Acton Institute Powerblog

Video: John Mark Reynolds on beauty and the destruction of the individual

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:

John Mark Reynolds

On April 27th, we were pleased to welcome John Mark Reynolds, president of the St. Constantine School, to speak on the topic of “Beauty and the Destruction of the Individual” as part of the 2017 Acton Lecture Series.

According to Reynolds, starting in the late-Victorian period, American society began to question the existence of beauty, and over time our culture accepted the notion that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Despite warnings by writers such as C.S. Lewis, Christians had adopted this idea by the mid-1950’s. Early on this move was seen as freeing to the individual, but in fact, the loss of objective beauty led many Christian to adopt a reactive and statist solution to cultural problems. Reynolds argues that there are good philosophical and theological reasons to return to objective beauty and even better cultural ones.

You can view his entire presentation via the video player below.

For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles DVD

For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles DVD

For the Life of the World is an entertaining film series that explores the deeper meaning of Salvation. Have you ever wondered, “What is my Salvation actually FOR?” Is it only about personal atonement, about getting to heaven, or something that comes later? Is it just to have a “friend in Jesus?”

Join Evan Koons and his friends – Stephen Grabill, Amy Sherman, Anthony Bradley, Makoto Fujimura, John M. Perkins, Tim Royer and Dwight Gibson – as they discover a “new perspective,” the BIGGER picture of what it means to be “in the world, not of it.” This seven-part film series will help you, your friends, church or organization investigate God’s Economy of All Things – OIKONOMIA (a Greek word that has a lot to say about God’s plan for his creation, the world, and us.)

Explore how God’s purposes are woven into every area of our lives: family, work, art, charity, education, government, recreation and all creation! The Bible calls us Strangers and Pilgrims, living in "the now and not yet" of God’s Kingdom Come on earth. We are also called to be salt and light, to have a transforming presence among our neighbors. Rediscover the role of the church and how our lives lived on earth matter in God’s plan for the world.

Designed for deep exploration, the series invites viewers to watch the series again for new insights. Also, check out the companion Field Guide to jump-start group and individual investigation and enhance the film experience! FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD Field Guides are available in print or via streaming access at

2nd Edition

Marc Vander Maas