Frank Runyeon admits he has always felt torn between the world of the media and the world of faith. He thinks much of America is. We go from our cellphone to church, and then back to our cellphone (or TV). We want to live in both worlds. But is that really possible?
Over the past 30 years, as the way of life embodied by the mass media has moved further and further from the Christian way of life, Runyeon confides he has struggled to make the right choices.
He speaks with humor about that struggle, and shares the fruits of lessons he has learned—from his studies at Princeton to working opposite Meg Ryan on the soaps and in movies, from hosting comedy talk shows on L.A. radio to studying at Yale Divinity, from 25 years touring America (and over 3,000 churches) to 30 years as a parent.
Runyeon shares the thoughts he’s found helpful over the years, funny experiences on set, and the surprising discoveries that come from “looking behind the curtain” at the wizard of Hollywood.
He urges us all to think (and laugh) about the media, not just take a bath in them.
He discusses the impact of commercial sponsorship, and the real reasons for all the sex and violence.
Finally, Runyeon identifies the four biggest distortions in the mirror which Hollywood holds up to our lives, a set of false beatitudes. He shares personal experiences that show how much Americans have come to believe in them and let them shape our way of life.
He suggests a surprisingly simple answer to how we can live faithfully as Christians —while still enjoying the best of the media.
HOLLYWOOD vs. FAITH is normally 80 minutes, but can be abbreviated to 40 minutes for a school assembly, or split into two 40-minute talks for a retreat. Discussion questions are available for confirmation or youth events.
"Dynamite!... a very engaging presentation that captures the attention of youth and adults alike."St. Catherine Church, Morgan Hill, CA
"Terrific... powerful…"St. Timothy Episcopal, Fairfield, CT
"Outstanding!… Excellent!"Youth Min, Episcopal Dioc of East Carolina
"Wonderful!"St. Mary Church, Vinton, IA
"Uproariously funny, Biblically astute, and thought-provoking...not to be missed."1st Church of Christ, Wethersfield, CT
"Engaging and inspiring…well-received by teens and parents…"Risen Savior Church, Burnsville, MN
"So credible and funny…the kind of discussion we should do for our kids! Encourage your parents to attend. They‟ll enjoy it, too!"Church of the Holy Spirit, Newington, CT
"I've heard rave reviews..."St. Nicholas Church, Laguna Woods, CA
"Magnificent!… Inspiring! ... Students and parents alike appreciated your openness and honesty."St. Joseph Church, Bristol, CT
"Marvelous humor, right-on... contemporary illustrations… He just nailed it …In many ways more effective than ordained clergy because he bridges the two worlds…He makes the Good News attractive, non-moralistic and liberating… Powerful!"St. Barnabas Episcopal, Irvington, NY