Difficult Men: Why Did Cable Television Produce So Many Great Works of Popular Art? Part 1

John ArmstrongBooks, Culture, Current Affairs, Film, Personal, Television12 Comments

As a true fan of what Brett Martin calls “The Third Golden Age” of television I devoured his new book, Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Man Men and Breaking Bad. I devoured the book by listening to Martin’s work as an audio book. Listening to a book in its … Read More

The Great Degeneration

John ArmstrongBooks, Current Affairs, Economy/Economics, Personal8 Comments

What causes rich countries to lose their way? Obvious symptoms of decline, in the West in general and America in particular, abound: slowing growth, crushing debts, increasing inequality, aging populations, antisocial behavior. A significant number of social critics will agree that these are the general symptoms of cultural shifts in the West but few will agree on what has actually … Read More

The Moravian Daily Texts and My Contemplative Practice in 2014

John ArmstrongBooks, Church History, Discipleship, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Prayer, Renewal, Spirituality12 Comments

A dear friend, Gerald Stover (PA), gave me a lovely gift at the Luminosa Award ceremony in June. I have used this gift, The Moravian Daily Texts, regularly in 2014. Most historians agree that the Moravian Church, which began as a renewal movement within the Catholic Church, was started through the work of a Catholic priest named Jan Hus (the … Read More

Visions of Vocation

John ArmstrongApologetics, Books, Culture, Current Affairs, Discipleship, Ethics, Ideology, Kingdom of God, Philosophy, The Future24 Comments

Author Steven Garber wrote one of those rare modern books that I have read twice. Some years ago I developed an answer that I cleverly gave to folks who, upon seeing my immense library (before I sold nearly 15,000 books over the last few years), would gasp at my floor-to-ceiling library shelves and ask me, “Have you read all of … Read More

Leadership and the Proverbs

John ArmstrongBooks, Leadership4 Comments

As a result of my wide opportunities for travel, and through partnering with many different ministries, I am afforded the unique opportunity of meeting and making many new friends in a variety of contexts. On such friend is Dr. Robert Yost, author of the extremely useful book, Leadership Secrets from the Proverbs: An Examination of Leadership Principles from the Book … Read More

In Search of Deep Faith

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Books, Church History, Church Tradition, Current Affairs, Discipleship, Education, Emergent Church, Faith, Missional Church, Personal, The Christian Minister/Ministry, The Church10 Comments

I had the joy of meeting Dr. Jim Belcher some years ago when he pastored Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California. I cultivated a growing relationship with Jim, and his family, and spoke several times to his congregation. I was loved and honored and thus retain great memories of those days where Jim and I shared ministry together. Jim … Read More

Jefferson and Hamilton: The Greatest American Rivalry

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Books, History, Politics17 Comments

John Ferling, professor emeritus of history at the University of West Georgia, is a wonderful writer of history and biography. I know his name through his evocative treatments of major figures in early American history. His special interest has always been the War of Independence, and the more prominent figures of early American history. He has done it again in … Read More

The Emotive Cry for Community

John ArmstrongActon Institute, Books, Culture, Current Affairs, Economy/Economics, Ethics, History, Ideology, Personal, Philosophy, Politics, Poverty, Religion, Roman Catholicism, Wealth10 Comments

Michael Novak, in his stirring memoir of a journey from left to right, devotes an entire chapter to community, as I noted yesterday. He writes: “One of life’s most time-consuming tasks is to achieve disagreement with an ideological opposite. Without blinking, you might object; ‘It’s not had to disagree. Heck! Most people do it all the time” (282). But aren’t … Read More

From Socialism to Capitalism – A Move That Cost Michael Novak Friends and Prestige

John ArmstrongActon Institute, Books, Business, Culture, Current Affairs, Economy/Economics, Ethics, Ideology, Money & Stewardship, Philosophy, Religion, Roman Catholicism, Wealth22 Comments

Michael Novak, author of the memoir Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative (Basic Books, 2013), writes eloquently of how he became disillusioned with the “new” versions of the old Keynesian liberalism of the 1970s. This economic view promoted government spending to excess in order to stimulate the economy and create jobs. The core belief was … Read More

Michael Novak: On Forming Good Intellectual and Spiritual Habits

John ArmstrongACT 3, Acton Institute, Books, Culture, Current Affairs, Ethics, Free Speech, Freedom, Money & Stewardship, Personal, Politics, Religion13 Comments

Michael Novak, not to be confused with the late conservative journalist Robert Novak, has been (rightly I believe) described as “one of the world’s most influential social philosophers.” He has played a number of prominent roles in American life, ranging from advising candidates and presidents to teaching and writing on the ethics of the free market and welfare reform. He … Read More