New Here?
     
About Bryan J.

Be of good cheer, little pup, for thou too in resurrection shall have a little golden tail. ~Martin Luther @revdeaconb

Contact

Author Archive
    

    Shaped By What You Love

    If you’re in the OC, LA, SD, or any other part of SoCal, DZ will be out your way next month for the Shaped By What You Love event! Tickets are limited, get ’em quick before they run out. We’d love to see you there!

    Register Today!

    SBWYL-Website-Update

    “I’m New Here: What’s Going On?” A Conference Preview

    What a joy it is to host everyone at Calvary St. George’s for the 9th Annual Mockingbird Conference! Things are shaping up for a memorable weekend with great food, excellent speakers, and a topic that any human being in 2016 can appreciate–Relief. For friends who are new to church, new to Mockingbird, new to Christianity, new to New York, here’s a pre-conference word of Relief for you.

    We are Mel Smith and Bryan Jarrell, and we’ll be hosting the breakout session “I’m New Here: What’s Going On?” At this session, we’ll talk about The Law, The Gospel, the Bible, everyday life, and Mockingbird’s vision to connect all those things with the human heart. If it’s your first time at a Mockingbird event, if you’ve come to the conference by yourself, or even if you have attended the last 8 and are wondering “what am I doing here?”, join us!

    Together we will explore how God’s immeasurable grace intersects with our human experience through the culture, faith expressions, and everyday living. Here at Mockingbird we can seek to explore the threads of truth & grace as we interact with the world around us.

    Travel safe, see you next week!

    Nothing else in the world matters but the kindness of grace, God’s gift to suffering mortals. ~Jack Kerouac

    Pre-register here!

    Enough with the Hairshirt, St. Matthew! Reviewing Daredevil Season 2

    Enough with the Hairshirt, St. Matthew! Reviewing Daredevil Season 2

    Marvel’s Catholic butt-kicker is back! Daredevil season 2 is out on Netflix for your viewing pleasure. Given the recent Easter holiday, many of us likely binged the show after binging on ham and potatoes. I mean, what else were ya gonna watch on Netflix, Fuller House? We already binged that nostalgia trip weeks ago. Keep up folks!

    Daredevil’s second season is essentially an extension of its first season. The Marvel noir following the blind lawyer superhero keeps its dirty, shadowy Hell’s Kitchen backdrop, with stellar action choreography and r-rated gore. DZ listed the show “overrated” in his 2015 TV roundup, and I’m not sure…

    Read More > > >

    President Jesus and Holy Week, Part II

    President Jesus and Holy Week, Part II

    Back in 2008, the New Monastic figurehead Shane Claiborne wrote a generally well received book titled “Jesus for President,” riffing off Woody Guthrie’s folk tune “Christ for President.” In the book, Claiborne argued that American Christianity was too invested in the American political system and, as a result, ignoring a significant amount of Jesus’s moral teachings. The title seems to have stuck- “Jesus for President” – and perhaps it’s just my carefully curated Twitter feed, but the phrase seems to be making a comeback again in 2016.

    It’s an understandable sentiment: many Christians are scratching their head this year regarding the…

    Read More > > >

    An Email Blast, A Cancelled Rally, and Straight-Line Power

    An Email Blast, A Cancelled Rally, and Straight-Line Power

    Among the odder stories of the 2016 election cycle so far has been Louis CK’s recent email blast urging fans not to vote for Donald Trump.

    Did you know Louis CK has a new show, by the way? He’s self released it–it’s called Horace and Pete, and you can only get it through his website. Someone around the Mbird blogger crew will get to it eventually, especially since our previous profiles of Louis CK’s material have been cautiously approving. And! he co-leads the show with Steve Buscemi, which sounds incredible.

    So if you’re on Louis CK’s email list, you’d have received an update…

    Read More > > >

    Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Paul Reubens, John Levenstein, Gray Eubank- Photo Credit: Augusta Quirk/IFC

    Fearing “the Other” in November 2016

    On Monday, NPR did a story on a newish vocabulary word making the rounds this election cycle, one that touches on last week’s thoughts on attempts to define an “Evangelical.” The word is “Otherize,” and if you have three minutes and want to hear more, check the story below:

    Generally, to “otherize” someone is to label them as different and suggest they are against you in a zero-sum competition. Although it is a term often used to describe a method of victimization, it’s also a strategy that anyone, including victims, can employ. In the election context, “otherizing” becomes a political game…

    Read More > > >

    The Primary Definition of an Evangelical

    The Primary Definition of an Evangelical

    This election cycle, Donald Trump’s ascendancy to front-runner status has given religion beat writers a whole new angle of thinkpiece to write: what exactly is an Evangelical, and why are they voting for Trump. At least a half-dozen of them are produced daily, it seems, from major publications like The Washington Post and the New York Times to your friendly neighborhood religious blog. Evangelical bastions like Christianity Today magazine and Liberty University are weighing in on the discussion, and even smaller Evangelical outlets like Relevant Magazine are trying to parse the Trump phenomenon. Flummoxed political insiders aren’t the only ones left…

    Read More > > >

    The Ash Wednesday Hit-Parade

    It turns out that Ash Wednesday has inspired some of our favorite posts over the years–a bit ironic/hypocritical, given that the day doesn’t exactly encourage human pride. Nevertheless, in the spirit of Christian freedom, here’s a compilation of sorts to kick-start our observance of Lent together.

    Mad-Max-Fury-Road-final-trailer

    Anonymous posts, wrestling with the link between Ash Wednesday and the lack of rest:

    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:1)

    Reflecting on Ash Wednesday itself:

    B-MVa1-CcAE8JFg“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matt. 6:16-18)

    Ash Wednesday and Culture:

    To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. (1 Cor 9:22)

    A pair of Ash Wednesday sermons (audio only):

    Hockey Rocky: Imputation and All-Star John Scott

    Hockey Rocky: Imputation and All-Star John Scott

    A doozie of a story from the wild world of sports last Sunday as John Scott took the ice in NHL hockey’s 2016 All-Star game. To bring you up to speed, the trixy hobbits of the internet got involved with the sport’s All-Star voting this year, where top voted hockey players would be sent to the annual best-of-the-best event. Like the NFL’s pro-bowl, it’s more of an honor to be invited than to play, or more of a PR exhibition than a competition. Taking advantage of the online voting, a legion of hockey fans and internet trolls found the remarkably…

    Read More > > >

    Serial Season 2 and the Second Prodigal Son

    Serial Season 2 and the Second Prodigal Son

    While ancient near east history lessons may add layers to the text, the basic story of the Prodigal Son– a father’s love for his two wayward sons- is easily accessible across millennia. The heartwarming first half of the parable, with the angry runaway’s return to his unexpectedly gentle father, transcends time. Who has ever lived and not longed for a paternal love like that?

    And yet, the beloved first half of the parable is a setup for the second half’s word of judgment. The father’s grace divides the family, and as the party for the returned runaway kicks into high gear,…

    Read More > > >

    And Auld Lang Syne… 10 Stories We Missed in 2015

    And Auld Lang Syne… 10 Stories We Missed in 2015

    Even with new books, new issues of the magazine, a growing contributor list, and a new podcast, we still miss law/gospel tidbits here and there.  While our social media connections send us links all the time, they deserve a special thanks for helping compile this list of stories we missed in 2015:

    10) While we kept up with most of 2015’s entertainment news, it just goes to show you how irrelevant we are for not mentioning Zayn Malik’s departure from boy band sensation One Direction. You probably know all about it if there’s a pre-teen girl in your life. After four years of global stardom,…

    Read More > > >

    Never Tell Me the Odds: Growing Up with Star Wars and The Force Awakens (NO SPOILERS)

    Never Tell Me the Odds: Growing Up with Star Wars and The Force Awakens (NO SPOILERS)

    The new Star Wars movie hits tonight. It’s giving me the shakes.

    Two years ago, I shared this post with Mockingbird readers as Disney announced the J.J. Abrams helmed Star Wars VII. Can you believe it? Some have been waiting for this movie release for 30+ years and the countdown is almost over. Tonight, at 7pm, we’ll know whether or not to have a “new hope” in this latest franchise reboot.

    I won’t speak for you, but it’s been a hard two years for me, and not because of the long wait. We’ve all suffered the endless think pieces and hot takes about how…

    Read More > > >