One of the Most Joyful Weeks in My Remembrance

John ArmstrongACT 3, American Evangelicalism, Current Affairs, Jesus, Love, Missional-Ecumenism, Personal, Pope Francis, Protestantism, Religion, Renewal, Roman Catholicism, Television, The Church, Unity of the Church14 Comments

As I sit this evening at my computer I am  amazed. For five days every newscast and commentator has responded the visit of Pope Francis to America with such joy and positive energy. From every perspective, including the most non-religious journalists and broadcasters, people have talked about the pope but in doing so they have talked a great deal about … 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

“Sanctuary” – A Chicago ABC Television Broadcast on the ACT3 Network Story

John ArmstrongACT 3, Missional-Ecumenism, Television, The Church, The Future, Unity of the Church42 Comments

ABC television, Channel 7, in Chicago broadcast a special twenty-eight minute program called “Sanctuary,” that was devoted to the ACT3 story and to my life and work for missional-ecumenism. This program aired yesterday, March 22. Today you can see the entire program on our home page as well as here on my blog and Facebook page. I hope that you will … Read More

God, the Ebola Crisis and the American Response

John ArmstrongCulture, Current Affairs, Death, Divine Providence, Ethics, Love, Personal, Politics, Television, The Church15 Comments

You cannot escape it even if you try. The Ebola outbreak dominates the news cycle day-after-day right now. So long as this virus impacts even one American millions of Americans will keep on watching this endless reporting. Once it dies down, at least in terms of being a threat to the US, then we will soon forget about it. Meanwhile … Read More

The Moment That Changed America: My LIfe Fifty Years Later

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Culture, Current Affairs, Death, History, Personal, Politics, Television, The Future4 Comments

TIME magazine’s November 25 (2013) cover story says it as well as any single storyline I’ve read the last two weeks: “The Moment That Changed America.” That moment, the assassination of our 35th president, John F. Kennedy, occurred fifty years ago today at 12:30 p.m. CST in Dallas, Texas. If you were alive at the time, and old enough to … Read More

Leisure, Popular Culture and the Modern Moment

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Culture, Current Affairs, Film, Games, Personal, Television, The Church4 Comments

Any serious thinking about popular culture must take into account the amount of time we have to spend in the sphere of modern culture. Steve Turner rightly concludes: “It’s hard to argue that the Bible is a source of guidance when dealing with such areas of life as money, marriage, family, relationships, work, worship and prayer but has nothing useful … Read More

Glorifying God in Our Cultural Pursuits

John ArmstrongAmerican Evangelicalism, Biblical Theology, Culture, Film, Kingdom of God, Television, Theology6 Comments

Last week I asked a much-debated question raised by the patristic theologian Tertullian: “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” I observed that Tertullian was primarily concerned about what role philosophy had in dealing with the Christian faith. The same question, as I showed previously, can be applied to popular culture. What place does Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue … Read More

Boyd Crowder: Justified or Apostate?

John ArmstrongAmerica and Americanism, Religion, Television

You can gain wisdom from a lot of sources. Now and then a script writer for a television show actually speaks truth more powerfully than many of the children of the light. (I have no idea about the faith of the script writer so do not assume I am making a specific statement about someone else here!) Let me explain … Read More

The Mentalist: My Favorite Current Television

John ArmstrongTelevision

I sometimes share reviews of popular movies, both dramas and action films. I am not a serious film critic but do have an “eye” for credible films, or so I think. I have also done a review or two about a television series, e.g. MI-5 and Foyle’s War both come to mind (Both are BBC productions.). In the spirit of … Read More