Learning from Lord Mackay: The Role of Two Kingdoms in the Christian Public Life

John ArmstrongBooks, Church Tradition, Culture, Current AffairsLeave a Comment

I am regularly asked to review books. I have the far too little time to undertake most of these requests. But such is the opportunity of authors who have many friends who are also authors. When I can, and if the subject of the book interests me, I try to read my friends’ books and write short reviews. Thus I … Read More

Hearts and Minds Book Notes

John ArmstrongACT 3, Biblical Theology, BooksLeave a Comment

One of my good friends is Byron Borger, the owner/manager of Hearts and Minds Books in Pennsylvania. Byron regularly prepares a great review of a wide array of books. I encourage you to read his reviews (which you can get by email) and buy books from him. Yes, you can buy books for a larger discount at Amazon but Byron … Read More

How Could Tyranny Destroy Our Democracy?

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Books, Culture, Current Affairs, Free Speech, Freedom, History, Ideology, Philosophy, Politics, Pope Francis, The FutureLeave a Comment

Political scientists and historians are increasingly expressing profound concerns about the future of democracy in the West. I have been asking, as an amateur historian of America, “How and why do democracies die?” The study of democratic backsliding, though around for a long time, is becoming more urgent as we watch events unfold so rapidly it creates deep concern in … Read More

On Reading Fiction in 2016

John ArmstrongBooks, Culture, Current Affairs, Fiction, Israel2 Comments

Daniel Silva has been called one of our generation’s finest writers of international intrigue, a spy novelist extraordinaire. I was introduced to one of Silva’s novels by a pastor friend several years ago. I confess the book he recommended was so compelling, haunting, and brilliant that I could hardly put it down. I finished it in just a few days. … Read More

“I tweet, therefore I am!”

John ArmstrongAdvent, Books, Friendship, Love, SpiritualityLeave a Comment

It seems difficult to imagine, but there was once a time when human beings did not feel the need to share every waking moment with hundreds of millions, even billions, of complete and utter strangers. If one went to a shopping mall to purchase an article of clothing, one did not post minute-by-minute details on a social networking site; and if one … Read More

A Common Struggle – An Uncommonly Fine Book

John ArmstrongBooks, Current Affairs, Personal, Psychology, Spirituality21 Comments

Patrick J. Kennedy, the former congressman and youngest child of Senator Ted Kennedy, recently appeared in an interview on the award-winning news broadcast, “CBS 60 Minutes.” The interview that Kennedy gave so intrigued me that I decided to read his new best-selling book, A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Illness and Addiction (New York: … Read More

Jimmy Carter: A Full Life

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Books, Civil Rights, Current Affairs, Ethics, History, Leadership, Personal, Spirituality, The Church30 Comments

Like so many I have had a mixture of feelings and responses to President Jimmy Carter over the years. It seems to me that most critics, left and right, have freely attributed to him the label of “poor president” or “political failure.” I wonder what history, long after his death, will actually say. Many thought that Harry Truman was a … Read More

Reading Maya Angelou

John ArmstrongBooks, Civil Rights, Culture, Current Affairs, Freedom, History, Marriage & Family, Personal, Race and Racism6 Comments

I owe a debt of profound gratitude to my friend Vill Harmon (second from left in this photo with my good friends and two ACT3 board members). Vill is the secretary in the office of Ecumenical and Interreligious for the Archdiocese of Chicago. In July (2015) Vill and I shared a conversation about our background, especially in terms of race … Read More

Blogs and My Public Life

John ArmstrongACT 3, Books, Current Affairs, Film, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Renewal, The Church, The Future25 Comments

For almost a decade I have blogged on a regular basis. Initially, I found this medium an exciting and developing way to share my thoughts and reflect on biblical theology, culture and current events. Over time I found that writing blogs seven days a week was so demanding that I had to reduce my blogs to five times per week. … Read More

Difficult Men: Why Did Cable Television Produce So Many Great Works of Popular Art? Part 2

John ArmstrongBooks, Culture, Current Affairs, Film, Personal, TelevisionLeave a Comment

Brett Martin identifies a first burst of literary energy in 1950s television (when the medium was young) and a second that came in the 1980s (when the forward-thinking television executive Grant Tinker’s MGM Enterprises begat the groundbreaking Hill Street Blues). These are followed by the “Third Golden Age,” beginning with The Sopranos. This story is at least half the content of … Read More