John ArmstrongACT 3, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Theology, Unity of the Church13 Comments

Since 2013, I have trained almost fifty people in how to become bold risk-takers for unity in Christ’s mission. In addition, I have taught about 10-15 graduate students. The number is not large but the impact can be immense if the Holy Spirit uses this experience to ignite a fire in his people. I am persuaded that great things do … Read More

A Week of Major Surprises and a Profound Challenge

John ArmstrongACT 3, Personal13 Comments

Last week became the kind of week that we all think about if, sometimes for only a fleeting moment, if we are honest. Yet we all hope that we will never face a big medical challenge. But one way or the other, unless we die a sudden death, we will all face major medical issues that will challenge us to … Read More

The Passing of My Friend Joseph F. Girzone

John ArmstrongACT 3, Biblical Theology, Christ/Christology, Death, Discipleship, Faith, Jesus, Love, Personal10 Comments

Several years ago I shared the story of how I met Fr. Joseph F. Girzone (1930-2015). I had read Joe’s wonderful book, Jesus: A New Understanding of God’s Son (New York: Doubleday, 2009). I simply loved it. Frankly, it changed my life in many profound ways. I wrote my first ever review on Amazon and as a result someone showed it … Read More

A Common Struggle – An Uncommonly Fine Book

John ArmstrongBooks, Current Affairs, Personal, Psychology, Spirituality21 Comments

Patrick J. Kennedy, the former congressman and youngest child of Senator Ted Kennedy, recently appeared in an interview on the award-winning news broadcast, “CBS 60 Minutes.” The interview that Kennedy gave so intrigued me that I decided to read his new best-selling book, A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Illness and Addiction (New York: … Read More

Pope Francis and the Faith of Non-Christians

John ArmstrongACT 3, Current Affairs, Evangelism, Interfaith Relations and Dialogue, Islam, Jesus, Personal, Pope Francis, Religion, Roman Catholicism6 Comments

On Friday, September 25, Pope Francis visited Ground Zero in New York City to pay respect for life and to pray for healing and peace. Many Christians have expressed dismay that the pope did not mention the name of Jesus at this occasion. Some have specifically stated that he actually proved that he was a religious pluralist who does not … Read More

Jimmy Carter: A Full Life

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Books, Civil Rights, Current Affairs, Ethics, History, Leadership, Personal, Spirituality, The Church30 Comments

Like so many I have had a mixture of feelings and responses to President Jimmy Carter over the years. It seems to me that most critics, left and right, have freely attributed to him the label of “poor president” or “political failure.” I wonder what history, long after his death, will actually say. Many thought that Harry Truman was a … Read More