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

What a Classic Movie Can Teach Us About the Church

John ArmstrongChurch Tradition, Culture, Current Affairs, Film, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church13 Comments

Today’s Guest Blogger is Dr. Dave Lescalleet Every year our family watches the 1952 classic movie The Quiet Man as a way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day.  This film, because of its Ireland location, is more and more associated with this national holiday.  The story, set in the 1920’s, stars John Wayne as retired American boxer Sean Thornton who returns … 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

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

Two Modern Films That Define Us as Americans, Part One

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, American Evangelicalism, Film, Immigration, The Church, The War on Terrorism20 Comments

I have not reviewed a movie here for many months, maybe for a year or more. I am not sure why this is true. I simply lost interest in film reviews I suppose. I’ve also seen some fairly bad movies in the last year. I think the Academy nominees for this year included some of the weakest films and performances … Read More

ACT3 Network Story Video (1)

John ArmstrongACT 3, Evangelism, Film, Missional Church, Missional-Ecumenism, My Christian Unity Story, Personal, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church9 Comments

For more than a year I have desired to present a well-done video that shares the vision of ACT3 Network as clearly as possible. Given the time span that people will give to viewing such a video online this presentation needed to be designed to run for less than five minutes. It also needed to feature some of our ACT3 friends, our “big” … Read More

For the Life of the World: The Classic Book and a New Video Series

John ArmstrongActon Institute, American Evangelicalism, Culture, Discipleship, Film, Personal, Renewal, The Church, The Future7 Comments

I have mentioned my friend Byron Borger at Hearts & Minds Books in several contexts. There is no better reviewer of good books than Byron. Everyone who values my blogs should subscribe to his newsletters and pay attention to his reviews and book specials. There is simply no better Christian resource for good books – at least in the Protestant world … Read More

Divergent: What To Do With the People Who Do Not Conform

John ArmstrongFilm, Personal, The Future1 Comment

The much anticipated science-fiction film Divergent opened this weekend to mixed reviews. Divergent is a thrilling action-adventure film set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based upon human virtues. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is warned, via a test given to every sixteen year-old, that she is divergent. This warning means that she will never fit into … Read More

Philomena – A Film That Reveals Gospel Grace and Forgiveness

John ArmstrongCurrent Affairs, Feminism & Women, Film, Forgiveness, Gospel/Good News, Personal, Roman Catholicism, Sexuality, The Church14 Comments

I saw the new movie Philomena last week. I was unprepared for how much this film would move me to the depths of my spirit. It is my “sleeper” film for 2013! I noted this weekend, with great joy, that it was nominated for the Golden Globe as “Best Picture.” (There are only five nominees. The Academy now has ten … Read More

Waiting for Another MLK – What Can We Do As Christians?

John ArmstrongACT 3, America and Americanism, Current Affairs, Film, Gospel/Good News, Kingdom of God, Missional Church, Race and Racism, The Church, The FutureLeave a Comment

My good friend Rev. Carlos Malave, the executive director of Christian Churches Together USA, shared a lovely meal with me in Louisville just a few weeks ago. Carlos was raised in the Seventh Day Adventist church but eventually became a Presbyterian minister. He was drawn to ecumenism while a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he was influenced by another … Read More