What The Influence Lab Accomplished in 2015

Influence Lab

You may have heard about the launch of “The Influence Lab” last year. It’s a nonprofit organization designed to help change the perception of Christianity in today’s media-driven culture. As a result, one of our key missions is to teach and train Christians to use media more effectively, and do it on a global basis. That’s been a key focus this past year, and if you’ve prayed, or financially supported The Influence Lab, here’s just a partial list of the events where you helped us make a difference:

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Have You Considered Producing Documentaries?

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At the Sundance Film Festival year after year, some of the hottest tickets are for documentaries, and there’s no question that the most memorable films for me are often docs. Mike Snider, writing in USA Today reported that documentaries have finally arrived as a potent movie force.  At the festival a few years ago, 45 major documentaries were released to theaters, up from 29 just a year before.  Certainly, we’ve seen recent feature documentaries do so well at the box office that they’re making the public aware of the format – some bringing in more than $100 million at the box office – but

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The Worst Reason to See A Christian Movie

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I get asked frequently to endorse movies made by Christians. I’m thrilled to be asked, because I think more Christian filmmakers should be out there telling their stories. And even when there are problems with the film, I’m willing to give it some grace if the writing, acting, and direction are top notch. But quite often I turn them down, for the biggest reason I believe we should never support films made by Christians:

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Why We Should Be Careful Following Trends

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A word needs to be said to pastors, writers, artists, and other leaders who jump on the bandwagon of “Christian cultural trends.” I’ve seen it most of my life, and I can tell you it doesn’t help in the court of public witness. I remember in the late 60’s when we got on the “Late Great Planet Earth” trend. The incredible success of that book was followed by a long (I mean really long) line of prophecy copycats, few of which offered anything unique and different.  Since that time we’ve had the HUGE trends of

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The Origins of the College Student Assault Against Free Speech

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I don’t normally write about social issues, but with so much media coverage and hundreds of articles written about the assault on free speech from students at the University of Missouri, Yale, Claremont, and other colleges, I wanted to make a connection. From objections about Halloween costumes, to the right to a “safe place,” to shouting down speakers they don’t agree with, to a hundred other “micro-aggressions,” today’s college students are being called “cry bullies” for wielding their victim status like an axe. Where in the world did this come from? And while 

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How ISIS Uses Media to Expand Its Influence

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President Obama’s declaration recently that ISIS had been “contained,” asserting that the terror cell had been stalled in Iraq and Syria, has been picked apart from lots of angles – especially after the Paris attacks happened just hours later. Along with the other criticism of the statement, it also reveals how little most of us understand that

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