This is John H. Armstrong's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following John H. Armstrong's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
John H. Armstrong
Interests: art, reading theology, philosophy, literature and biography. baseball, movies and walking.
Recent Activity
While I agree with you entirely I do wonder why faith expressed by sincere people draws such ire. Do we Christians deserve it at times? For sure. But what other subject draws this kind of fiery response and emotion? Perhaps politicians get this response too since we are so generally skeptical about them and their motives. And perhaps this is the general coarsening of culture. But perhaps this is what Jesus meant about the world hating us too. I tend to see all of those at work here and more. I know I deserve worse treatment if I am to be judged by my complete faithfulness to Jesus. As I have prayed for this stranger I have seen his face, heard his voice and asked the Father to pour out his grace and mercy upon him.
Daniel, this is not about establishing Shariah (sic) law. Sharia law would never become American law unless we denied our own Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We are not Europe. This is fundamentally what makes the situation here so interesting and more complex. This is also why we simply do not need anti-Sharia laws passed by states. It is really a question about of what a judge can appeal to in making a specific judgment about what is before him/her, period. I am not glossing over the issue of anyone's attempt to force Sharia law on the US. It can not and must not be done. Only if the US walks away from the First Amendment could it be conceivably done. I see nothing currently to suggest we (our courts) are doing this at all.
Really though, how often do you get to see the back of your head so clearly? Sorry, but I doubt anyone noticed. But now the cat is out of the bag my friend.
The distinction, in my understanding, between logos and rhema that you draw here is fraught with some serious problems. The revelation of God is THE Logos, who is Jesus the Christ. He is God's FINAL revelation and all present divine words lead us to THE WORD. Scripture witnesses to Him thus lectio divine is a learned method whereby reading the written word is used to see and listen to the living Word, Jesus. If this is what you mean then these two ideas agree. As for the use of the word "Rule" referring to legalism or "rule keeping" this is not remotely close to the meaning of Benedict. For him "Rule" meant seeing the rule as a "guide" to help people who were hungering for Jesus hear his voice in the word of Scripture by the power of human discipline linked with the ministry of the Spirit. God uses both and they are not opposed to one another. Reason and faith are never enemies but both are used by God to teach us. Faith transcends reason, thus it is higher, but it is never unreasonable or illogical. Faith is believing what we do not see but it is not against the mind's work to do this based upon who God is and what he has revealed to us in the mystery of the Trinity.
Jason, when governments turn "bids" into politics then the obvious result is a "bidding war." Then they sell to the bidder they like, prefer, etc. The private sector should operate on "bidding." It is a result of the free market. But when governments begin to do the same they try to act like private enterprise and the results will be bad. Just look at how we buy everything from weapons to insurance and note how the government politicizes this into a "bidding war" that is usually resolved by political means, not market means. I am a great proponent of the free market if you've read my blogs in the past. As for "green" and "environmental" issues I would say that liberals do not have a corner on this concern but a whole lot of conservatives show little or no concern at all. By the say it was a Catholic social theorist who taught me about governments and why they can not operate on the same principle as "bids" and "markets." They do not play on the same field.
Thank you for this encouraging word David. I am not aware of Communion and Liberation but will become so via this link. Thank you for it and for reading my blog. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ refresh us all as we seek after the Savior who purchased out redemption by his blood.
Hi Chris- Tis true, it was me. I worked with the producers and directors, who are young men in love with Christ, and they love me. What can I say? I had my "moment" of film fame. I love film so spending hours on a few minutes was a total blast. John
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2012 on A Prayer for Maundy Thursday at John H Armstrong
Thank you John and Chris. Chris, you have articulated a very important point and I'm thankful you shared it here with my readers. I really do wish more of us could "hear" what you're saying about our inherent oneness.
Thank you Greg. I actually do agree re: the need to approach communion/eucharist with much more care. To try and force this is mistake. I have long accepted the fact that I cannot commune in a Roman Catholic Church and do not unless invited, which also has happened. I long to see us at the Table but there are many things we can and should do even before we get to a common Table. You have helped my readers understand my spirit and concerns well.
How do you explain Cardinal Ratzinger giving the eucharist to Brother Roger at John Paul II's funeral Mass? It was done and in fact he was the first person communed on that occasion. It can be seen on the video if you watch. Brother Roger, like me, was a Reformed minister and never joined the Catholic Church contrary to various rumors and stories. Perhaps the practice reveals things not seen in theological statements on their own? I am yet to hear an adequate explanation of this observable fact. I'd be interested if you have one.
Renee, you read a lot into "recognize" the body when millions of non-Catholics agree it is the body and blood of Christ! It is loving to "fence" me from the Table because I am not agreeing with every word of Catholic teaching on the eucharist? I actually do not think you have represented the real reason the RCC excludes me and, by the way, there are contexts in which I can and have been invited to commune. Go figure.
Jason, If I really thought that I was (personally) the arbiter of "core orthodoxy" by my own definitions then I would be very nervous. I do not think that I am. I think I am embracing a core of what catholics, East and West, believed in the undivided church. I am not about to become a "source" of unity but hope I can be a signpost. While I see unity in the earlier creeds and the Holy Scripture I have always acknowledged openly that others require more, or less, to establish catholicity. Since I am not committed to minimalism as a helpful path I would always be willing to admit that God will lead us in different ways on this matter. John
Ironically, it was in a Puritan context, like that of Piper's view, where deism arose with a passion.
I have decided to post Devin Rose's review of my book here, on my blog spot, on Monday, March 12th. I will also make some comments about it, though not offer a highly detailed critique of all his points. I aim for fairness and a generous spirit and hope this response will accomplish that end. The ultimate end is God's glory which comes by revealing his love in Jesus Christ. This brother has responded to me seriously and carefully. I will honor that and thus will link to his review and give you a bit of my thinking about his review and my missional-ecumenism and why we differ.
As I've already noted I will post this review on my Facebook page. I am very pleased if readers of the blog, and not of my Facebook page, wish to read this review as Chris has clearly done. For the record, Chris has rightly understood my viewpoint and represented it quite well in his response to Devin. My greatest disappointment with Devin's review is that he does not seem to recognize the very "real gains" in doctrine that Chris points up, especially on justification by faith through grace. The Lutheran-Catholic Accord is testimony to real progress without any liberal sell-out on either side. Devin has given us a good critique from a strong Catholic position that I think misses the amazing gains of true ecumenism. This is not to undermine his character regarding every point that he makes but to frame his points in a context that makes my ecumenism very different than his own. I hope this helps. It also underscores why I do not review such reviews. I would be doing that for days if I started a response. It would then lead to one door to go through and then another and another. We can go "back and forth" (graciously I would hope) but I do not think this serves the ecumenism I engage in daily and am called by God to pursue. It would only reveal how and where Devin and I disagree and in the end it would likely make for interesting apologetical debate/discussion. I thus pass on this approach again and again for the reasons that my whole life and ministry speak to everywhere else. Thanks Chris for taking the time to respond carefully. You have invested a great deal into this ecumenical conversation and thus you grasp my thoughts pretty well. :-)
Thank you Bryan. I have read Devin Rose's fine review. I have responded to him personally and thanked him. I will likely post it on my Facebook page. I will not, however, review a review. It is never normal practice for authors to do this unless they agree to enter a review and counter-review agreement process in advance. (I have done this a few times.) I cannot review the reviews of my book(s) since it would begin a process that would eat hours and hours of time. I respect such good/fair reviews by encouraging everyone to read them. He has written the best conservative, traditional Catholic reply to my book that I have read. His tone is measured and his spirit is Christ-like. I respect him and obviously agree with some points and disagree with others. Thanks for the reference and for your kindness.
Chris Criminger makes reference to a book that I would love to read. I share this view of storms and natural occurrences. This does not make God less sovereign but rather means that he is free of external control and faithfully defined by His great love. Is God angry and hostile towards us, all of us or even some of us? Or is he loving and merciful? Your answer to these questions must precede everything else that you say about God. In Jesus we have the answer clearly written in bold letters. "God is love." Only when you have said this should you speak, with utter seriousness, about judgment in the next age. And that judgment will be rendered by the man Christ Jesus, not you and me. Our problem is that we keep telling the world that God is primarily about judgment. John 3:16-17 profoundly altered this thinking for me about 20 years ago.
What a wonderful and thoughtful response Ed. Fr. Rohr has become a guide to me and I feel as if I know him though we've not yet met. We do have mutual friends and I read him with much joy and profit personally. The idea of action and contemplation speaks deeply to me
Jack, I do not completely understand your point. There is, of course, no "The Protestant Church." But churches whose lineage and theology is Protestant are called Protestant churches or denominations. You can, of course, join such a church.
A most insightful comment my friend Chris. I agree with you on all points.
Bob, I encourage you to read the reply from Adam Shields above and to read Fr. Sirico's comments in a broader light. He, nor I, would refute what you say but we believe Christians tend to see everything as the half empty glass when we should look for God's hand in the foreboding news of out time.
It is called Mason Temple because of Bishop Mason, who was not Masonic.
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2012 on Christian Churches Together at John H Armstrong
John, while I still believe what I wrote above your statement is very helpful to me. I think it comes down to whether or not certain practices of adoration are warranted or not. As for receiving the elements in mystery I have stated my faith in the real presence clearly. Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2012 on I Am the Bread of Life at John H Armstrong
John, as you might guess this statement goes far beyond the statements of Jesus, moving into very specifically conditioned interpretation, that I do not see as necessary. I know the Catholic Church says otherwise, thus creating what I see as a barrier to full communion with me and others like me who do see the real presence in the elements but would not use this language. I do not so much protest the language used as I see it as theological development not called for by the words of Scripture or the Fathers. The Orthodox Church would not use these words either but sees Jesus as really present in the meal.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2012 on I Am the Bread of Life at John H Armstrong