I am excited to announce that my first book The Message Behind the Movie is being “rebooted” by Ignatius Press!


A lot has happened to me since the book’s first publication. My family has been significantly enlarged, I completed a Ph.D. in theology, and moved across the country, and – perhaps most significantly to readers – I entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. (Why I gave up my job, doctoral studies, and much of my social network to become Catholic is recounted in Evangelical Exodus , so I will not go into it here.)

This event did not affect most of the books contents, and its basic structure remains the same. “Act One” goes into how to engage movies actively rather than merely watching them passively. “Act Two” considers topics particularly important to Christianity such as the knowability of truth, God’s existence, and discovering true religion. “Act Three” wraps it all up with some practical guidelines on which movies to watch. As with the original, many chapters include portions of an ongoing story illustrating the principles discussed in the chapter.

Besides providing a refreshing re-write of the general material, I am adding material that my previous publisher left on the cutting room floor. So not only will this book be a significant reboot, it will also be something of a Director’s Cut! Notable additions include: a metaphysical argument for the existence of God (plus its own Coffee Shop Talk  “extended scene”), a brief look at the argument from beauty, a historical argument that the Church demonstrates Christianity’s truth, a discussion of desensitization, and two new “Extra Features” looking at the cultural history of horror and the “clean films” controversy.

So here I am, ten years after sitting down to write my first book, sitting down to write it again! I am well into the process, and hope to see it come out in late 2018 or early 2019.