Unpacking Madonna’s Spiritual Beliefs

Madonna’s 13th album, Rebel Heart, includes quite a lot of spiritual imagery—sometimes couching temptation in terms of a struggle requiring divine assistance, other times merging erotic sexual innuendo and religious iconography in deliberately provocative ways. In a lengthy new interview with Rolling Stone, the Material Girl talked about some of her spiritual experiences growing up, […]

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The Internet, Desire & Depression

Is Facebook making us depressed? For at least some users, the answer to that question may be yes, according to a new study out of the University of Missouri. Researchers there found that when Facebook users primarily use the popular social network to compare their friends’ lives to their own, the result is often envy. […]

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Pitcher Fires Fastball at Twitter Trolls: 3 Lessons for the Rest of Us

As painful as it has always been for its victims, bullying used to be something that could be escaped by reaching the front door of your home. Now, as much as parents try to prevent it, that boundary no longer exists. Social media doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t have to strike fear into the […]

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The Pope Talks Media Influence on Families

Technology can be a great boon to communication. But it can also be an isolating influence too, something that keeps families from talking instead of enhancing their relational ties. That’s one of the significant takeaways from Pope Francis’ recent message on the 49th World Communications Day. I’m not Catholic, but I appreciated the Pope’s recognition […]

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Of Frogs, Kettles and Spiritual Renewal

I want to take something of a personal detour in the blog today—but one that I think relates very much to the media-and-message flooded world in which we swim these days. Specifically, I’m going to reflect on something that anyone who’s been a Christian for any period of time probably knows, but something we so […]

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Whale, Whale, What Do We Have Here?

OK, you may have already seen this since it’s casually blowing up the Internet faster than Kim Kardashian when she’s trying really hard. But I thought I’d bring it to your attention just in case. Photographer Eric Smith snapped a pic of the picture above when he was out and about in the Redondo Beach, […]

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Far More Than Fifty Shades of Comments

On Thursday I published a blog titled “We’re Reviewing Fifty Shades of Grey. Here’s Why.” The response was … interesting. First, a shout-out to all those who let me know that they were praying for me and offered encouragement (even if you disagreed with our decision to cover the film). Much appreciated. It was a […]

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We’re Reviewing Fifty Shades of Grey. Here’s Why.

A few days ago, Plugged In received an email from a concerned reader, asking us not to review Fifty Shades of Grey. “I’m fairly confident anyone who visits this website will not be interested in seeing the film,” the man’s note said, “and I am troubled at the thought of sending one of your employees to […]

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Fifty Trades of ‘Shades’?

The big-screen adaptation of E.L. James’ bestselling bondage novel Fifty Shades of Grey lands in theaters later this week. Some industry prognosticators are predicting the explicit, controversial film could generate as much as $60 million in its opening weekend. Other voices, however, are not just calling for a boycott of the movie, but asking would-be […]

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Superheroes Make Super Bet

Well, the Super Bowl is over and you’ve likely read about all the many ruminations, cheers, commercials and jeers that have recently been associated with that sporting weekend event—everything from exasperated cries over coach calls to the fact that America consumed some 1 billion chicken wings during the big game. But there’s one connected story […]

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