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 Prodigal Son. Perhaps Sean Astin could even play the role of the Older Brother…

I’m getting off track. In today’s vodcast, we’re talking about a different kind of pop culture prodigal. The kind that lives in the same world as you and I. In fact, this pop culture prodigal is actually I… I mean, me.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years (though I’ve actually learned more than one), it’s that media discernment isn’t always as simple as it seems … and that it involves a lot more than I used to think it did. If there’s a second thing I learned (and I’ve definitely learned more than two), it’s that the value of continually learning and implementing sound media discernment is greater than I ever realized.

If you’re navigating the waters of media discernment—for yourself or for your family—I’d recommend checking out this great six-part series that Paul wrote a little while back that walks through many of the nuances of media discernment and how it applies to both reviewing movies and our everyday interaction with pop culture. Also, if you or anyone you know is in need of resources for overcoming a struggle with or addiction to pornography, some great information and resources can be found here.

Who wrote this?

Jake Roberson is Plugged In’s social media manager and strategist. He’s the father of four children and husband of one wife, and he quite likes life that way. He also likes writing about entertainment, pop culture, dadhood … and food. He’s also a former Guinness World Record holder for participating in the largest hacky sack circle. Catch up with him on Twitter @jake_roberson

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Debbie Horner More than 1 year ago
Also I have been working on a family friendly list of movies for the library where i work at since many families are concerned about the questionable content in most films.  I watch these movies with friends who help me with the answer if what I am watching is good for my family friendly list.
Debbie Horner More than 1 year ago
I had a similar story in that when I was young I would just watch what I wanted to thinking it would not affect me but then I started having nightmares and weird dreams so I prayed about it and God directed me to cut off the secular media for a few years and then slowly start back but being very careful what I watch and to stay away all the R rated movies except for those like Passion of Christ.  I have a peace now that I did not have before with what I watch and listen too.  Also thanks for all the reviews of movies which has helped me with being careful.
Cj .J .R. More than 1 year ago
profound truth
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating testimony, Jake. I'm particularly interested in how your real friends helped you with media discernment. This is advice I should put into practice. Thanks for your encouragement :)
jake_roberson More than 1 year ago
You're welcome! And thank you! Just like a real-life relationship with one's parents can trump the influence of pop culture in a young person's life, real-life relationships with people who challenge you to grow and thrive can do the same for us as adults (and our parents can still be a part of that, too, which is true in my own life).

We need people close to us who don't make excuses, and who are willing to not only challenge us, but who will also help us challenge what the world is trying to feed us day in and day out.

I'm grateful for the men that God has placed in my life that help me do just that, but it takes intentionality on my part to be connected with them on a regular basis. We have to make those sorts of relationships a priority. They are incredibly important, and are such a blessing in all walks of life.