An Interview with John Michael Talbot, Author of ‘Desert Dangers and Delights”: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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14 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Well done, Duane.
    You can tell that JMT is a teacher at heart…he explained those words I didn’t know very well!

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks. It’s always fun doing a piece like this I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around the idea that JMT and I have been friends for 44 years… it seems impossible.

  3. bob1 says:

    Wow, great job, Duane!

    I’ve always loved John Michael and his music and writings.. I read his book on The Jesus Prayer a couple of years back and really learned a lot.

    I was saddened when a concert (tour?) venue with him and Michael
    Card (I’m a big fan) was cancelled, I think it was back in the 90s, in
    the Southwest.. I heard the evangelicals were the ones to cancel. Apparently they allowed fear to take over.

  4. Em says:

    Evangelicals seem to have a lot of power from what i read here… too bad such good label has been attached to some, evidently, bad actors

  5. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks! Yes, strange things happened as some reacted to John’s embrace of Catholicism. There’s a lot of fear out there…

  6. Duane Arnold says:


    There are “bad actors” in all of our tribes… I think the label was stolen. I hope someone will steal it back.

  7. Jean says:

    A suggestion in particular that I applaud is the following:

    “JMT: Don’t just be a “none” or “done.” Make a radical break from the things in our life that keep us from following Jesus, and provide an environment to support that break, individually and communally, in order to renew our polarized world and Church.”

    If the culture continues to move in an anti-Christian direction, the Benedict option may be something not that we choose, but that is done to us.

  8. Duane Arnold says:


    It’s always an option, but lately I’ve been wondering… I work with a few young clergy, most in their first parish. All are trying to grow churches. All are trying to gain “visibility” for their church. So, I asked one if he offered services or did visitation at any of the 12 assisted care/nursing homes within a five minute driving radius of the church. “No”, was the answer. I asked if he had thought about a monthly “theology on tap” session at a local brew pub. “Who would ask to attend”, he enquired. I suggested as his church was in a somewhat hipster area, he might invite people living in the 16 apartment complexes that were within walking distance!

    This is to say, the retreat to the desert or the Benedict Option is merely the first step of preservation and deepening our faith. The second step is to offer what we have learned and experienced to others…

  9. Em says:

    Dr. Duane @12:33
    Good advice, but sad that it was needed… Perhaps we all need a time apart to grow, but that growth then needs to be on display.. .. even if it meets a hostile audience
    It is difficult to focus on pleasing God in this world – speaking from my experience – but vital nonetheless

  10. pstrmike says:

    Thanks for this.

    “Don’t just be a “none” or “done.” Make a radical break from the things in our life that keep us from following Jesus, and provide an environment to support that break, individually and communally, in order to renew our polarized world and Church. ”

    Pure gold…….

    The balance between solitude and community, the active life with the contemplative is an important concept to grasp and maintain. Many do not understand what it means to live a healthy, spiritual ice that is connected to God. The early fathers and mothers, in a collective sense, modeled the process for us.

  11. Duane Arnold says:


    Great observation! My friend, Glenn Kaiser, used the interview at starting point for continuing this very sort of balance…

  12. Fluke says:

    Good stuff!
    Duane am somewhat disconcerted about scuttlebutt going around our church. Apparently pastors can receive an accredited Masters from a well respected Christian college without going through the years of classes and cost that am sure you and others have endured? If this is true it might make a good subject to address on this blog site!

  13. Duane Arnold says:


    We’ve said a bit about this in other posts, but we may address it in a more specific way in the future…

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