‘We Want to Help People Think Critically.’ PI’s Adam Holz Talks With MTV


At Plugged In, we talk about culture a lot. We review entertainment. We write these little blogs. We blather on in the occasional vodcast. But it’s a little more rare that we get an opportunity to speak directly to that culture. To chat with some folks who are most directly influenced by the very entertainment […]

Continue Reading

Tapping the Christian Movie Marketplace


What do Christians want from Christian movies? It’s a question that Hollywood just doesn’t quite know how to answer just yet. When The Passion of the Christ made gazillions of dollars (well, at least $370.8 million domestically), folks in the entertainment industry fell all over themselves trying to duplicate that success. Scads of explicitly Christian filmmakers […]

Continue Reading

Vodcast: Is the New Ben-Hur Better Than the Old Ones?


Judah Ben-Hur just gets better and better with age. And, depending on who you ask, the same is true of his movies. The latest retelling of Lew Wallace’s epic 1880 novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, limped through the box office during its opening weekend—perhaps not altogether unlike some of the horses in the […]

Continue Reading

The Olympics: Like Real Life, Only Better


Bad things happen. Even at the Olympics. Looking at this year’s games in Rio, you can point to any number of mistakes, accidents and bone-headed moves. Just ask Ryan Lochte. Or Al Trautwig. Or the technicians in charge of the Olympic diving pool. But sometimes, the Olympics transcend all that. They go beyond even their […]

Continue Reading

Vodcast: What Does the Bible Have to Say About Captain America: Civil War?


Captain America: Civil War is rolling in much more than cash these days. It’s also rolling in controversy. Not because of any external conflict, but because of the central conflict within the film itself. You see, people just can’t decide—even after seeing the flick—whether they should be Team Cap or Team Iron Man. As much as […]

Continue Reading

When Bono Met Eugene


Rock stars and theologians generally inhabit separate spheres of influence. But every now and then, their orbits intersect in unexpected ways. Such is the case with Bono, frontman for U2, and Eugene Peterson, the pastor and theologian who wrote The Message paraphrase. Bono has long been a fan of Peterson’s work translating Scripture not only […]

Continue Reading

American Idol’s Faithful (and Flirty) Legacy


American Idol wrapped up its awe-inspiring 15-season run on Fox last night, crowing a final Idol, Trent Harmon, in an emotional two-hour finale that featured just about everyone who’s ever been anyone on the show. Watching performances from a litany of former Idols who’ve legitimately become pop culture idols reinforced just how successful the show […]

Continue Reading

Vodcast: Miracles from Heaven and the Sticky Business of Message Movies


Some movies seem more interested in pushing a point than telling a story. You know the ones I’m talking about! Some of you hate them (with plenty of online comments proving it), but other people do enjoy “message” movies, and sometimes passionately so. So what is it about these films that get us riled up and push us […]

Continue Reading

Plugged In Vodcast: Risen, The Young Messiah and Exploring Jesus Beyond the Flannelgraph


What would Jesus do with his free time? The Young Messiah doesn’t ask that question, in particular, but it does explore what Jesus might’ve been like as a child outside of the stories told in the canonized Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It’s made no less controversial by the fact that it’s based on a […]

Continue Reading

What Lady Gaga Got Right—and Wrong—at the Oscars


Lady Gaga is one of Hollywood’s most enigmatic entertainers. One minute she’s wowing us with a heartfelt salute to legend Julie Andrews, the next she’s shocking us by wearing a meat dress or, in American Horror Story, wearing hardly anything at all. Her latest splash in the Hollywood spotlight came at last week’s Oscars, where […]

Continue Reading

Tap Dancing Around What Jesus Might Do at Sundance


When I speak to youth groups and churches on the subject of media discernment, I encourage audiences to consider asking themselves this question when making entertainment decisions: If Jesus and His 12 disciples were walking the face of this planet today—not 2,000 years ago—and one of His disciples, let’s say Matthew or Peter, came up […]

Continue Reading

Son-Dance Films


Between my sophomore and junior years of college, I hit the pause button on my education, rented a Vail condominium with a couple of other guys, bought a season pass and landed a night job at a fancy restaurant in the village near the original gondola. I love to ski, and I’ve always wanted to […]

Continue Reading