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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‘This Christianity Thing Could Catch On’

“So it’s not just Kirk Cameron and Stephen Baldwin and the kid from Two and a Half Men.” With A-list stars backing Jesus, who knows? This Christianity thing could catch on.” Those two sentences ended an article that ran in the New York Post back in June. Film critic Kyle Smith had just finished highlighting […]

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Captive: When Being Taken Hostage Changes Your Life Spiritually

In 2005, Brian Nichols escaped from an Atlanta courthouse, broke into Ashley Smith’s apartment and took the woman hostage. He had nothing left to lose. But thanks to Smith and a copy of Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life, he actually had everything to gain. And so, as it turned out, did Smith. The story—the […]

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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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War Room: Fighting for the Time To Pray

War Room: Fighting for the Time to Pray

War Room surprised everyone when it muscled its way toward the top of the box office standings. Not very many people thought a movie about prayer had a, well, prayer of achieving something like that—let alone doing so while showing on significantly fewer screens than its competition. More important than that, though, is what War Room […]

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An Entertainment Adventure in Garage Saling

As we do almost every year, my wife and I spent vacation time in July visiting our out-of-state daughter. And although you’ll probably find this a bit strange (for that matter, I find it a bit strange), over the last couple of years at least we’ve found ourselves spending some of that R&R garage saling. […]

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Dude Perfect: Laughter, Epic Trick Shots and … Faith?

Dude Perfect began in a backyard. On a friendly lunch tab wager. And an epic trick shot. It continues now with a YouTube channel boasting over six million subscribers and prospects where even the sky isn’t the limit. They’ve done trick shots with the likes of Tim McGraw, traveled the world to the Olympics and the World Cup to do more of […]

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The Man Behind Bob and Larry Sounds Off On Today’s Media

In 1993, Phil Vischer launched what became a hugely popular series for kids called VeggieTales. Back in 2009, we talked with him about VeggieTales, his new venture JellyTelly and the challenges of guiding kids through the entertainment culture. This time around, I wanted to talk with Vischer about the entertainment culture as a whole—and to […]

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Seeing Age of Ultron’s Vision Clearly

Avengers: Age of Ultron has been out for, oh, about 90 seconds, and already you’re seeing them: T-Shirts, bumper stickers and mugs bearing the slogan “Jarvis Is My Co-pilot.” We see the bumper sticker ever so briefly when Tony Stark’s flying the Avengers’ quinjet. It’s a quick glimpse, but it speaks volumes—Tony’s reliance on his […]

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Ad and A.D. Add Up to a Big Easter on TV

About 3.7 million people tuned in to watch Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus on the National Geographic Channel last Sunday—the most ever to watch a show on the network, and a 300% improvement on NatGeo’s typical Sunday-night ratings. It was a success. But it wasn’t a surprise. Jesus—or, rather, shows predicated on Him—is big business these […]

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