The revived Christian History magazine gets some press . . . and keep your eye out for the “Handbook of Christian Thought on Hell”!

Nice of Bethel University to recognize the re-starting of Christian History magazine. Yesterday Bethel posted the following on their internal website. Note the upcoming handbook (July) and issue (September) listed at the end of the article. The CH team is excited to be bringing them to readers; if you’re not on the mailing list, visit and you can get on.

I’m especially excited about the little “Christian History Handbook of Christian Thought on Hell” that the intrepid Jennifer Trafton is putting together right now for printing next month. It will include a full timeline of Christian interpretations of the scriptural evidence on hell, profiles of key thinkers and their ideas, and a bibliography for further reading. (And I get to do the medieval profiles on folks like Anselm, Aquinas, and Dante.)

I hope many in the church who have been prompted by “the Rob Bell controversy” to look more deeply into this doctrine will find in this handbook a helpful guide to key ideas and sources. In keeping with Christian History‘s usual style, the handbook is intentionally descriptive rather than evaluative or argumentative (a rarity in this field), so, we hope, a particularly helpful resource for those looking for unbiased information on a controversial topic.

[UPDATE: Looks like the following is also on Bethel’s public website, here.]

Reviving Christian History

June 10, 2011 | 9 a.m.

By Heather Schnese

Chris Armstrong, professor of church history at Bethel Seminary
St. Paul, is managing editor of “Christian History” magazine

The magazine Christian History, formerly owned by Christianity Today International, ceased publication in 2008 due to recessionary pressures. But Christian History is now being published again thanks in part to Chris Armstrong, Bethel Seminary St. Paul’s professor of church history. 

Before arriving at Bethel in 2005, Armstrong served for several years as managing editor for the magazine. So when invited last fall by Christian History’s founding company, the Christian History Institute, to take the role once again, he jumped at the chance. By winter he had gathered a team of writers, editors, and designers, and in March the “re-inaugural” issue, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible’s first printing, was rolling off the presses.

Armstrong is excited to be editing the magazine once again. “Writing and editing for a popular audience meshes well with teaching,” he explains. “Both involve scholarly research, and both require taking complex information and presenting it in a clear, compelling, exciting way.”

David Neff, Christianity Today Media Group’s editor in chief and vice president, believes Armstrong is the right man for the job. “I saw him demonstrate over and over his belief that the history of the church is relevant to the life of the church,” says Neff. “That is what suits him to edit Christian History in its new chapter and also makes him a good teacher of future pastors. Also, Chris knows that history can be fun, and his playfulness is infectious.”

Next up for Christian History: A summer 2011 resource guide on the history of Christian thought about hell and a September 2011 issue on healthcare and hospitals in the mission of the church.


3 responses to “The revived Christian History magazine gets some press . . . and keep your eye out for the “Handbook of Christian Thought on Hell”!

  1. YES, I will. 🙂

  2. Dr. Armstrong,
    Congratulations on your achievements! It is very impressive, and I am excited for this new avenue for learning more about church history.
    Beverly Juhl
    (A former student)

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