Down the ‘Portable Rabbit Hole’

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There’s a lot of stuff on the internet. But every now and then, I’ll come across something that just flat stops me in my tracks. That happened to me recently with Andrew Sullivan’s New York Magazine article “I Used to Be a Human Being.” The piece’s subtitle spells out Sullivan’s subject matter: “An endless bombardment […]

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What Does it Mean to Be Christian … and an Actor?

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The Magnificent Seven lands in theaters today, starring Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington and burgeoning superstar Chris Pratt. Next week, another box-office megastar, Mark Wahlberg, will unveil his latest action flick, Deepwater Horizon. All three actors, incidentally, are Christians. “Put God first in everything you do,” Washington recently told the graduating class of Dillard University, a […]

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Born to Be Influenced by Media

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I reviewed A&E’s Born This Way this week (the review will be posted later today). It’s a reality show that focuses on several young adults with Down syndrome, and a refreshing change from the many reality shows that are predicated on greed and selfishness and bad behavior. It’s a gentler program that, while not exactly […]

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Engaging Wisely With Real-World Violence

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I had been planning on writing this blog even before the horrific events in Dallas, Texas, last night. As people gathered there to protest the shootings of two black men by police officers earlier this week, snipers opened fire on Dallas police working the event, killing five and wounding seven others. What I want to […]

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Hollywood Likes Morality: Its Own

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Last week, Plugged In Director Bob Waliszewski asked us whether Hollywood should do a better job of making good—as in ethically good—movies. Whether it should focus on creating products that “encourage, inspire and uplift us,” he says, and even sometimes tackle critical issues. He writes: For instance, I can only imagine what could happen if […]

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Vodcast: How Porn and Pop Culture Intertwine

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Here’s a surprisingly controversial statement for you: pornography is a problem. There it is. We said it. We mean it. Not only has pornography been linked to what many are beginning to call a public health crisis, it is—in and of itself—a problem. And a big one at that. Pornography and the use of it […]

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What Is Google Trying to Tell Us?

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We’re coming up to the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (May 3). It seemed like a good opportunity to talk about England’s most famous Elizabethan bard, and I was thinking about writing a piece about Shakespeare’s faith: Do his plays and sonnets give us any insight into his spiritual beliefs? Naturally, my first research […]

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What Does the Truth Feel Like?

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Every now and then when I’m reviewing music for Plugged In, I’ll come across a lyric from an artist that succinctly encapsulates some aspect of our culture. That happened recently when I reviewed Gwen Stefani’s first new solo album in 10 years, This Is What the Truth Feels Like. Before I talk about the lyric […]

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American Idol’s Faithful (and Flirty) Legacy

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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 […]

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Vodcast: Is Fuller House Bad TV?

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What is one to make of Fuller House? The much-anticipated reboot/sequel/continuance of the popular 80s sitcom, Full House, has been widely panned since making its debut on Netflix a few weeks ago, and there are a few theories as to why that is. Some found it just plain bad. They didn’t like the acting … or […]

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Tap Dancing Around What Jesus Might Do at Sundance

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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 […]

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Behind the Scenes of the Plugged In Movie Awards

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What is the big deal with those Plugged In Movie Awards? What qualifications does Plugged In look for in nominees? How do a film’s content issues factor in? When is a film’s quality considered? Why is that movie in that category instead of this one? How come my favorite movie missed making any of the […]

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