Meet the team: Chris Armstrong
How long have you been at CHI, and what is your role?
My first role at CH came in 2002–2004, when I became managing editor while the magazine was stewarded by Christianity Today International. In 2008 the print magazine went on hiatus and was picked up again by the founding Christian History Institute in 2010. At that point I helped to build a new “virtual team” and acted as managing editor for issues 100–104. Ever since, I’ve served as senior editor, a lighter-duty consulting role.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I love the senior editor role. I explain it to people as “doing the fun parts”: suggesting issue topics, helping to dream up issue plans in consultation with scholar-experts and our editorial team, and occasionally finding organizational and funding partners for issues. It involves my favorite things: working with ideas and stories, working with great people who are smarter than me, and building new things.
What do you most wish readers knew?
I wish they knew that our great-commission vocation to preach Christ and make disciples and our Genesis vocation to cultivate, keep, and have dominion in the world are both part of the One Big Thing God has always been doing among us. They are two facets of the commandment to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
God created the church for the same reason he created the world: for the flourishing of all nations and all people. The gospel, as Lesslie Newbigin said, is “public truth” or “the truth for the whole world.” It addresses us as whole human beings—not “souls on sticks”—and as the whole world—not the “holy huddle.” It is intimately concerned with every dimension of human need, human longing, and human activity. “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16–17). There is no sacred-secular divide.
This is not just a “nice-to-know.” The longer I live, the more I see the church in the West, having fallen into thinking that there is such a divide, losing purpose, fruitfulness, and (increasingly) members. And though the history of the church has its grim stretches of brokenness, much in church history also shows the dynamism, growth, and flourishing of a church and world influenced by this older, truer vision of the gospel.
What do you do in your spare time?
My what? When I can: I play jazz piano; listen (constantly) to jazz and (during commutes) to epic fantasy audiobooks; swim; travel; and especially enjoy time with my family—including the furry four-legged members. CH
By Chris Armstrong and the editor
[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #147 in 2023]
Editors note: Everyday life in the early church
The Christian faith denied a central organizing principle of the Roman state.Jennifer Woodruff Tait
A day in the life
What did it feel like to be a follower of the Way at the very beginning?James L. Papandrea
The “pious poor” and the “wicked rich”
Early Christian discipleship around money, wealth, and charityHelen Rhee
“To life, not to luxury”
In the late second-century work The Instructor, Clement of Alexandria has thoughts about how Christians ought to eat dinnerClement of Alexandria, translated by William Wilson, Ante Nicene Fathers, vol. 2
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