The Teddy Baehr who changed Hollywood

By Joseph Farah

There’s a new book out called “How to Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul)” by my friend Ted Baehr.

(And, yes, in the interest of full disclosure, it is published by WND Books.)

Ted Baehr

But it’s much more than a “how-to” book. It’s actually a field manual for penetrating the popular culture with a Christian worldview. And if you don’t think we need more of that today, then I would suggest you need help beyond the scope of this book.

I recommend it to anyone who has ever thought about getting involved in the entertainment business in any way, shape or form. It’s a practical guide by the man best equipped to deliver a message he has learned in the proverbial school of hard knocks.

There’s also a story within the story – as so often is the case with a good script or a good book.

I have known Ted Baehr for 23 years. I first got to know him when I was covering Hollywood as a still young journalist – seeing every movie that came out, hobnobbing with the “beautiful people,” witnessing firsthand the tragedy that was being inflicted on our culture by people with exceptionally bad values.

Ted was then fighting a lonely battle to restore some dignity and good values to Hollywood. I never told him, but I thought he was wasting his time. I soon gave up on Hollywood, determined to do my redemptive part working inside the news media.

Ted persisted, however. Against all odds, he stuck it out. And I’m here to tell you that over the last 23 years, he has done an absolutely amazing job as God’s agent in Hollywood. He has led many to the Lord. He has discipled some of the most famous people on the planet. And he has impacted the film industry in ways that are measurable.

There’s a reason there are more wholesome and godly movies coming out of Hollywood today than since the Golden Age of the business. The reason is Ted Baehr.

More than any other man alive, Ted Baehr, through both his nonprofit work and his consulting, has re-engaged the church and the culture, specifically the entertainment industry.

Long before Mel Gibson demonstrated the potential of the church audience with “The Passion of the Christ,” Ted Baehr was working in the trenches of Hollywood explaining this principle to studio executives, movie producers, actors, directors and the general public.

It was Ted Baehr who reminded us all of the enormous positive impact the church had in Hollywood through its Golden Age – from 1933 through 1966. It was Ted Baehr who took on the mission of the Protestant Church Office and the Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency to work with Hollywood when the mainline denominations abandoned the industry. It was Ted Baehr who led the charge to be the salt and light in an increasingly decadent and dark popular culture.

All Ted Baehr tries to do through his work is to clean up Hollywood. Sometimes it is more effective to do this by criticizing what the entertainment industry produces. Other times it is more effective to bring attention to the excellent work that is done by a handful of artists producing wholesome, redemptive art.

Ted has the sensitivity to discern which approach to use and when.

All this is to say, I consider Ted Baehr a hero. I urge you to buy his wonderful new book, which I am proud to have helped make available to the public. (You can get it autographed here.) And I urge you to support him by subscribing to his excellent magazine MovieGuide and by contributing to his wonderful ministry.