Mockingbird is devoted to connecting the Christian message with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.
Now a month out from its release to your doorsteps, it’s now time to leak just a few samplings of what’s in our summer issue of The Mockingbird. If you feel you missed your chance, fear not! Click here and we’ll set you up.
This essay comes James Gilmore, business school professor and co-author of Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want and The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, both published by Harvard Business School Press. In this essay, Gilmore examines the pervasive and nuanced Economy of Authenticity, where the myth of what is “real” is what…
This morning’s devotion comes from the Reverend Doctor Dave Johnson.
…And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able”… (Mark 10:35-45, ESV)
A couple of years ago I read a book by John Maxwell called Failing Forward, which is about moving forward when things in our lives do not go…
Another great contribution from Stephanie Phillips:
“This could be our last big surprise in life,” I said to my husband on our way to the gender-reveal ultrasound of our second child a couple of months ago. He laughed at the melodrama of the statement even as we both acknowledged that the news was likely to be anticlimactic, since the perinatologist had already guessed–and we had suspected–that we were having another boy. An hour later, our suspicions were confirmed. I was set to be the lone female in a house populated by Y chromosomes.
Another gem from our conference from Will McDavid, discussing his new book, Eden and Afterward.
Another installment of our NYC Conference recordings, which ironically came the week before Stephen Colbert made the move to late night. Ethan talks about the weakness that is power in the ancient practice of satire.
Grace works without requiring anything on our part. It’s not expensive. It’s not even cheap. It’s free. – Robert Capon
The grace of God does not play it safe. It is imprudent, risky, foolish. It cannot be contained by the walls we build and masks we wear. It moves beyond deserving, pushing the envelope of forgiveness and dispersing the shadows of shame and guilt. God, “whose property it is always to have mercy”, does not flinch from reality–not from our hopes and dreams, our hurts and disappointments, our proudest moments or most embarrassing failures.
This October, at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Houston, TX, we invite you to explore “The Risk of Grace” with us, how the Gospel fearlessly addresses the control freak in us all. Our keynote speaker will be preacher and author Tullian Tchividjian. He will be joined by a host of Mockingbird contributors, including David Zahl, Sarah Condon, Aaron Zimmerman, and RJ Heijmen. The Rev. David Browder will serve as the conference chaplain. We’ve even enlisted one of our favorite Texas singer-songwriters, Slaid Cleaves, to play a concert for us!
As always, the emphasis will be on where the freedom of the Gospel touches down in places that matter (and some that don’t), from romance and parenting to pop culture and social media, theology and literature, and lots more. Look for info about accommodations next week and the full schedule in early August. The event will run all day on Friday (9am-9pm) and half-day on Saturday (9am-12:30pm). The conference fee is $60, which covers the full program, plus lunch and dinner on Friday (which will be delicious). Childcare is provided for all the main sessions.
The fun never ends! Here’s Dr. Null’s presentation from our NYC Conference, which was delivered immediately after Tim Kreider’s. It was quite dramatic:
July 7′s devotion comes, ironically enough, from our returning honeymooner himself, Ethan Richardson. To order The Mockingbird Devotional, look no further than here.
…He who had received the one talent came forward, saying, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.”But his master answered him, “You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?…” (Matthew 25:14-30, ESV)
A common reading…
You may be surprised to hear we’ve gotten more positive feedback on Tim’s talk than almost any other. We unfortunately weren’t able to include the slides from the powerpoint, so a few jokes may lack punchlines (apologies!). Needless to say, he took us out of our comfort zone in a very engaging way.
To read what we’ve written about Tim Kreider over the years, click here.
This entry from The Mockingbird Devotional comes to us from Paul Walker:
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25, ESV)
Jesus describes the two realities of human existence (and ultimately there are only two): trust in yourself and suffer eternal loss, or trust in God and gain eternal life. In these potent, descriptive verses, Jesus calls a thing what it is. “For whoever would save his life will lose it.” Trusting in yourself, worshipping yourself, saving and securing your own life may very well gain you…
The new summer issue of The Mockingbird contains a bunch of lists of recommendations and favorites (and heresies). This is one of them.
For those looking for some popcorn-worthy viewing (and re-viewing) this summer, a few interstellar picks with surprisingly relevant themes:
1. Serenity (2005). In which Joss Whedon poses big questions and proves once again that he understands original sin better than anyone in the business. Chiwetel Ejiofor makes a fabulous villain, and major kudos go to Whedon for including Shepherd Book in the action, a clergyperson with the kind of conviction, vitality, and heart that one seldom sees on screen…
This morning’s reflection comes from Leonard Finn, by way of the Mockingbird Devotional:
But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No! but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.” And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Hearken to their voice, and make them a king.” Samuel then said…
To say this second issue of The Mockingbird is more visually stunning than the first is an understatement. With lists throughout the magazine, laid out by Oxford American art director Tom Martin; with spot illustrations throughout from Masha Shabaeva-Krasnova, who does artwork for Rolling Stone, Elle and GQ; a painting from artist and children’s illustrator Oliver Jeffers’ new publication, Neither Here Nor There; not to mention poems from Mary Karr and Scott Cairns; the bar is now set in a new dimension! Suffice it to say, we are pouring everything we’ve got into this magazine, and we think you’ll be…
Here is some recommended Summer reading, and listening; a few words of “Good Counsel”, as in Our Lady of Good Counsel; and a brief musical offering, at the end, by Johann Sebastian Bach.
You’ll note an animadversion to Aversion, a Hymn to Him (My Fair Lady), and an invitation to Him to Take the Wheel. All three are solid in me now, and all three I commend. Then there’s the Bach, and the happy birth-trauma pictured in the Offering.
By the way, a “Noye’s Fludde” of new reviews has appeared on Amazon for the updated new edition of PZ’s Panopticon. I find them to be short and shrewd, and some a little heart-rending. Here are some highlights:
“Arresting, Difficult, Funny, Brilliant, and Ultimately Hopeful! I loved PZ’s Panopticon. I started it in December, but I had to put it down after 40 pages because I found it too emotionally difficult. It was too close to something. I picked it back up in late January and finished it in one sitting. Then I wept. I pray it touches you in the way it did me.”
“The stultifying stupidity of defensive prejudice in the spiritual mud-wrestling ring that is organized religion is ripped apart by Zahl in a breathless romp to reanimate politically correct soullessness into a place where we live and long to be connected to what we know, but cannot prove: that God is with us every minute of every heartbeat…”
“Resurrection and mercy—that’s the diamond thread of hope that can withstand the testing-by-fire that is the question of death.”
“It is the only book I’ve ever read through from cover to cover, then immediately turned around and read it cover to cover again.”
Take my breath away (Berlin). Hugs always, and see you in September, –PZ