Journey of a Pop Culture Prodigal


If you’re here, you’re probably somewhat familiar with pop culture. Odds are good that you’ve also heard the story of the Prodigal Son. You may have even wondered what that story might look like if revamped by pop culture. Jeff Bridges would be the Father, of course, and Chris Hemsworth would do quite nicely as the […]

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Are Christian Films the New Roman Road? Woodlawn’s Jon Erwin Thinks So.


The Plugged In team has literally screened thousands of movies—and sometimes a moviemaker brings a film right to our very own campus. But when filmmaker Jon Erwin (October Baby, Mom’s Night Out) came to Focus on the Family back in July to screen his new film, Woodlawn, he made the decision to not show it—even […]

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The Clock Ticks, The Tech Pile Grows


One pleasant advantage of having a few years under my belt, is the ability to drone on endlessly about my phenomenal, life-changing adventures in the ’70s and ’80s. And as I pontificate about my collected memories, I can watch happily as Millennial listeners sigh and consider their own meager experiences. They may have youth and […]

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Dealing With Death in the Digital Age


When I was growing up back in the 1980s, the whispering buzz among my peers would amp up when something particularly transgressive began to infiltrate our collective adolescent consciousness. Often it involved stories of friends who somehow managed to see R-rated movies that, theoretically, they shouldn’t have been seeing. But there was one franchise of […]

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P!nk Unleashed


P!nk got in touch with her inner Tipper Gore—the woman most responsible for getting parental advisory stickers slapped on music albums—after this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Even though the singer (real name: Alecia Beth Moore) is hardly a stranger to racy, enveloping-pushing songs and videos herself, P!nk didn’t think much at all of this […]

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What Makes a Movie a Success?


There’s never been a movie that appealed to everyone, a motion picture without a single critic. Take two films awarded Best Picture, Chariots of Fire and Braveheart. One Chariots critic went so far as to state that the movie was “an affirmation of clouded and second-hand values—and, as a result, it becomes vulgar.” With Braveheart, […]

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Of ‘Goonies’ and ‘Bridges,’ Pilgrimages and Relics


In the Middle Ages, many Christians believed that taking a spiritual pilgrimage to visit holy shrines and relics would give them a chance to experience God more deeply. Jerusalem represented the ultimate destination for faithful followers of means. But for the vast majority of believers, such a journey was, practically speaking, impossible. Instead, they might […]

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When Miley Met Hannah


We often talk about how pop culture—movies, music, video games, TV, the Internet—influences young people who consume it. But what about those who produce it? Especially if they’re quite young, how does being the at the epicenter of a pop-culture phenomenon influence them? One supernova star whose influence—for better, for worse—we’ve chronicled over the last […]

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What Spy Movies (and Grandma) Say About Media Discernment


Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is not the headiest of movies, but it still got us thinking. In this, the second episode of the Plugged In Vodcast, Paul explains why spy movies always make him think of his grandma and how a particular conversation with her got him thinking about the ways we make exceptions […]

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Taking Your Dating Cues from Hollywood


Earlier this week, Lisa Anderson, director of young adults for Focus on the Family and host of the wildly popular and incredibly entertaining The Boundless Show,  spent some time on Focus on the Family’s daily broadcast chatting about her new book The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage With Purpose. You can catch […]

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