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While we are currently at our maximum number of regular contributors, Mockingbird is happy to publish quality writing from guests. To submit something for consideration, simply email it to info@mbird.com. We can’t promise anything, but we will take a look. Naturally, the best way to get a sense of what we are looking for is to read the site.

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    Ignorance Is Not Bliss: Ivan Karamazov Visits Westworld

    Ignorance Is Not Bliss: Ivan Karamazov Visits Westworld

    This post was written by Nate Mills. 

    When Moses stood before the Burning Bush, he responded to the Lord by asking, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Moses’s hesitancy was rooted in a deep uncertainty surrounding his identity. He was unsure of his own right to be an actor in God’s plan for the Israelites. King David, wondering similarly about the weight of his duties, asked of the Lord, “What is man that you are mindful of him? What is the son of man that you care for…

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    When God Watches Movies

    When God Watches Movies

    This review was written by Mockingbird intern Jeff Dillenbeck.

    What is the purpose of movies? Is it to entertain? To communicate? I’ve typically seen movies as meant to be artistic expressions (especially after seeing most of the best picture Oscar nominees, this past year), works that evoke emotion or relay something about the human experience in way that the written word can’t quite capture. Like other the other art forms, film has the power to move its human audience—to provoke thought, to encourage, to empower.

    But what do movies have to say to the divine?

    That’s what film critic Josh Larsen (of the…

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    Modern Bible Wars: On Scripture, Authority, and the Law-Gospel Hermeneutic

    Modern Bible Wars: On Scripture, Authority, and the Law-Gospel Hermeneutic

    The following was written by Charis Hamiltonius.

    I didn’t live through the “Bible Wars” of the 20th century (thank God), but their effects still reverberate into the many debates today. Those who hold to scriptural authority, usually defined as inerrancy or divine inspiration, view it as a bulwark against the tendencies of mainline Protestantism to discard the witness of scripture in favor of what is deemed a moral and doctrinal relativism. Thus, the popular distinction between Bible-thumping conservatives and apostate liberals. If one is to believe the rhetoric of capital-E Evangelicalism, Scripture and doctrinal orthodoxy go hand-in-hand, and the loss…

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    Grace in Molly's Game

    Grace in Molly’s Game

    This one was written by Anna Nott.

    If you haven’t seen the action/drama/thriller/hint of comedy that is Molly’s Game, I suggest that you stop reading this article, and investigate a way to watch it.

    Spoilers to follow.

    I have been a subscriber to MoviePass, i.e. I have access to unlimited movies in theaters (no more than one movie per day) for 10 bucks a month, since October. So far, Molly’s Game is the only film I’ve made a point of seeing twice.

    Molly, played by the exquisite Jessica Chastain, is an Olympic skier for the U.S. women’s team, who, due to an unlucky fall…

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    Revisiting Deconstruction: On Definitions and Doubt

    Revisiting Deconstruction: On Definitions and Doubt

    This piece, a companion/response to the recent article “Closer Than You Think (The Trouble with Deconstruction),” was written by Edward Watson.

    I recently read Connor Gwin’s post on the necessity of constructing faith before attempting to deconstruct it. The pedant in me was ruffled, simply because ‘deconstruction’ doesn’t mean what it is taken to mean in that post. I was later informed, however, that Gwin is responding to a movement in post-Evangelical thought of which I’d been completely ignorant, and that this use of the term is taken from there. On this basis, it seems worth writing a short post on…

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    Pithy Preachers Proclaiming Perplexing Epigrams: On Preaching, the Pulpit, & Thomas Guthrie's Christ and the Inheritance of the Saints

    Pithy Preachers Proclaiming Perplexing Epigrams: On Preaching, the Pulpit, & Thomas Guthrie’s Christ and the Inheritance of the Saints

    This piece was written by Brad J. Gray.

    It’s a turn of phrase that I’ve seen around the Internet and various other places in the past, but only recently has it been actually uttered to my face. I wouldn’t have thought much of it but it was said twice in a few short days and it got me to thinking about how prevalent the sentiment is despite its inherent falsehood and treachery. I am, of course, referring to the oft-quoted statement, “God helps those who help themselves.” No doubt you’ve heard this expression before, more than likely from a well-meaning person….

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    Snoring Through Communion (in Holy Week)

    Snoring Through Communion (in Holy Week)

    This one was written by Samuel Son.

    My middle schooler son, Ian, was snoring on stage as the bread of Christ was being passed. This was not a pastor-parent’s worst nightmare, lingering for a minute when I woke up, then fading out as I fell back to sleep. This was Palm Sunday, a few days ago, at Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church. Oh, and across from Ian was his younger sister, Elina, who swilled the blood of Christ, and then promptly spat it out, screaming “Yuck!” She slammed the communion shot glass on the floor, because it was her first taste of…

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    The Psalm'ish Imagination

    The Psalm’ish Imagination

    This reflection comes to us from Cole Deike.

    We have bloody imaginations.

    As an opposite to the bloody imagination, I think of the Pixar animated movie Up. Early in the film, there is a montage of a young couple falling in love with one another. In one of the scenes, the young couple lays on a blanket and gazes up at clouds that breeze across the blue, summer sky. There is no audio of their dialogue, but they are pointing at specific clouds and talking about their shapes: this one reminds me of this animal, that one reminds me of that animal,…

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    Through Thick N' Thin: Imputation in Paul

    Through Thick N’ Thin: Imputation in Paul

    This piece comes to us from Charis Hamiltonius.

    To survey much of theology and biblical scholarship nowadays, you’d think that “imputation”, or the idea that God gives/reckons a moral status of righteousness to the otherwise ungodly believer, is a passé relic of former ignorance. On the biblical studies side, N.T. Wright has made half of a career out of refuting imputation. Peppered throughout his otherwise circuitously Reformed theology (surprise!) are direct refutations and veiled damnations of this reformational doctrine. For Wright, imputation is a grave misunderstanding of Paul’s theology and aims; imputation is “mistaken” (Paul in Fresh Perspective, p. 25), “misleading”,…

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    The Unconditional Love of Meg Murry

    The Unconditional Love of Meg Murry

    This one comes to us from Sarah Denley Herrington.

    Recently, I went to see A Wrinkle In Time. Fantasy is a genre I’m decidedly not drawn to, in literature and in media, and it’s been approximately five years since I’ve been to a theater. For the record, a lot of things have changed—our cinema now has recliners as seats, and to see something during prime time hours costs $12. But this one seemed worth it.

    I was not disappointed, and the whole thing was delightful, but the climactic scene where the protagonist, Meg, speaks beautiful words over her brother when he is…

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    Bottoming Out and Finding Grace in Uncle Buck

    Bottoming Out and Finding Grace in Uncle Buck

    This morning’s post comes to us from Kyle Dupic.

    Have you ever watched a movie from your childhood only to notice things you missed for years? It is almost like watching a new movie altogether. I remember hearing a pastor tell the story of finally watching his favorite childhood movie with his son for the first time. They got about 30 minutes into Top Gun before turning it off. He had totally forgot some of the things he did not want his 10 year old to experience! That can be the bad side.

    But there is also a good side, which I…

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    Inside the Bounds of Grace: The Not-So-Lovely Love Story of David and Michal

    Inside the Bounds of Grace: The Not-So-Lovely Love Story of David and Michal

    This piece was written by Stephanie Matthiessen.

    I’m writing a novel about Michal, the first wife of David and the daughter of Saul. Don’t worry, no one else has heard of her either, unless maybe they’re from Israel. Someone recently asked me what the book is about and, instead of giving my usual, vague, I’d-rather-not-say answer, I actually told them. Spoiler: it’s about forgiveness. Unconditional forgiveness. I added the qualifier for fear one would assume it’s about personal atonement and self-improvement. It’s not. It’s not a self-help book in disguise. It’s a love story.

    Michal and, of course, her much more famous…

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