"A Bible and a Radio, But No Church"

John ArmstrongSacraments, Social Networking, The Church

One of the leading evangelical and ecumenical theologians of our time is Thomas C. Oden. Tom turned 80 last fall and continues to write magnificent works that serve the wider catholic community. He has provided the church with a fresh treasure of magnificent written work that will survive him by decades. You can sample something of Tom's story, a story … Read More

A Reformed Liturgy for Communion

John ArmstrongReformed Christianity, Sacraments, The Church

I am often amazed at just how little some Christians understand their own church and the theology that church affirms. This is particularly true with regard to the understanding many in the Reformed churches have of communion. Very few Reformed Christians realize that John Calvin actually held this meal in very high regard. He believed it was more than a … Read More

We Are All Part of the One Loaf

John ArmstrongSacraments, Unity of the Church

I am particularly interested in the metaphors and images the New Testament uses to show us exactly how the church is one. I confess I have previously paid too little attention to 1 Corinthians 10:17. “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.” The church is not only one … Read More

The Passing of the Peace

John ArmstrongLiturgy, Sacraments, Unity of the Church

When I began to understand ancient liturgical practice some years ago one of the more beautiful discoveries was “The Passing of the Peace.” I had never heard the term until I was introduced to the practice in a liturgical context. Like everything else I encounter in the practice of worship I wanted to know what this term really meant and … Read More

Why I Changed My View on Infant Baptism

John ArmstrongSacraments, The Church

A few months ago a friend, who had been a Baptist and then became a Presbyterian, asked me for a short answer as to why and how I had changed my view of baptism (which had been the view that baptism was by immersion of believers only). The answer I gave him was “short” and thus will not satisfy those … Read More

Holy Thursday

John ArmstrongChurch History, Church Tradition, Jesus, Sacraments, Spirituality, The Church

Today is Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday. Historically the liturgies of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week do not differ much at all but today the week changes. Liturgically, Lent ends with the Eucharist on this day. This day is the first day of what has been called the Easter Triduum, the three-day period which solemnly celebrates the greatest … Read More

Lent and the Development of the Catechumenate

John ArmstrongChurch History, Church Tradition, Sacraments, The Church

I sometimes am drawn into discussion about immediate baptism. Based on several accounts we have in the New Testament some Christians believe that as soon as a person professes faith in Jesus Christ they should be immediately baptized. Some traditions even insist that this be done so that a person who has believed will be sealed with the baptismal water … Read More