‘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 that we review.

Adam Holz had a chance to do just that in an interview with MTV’s Jane Coaston, cheekily titled “Watching Saw for Jesus.” (Apparently Adam, whom I called out just last week for writing a piece for The Washington Times, will not be satisfied until he’s taken over the national media.)

While Coaston obviously isn’t exactly a fan of Focus on the Family, she gets what we’re trying to do at Plugged In. And she lets Adam speak his piece—which he does fluently, cogently and winsomely. He’s honest about what we do here: how we’re asked to chronicle content more than judge a movie’s artistic merits; how we sometimes find difficult movies “engaging;” how Christian movies are slowly getting better. It’s a great behind-the curtains look at what we do and, more importantly, what we try to do.

Not everyone likes what we do, of course, and that won’t change. But I really like what Adam did here: In a way, he built a bridge to folks we don’t ordinarily get a chance to talk with. He and Coaston created a basis for discussion—and in these increasingly polarized times, honest discussion among people who sometimes disagree is all too rare.

Take a look by clicking here.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

CousinJustice15652 . More than 1 year ago

This is only my opinion, based on my understanding of the situation, but I don't see Mr. Holz's interview as terribly compromising to Christian values. Agreeing to an interview with any particular organization isn’t necessarily an endorsement of that organization, though I would agree that sometimes a publication is inherently immoral and should not be contributed to (e.g. Playboy magazine, which apparently has a long history of sandwiching legitimately interesting articles in with its pornography). I wholly dislike MTV and am appalled by most of what they promote, but I would argue that not all the aims of the company itself are inherently evil. Also, what PI does has a lot to do with the pop culture MTV helps create, so it makes good sense to add Adam’s voice to their coverage of all things entertainment-related. I agree that reading the article is unlikely to convert anyone, but I don’t think that’s the point. Its value lies in the potential it has to catch the eye of an undiscerning MTV fan, pique curiosity, and maybe, just maybe, open their mind to a better understanding of the reasoning behind Christian rejection of what they consider harmless. It may help someone gain a wiser, more well-rounded view of the pop culture debate.  

bobed More than 1 year ago

PI, I’m grateful for all the work you do, but I’m not too keen on the idea of a Christian entertainment review site doing an interview with MTV. They stand for everything we stand against. Profanity, pushing the envelope, sexual music videos, sexual shows (sometimes with underage actors, remember Skins?). For decades, MTV has been synonymous with sex. By associating with them, what does that say? I’m not sure any of their clientele will be converted by reading such an article, especially when the author begins said article by declaring their sexuality and openly disagreeing with you before you have even been given a chance to utter a word. I would understand an interview with CNN or ABC, but…MTV? They stand, and have always stood, for filth.

charitysplace More than 1 year ago
Jesus  consorted with prostitutes, tax collectors, and all kinds of people, remember? ;)
bobed More than 1 year ago
Yes, and did he tell them "Let's peacefully coexist because hate breeds hate" or did he tell them "Go and sin no more"? Jesus associated with sinners, but he also turned them from their sin. 

We are to be in the world, but not of the world. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Holz didn't exactly say, "Let's peacefully coexist because hate breeds hate."  Where did you disagree with what he said, and what would you have done instead?
bobed More than 1 year ago
No, he didn't. I was referencing a mindset that sadly seems to be prevalent in both the world and among self professed Christ-followers these days. I am not criticizing Mr. Holz, only expressing my opinion.
bobed More than 1 year ago
What I would have done instead? It's more about what I would not have done. I would not have done an interview with an organization like MTV unless it was for the express purpose of evangelizing.
charitysplace More than 1 year ago
I was having a lengthy discussion about this yesterday with a friend.

Jesus was God. People could probably look into his eyes and feel convicted to their very soul. He had the authority and unconditional love to correct them.

But he told us to ... love others. Simply love them. Forgive them. Did he tell us to judge them or correct them?

Paul encourages correction of Christians within small Christian circles, to keep them on a moral path; but does that extend to sermonizing at total strangers?

Or should we simply... love, forgive, etc... and let Christ do the convicting, in the secular sphere?

Being in the world, not of it, means some interesting things. It means we have to be separate from the natural human tendencies... perhaps it means we should show love, where others do not? That we should lack bigotry and hatred, where others cling to it. That we respond with forgiveness, peace, and generosity, instead of shunning, violence, or tight-fistedness.

Perhaps, as our discussion turned to yesterday, we should be the people who give 110% above and beyond our own selfish desires, for the betterment of humanity.

I have to wonder, if every Christian gave 110% at their job, instead of the bare minimum with Facebook breaks, would their boss take notice? Would their coworkers? Would the world? If our art, theater, music, understanding of history, our study of foreign languages, our willingness to extend efforts to help others, etc., went above and beyond -- would people come to Christ not because we condemned their lifestyle, but because we are truly different from the world? Less... selfish? Lazy?

People respond much better to kindness than coldness... and they watch what you do, more than they listen to what you say.
bobed More than 1 year ago
A very long ramble that sounds nice if you don't look below the surface, if I may be so bold to say so. A lot of "be kind" and not a lot of meat. How does this respond to my statement? What do the two have to do with each other? Does your conscience and spirit not warn you against becoming too friendly and familiar with worldly-fleshly-sexual organizations like MTV? Mine is screaming warnings at me, by the way.
Caleb Brink More than 1 year ago
I think we (obviously) need to guard our hearts but that doesn't mean we don't engage the culture around us.  The only way we our going to reach broken people is by reaching into the messy.  We need to be doing constant heart inventory to make sure sin is not crawling in, and if it is, cut it off.   But beyond that Jesus never said to Proclaim the Gospel, but from a safe distance.  He said to "Go into ALL the world".  Guess what??  That includes MTV.  When we allow fear or personal opinion to dictate our opinion, we've failed our mission.  Please don't hear hate or judgement.  I don't want to be that person.  But it bothers me that we as the Church have built more walls and drawn more walls when Jesus was all about crossing the lines to come to the other side and meet the broken where they are and tell them how much He loves them and how desperately He wants them to be healed and follow Him.  And we don't know what God will do with that interview.  Don't limit God to your personal beliefs.  (steps off soapbox)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Adolf Hitler was the modern world's definition of pure evil.  But imagine if a Christian had a chance to be interviewed by him about how Jesus changes the way we view genocide?  That Christian could have told potentially thousands of people that humans are made in the image of God, that Jesus died because He loves us, and that is why all people have value.

Similarly, MTV is the definition of sexual trash and sleaze.  But Adam had a chance to be interviewed by MTV about how Jesus changes the way we view movies and other media.  Adam got to tell potentially thousands of people that God wants what's best for us, that we choose a higher standard because we want to honor God, and how Christian movies are turning into a way to share the gospel.

Sure, it may not be straight-up, door-to-door, John 3:16 evangelism, but I say Kudos to Adam for being a witness.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Peggy Carter

Good article! 

This is slightly off topic, but I just wanted to thank everyone at Plugged In for all the work you put in...there are thousands of us who read and never comment or say thank you, so I want to be a voice for everyone and tell you how much I appreciate all your tireless efforts to make life easier for all of us. It may not seem like it, but work like this never goes unnoticed or unappreciated. Thanks so much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Smith.

You might want to hang on to that Holz guy...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done, Adam.  It's great to know we Christians have such an articulate, gracious representative who is not afraid to speak the truth in the arena of the media.  Your interview was an encouragement to read.