About this blog

Hi folks. I’m Chris Armstrong (Ph.D., Duke University), church historian, educator, currently [previously – really – see below] founding director of Opus: The Art of Work at Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

This blog is structured around three courses I taught at Bethel Seminary (St Paul, MN) during my 10 years there (2004 – 2014). The first two have become books:

Patron Saints for Postmoderns–a loving “group biography” of ten people we should know who are part of our faith heritage.

Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians–CS Lewis thought medieval faith provides antidotes to modern malaises. So do I. These are eight themes in medieval faith that can help us today.

Resources for Radical Living–reflections on living the compassionate life, the prophetic life, the penitential life, the devotional life, and the communal life.

And yes, I like the word “for” a lot. It appeals to my good old American evangelical pragmatism. We’re not interested in anything until we know what it’s FOR.

Patron Saints for Postmoderns was published in fall 2009 by InterVarsity Press. You can find a copy of it here. I explain why I think we’re all postmoderns, and we all need patron saints, here. And Scot McKnight led a discussion on it in fall 2009 here and here. (He actually blogged on every chapter! Thanks Scot.)

Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians: Finding Authentic Faith in a Forgotten Age was published in spring 2016 by Baker/Brazos.

I’ve also written over 70 articles as the former managing editor of Christian History magazine and contributing writer to Christianity Today, Leadership Journal, www.christianhistory.net, and other publications.

UPDATE as of January 2011: Christian History magazine lives again–at least for one print issue–#100, on the King James Bible. I would love to see CH enjoy many more years of publication (and I am putting my money where my mouth is by serving as managing editor). If you would like a free copy of this issue and are perhaps interested in receiving the magazine regularly, please see this post. [Editor’s note – it’s still alive and going strong in 2016! To check out full-color issues online and subscribe for free, go to www.christianhistorymagazine.org.]

My research and teaching interests include the holiness, Pentecostal, and charismatic movements; a usable medieval past; the “Inklings” authors; religion and emotion; evangelical spirituality; faith, work & economics; human flourishing; and the “ancient-future” and “new monastic” movements within evangelicalism. [I would now, May 2022, add to this list Christian humanism. Working on a book on that theme.]

Here’s a more detailed recent bio (as of Jan 2016):

Chris R. Armstrong (M.A. Gordon-Conwell 1994, PhD Duke University 2003) is an educator with 10 years of experience as a professor of church history. He now directs Opus: The Art of Work at Wheaton College and serves at Wheaton as a faculty member in biblical and theological studies. After completing his B.A. in religious studies in the mid-eighties, Chris worked for eight years in business communications and journalism in his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Decades later (2012-13), Chris became founding director of the Work with Purpose initiative at Bethel Seminary (St Paul), dedicated to helping seminarians both to understand the kingdom value of ordinary work and to help others overcome the faith-work divide. Chris is author of two books and senior editor of Christian History magazine (www.christianhistorymagazine.org).

And here’s a bio up-to-date as of May, 2022:

Dr. Chris R Armstrong is an educator, academic entrepreneur, author, editor, and church historian (Duke Ph.D., Gordon-Conwell M.A.). He currently serves as Program Fellow in Faith, Work, and Economics for the Kern Family Foundation (WI). He taught from 2004 to 2013 at Bethel Seminary (MN), where he founded and directed the Work with Purpose initiative. From 2014 to 2018 he served as faculty member and founding director of the Opus faith & vocation initiative at Wheaton College (IL). His Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians: Finding Authentic Faith in a Forgotten Age with C S Lewis (Brazos, 2016) retrieves the Christian humanism of the Middle Ages. He is working on a new book tentatively titled Fully Human: A Brief History of Faith & Flourishing, which will draw theological and spiritual lessons from foundational Christian engagements in major sectors of human work, from science and the arts to healthcare and law. Chris serves as Senior Editor of Christian History magazine (www.christianhistorymagazine.org) and blogs at gratefultothedead.com. He enjoys playing tabletop games with friends, listening to jazz, and improving his jazz piano skills.

24 responses to “About this blog

  1. Cristina Szyszko

    Dr. Armstrong,
    I am pleased to stumble upon your blog in a google search about doubting the faith. As a student of rhetorical theories, I am bombarded with questions that challenge my perceptions of God, the sacredness of His Word, and the credibility of the church. The more scholarly my passionate exploration becomes, the more holes I reluctantly find in Christianity. I don’t wish this psychological jar on anybody. Despite the overwhelming contradictions I am entertaining, I actively remind myself of how faithful God has been when I pursued Him in past trials. I’ll be fishing around here for a while.
    Thank you for making your research availible,
    Cristina Szyszko

  2. Pingback: Theology Around the Web in 60 Seconds - 10.10.10

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