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Mockingbird is devoted to connecting the Christian message with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.

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    Good News at World’s End: Grace in Eschatology – Will McDavid

    Here’s the next breakout video from our NYC Conference, in which Macon’s favorite son takes us out of our comfort zone to deliver, well, comfort (as only he can). Enjoy:

    Good News at World’s End: Grace in Eschatology – Will McDavid from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    Come See The Pawnbroker in Stamford with PZ (Weds 7/27)

    mBdFO2DLxyDyz14zjeiZOu6NG7RThe Pawnbroker came out in 1965 and stars Rod Steiger as a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz who is suffering from acute P.T.S.D. The Pawnbroker was notorious at the time for a scene of nudity that was a “first” for Hollywood. It also contained a way of editing flashbacks that was exciting and fresh. Moreover, The Pawnbroker was the first mainstream movie to deal directly with the Holocaust.

    But seeing it now — and all the above are true — it is even better. The film observes a man under overwhelming stress from suppressed memories. They simply will break through. The Pawnbroker also makes some powerful observations about men and women. A scene towards the end between Rod Steiger and Geraldine Fitzgerald is almost worth the entire movie.

    For religious people, and specifically for Christians, there are images in The Pawnbroker from the Passion that are both moving and somewhat controversial, especially if you believe, as many do, that the Holocaust is the possession solely of its actual victims. I myself think the iconography of The Pawnbroker works. When I saw it 51 years ago, I was affected to my teenaged core and didn’t know why.

    Join me, Paul Zahl, this Wednesday in Stamford, CT at The Avon (right off I-95 and parking is easy); the theater is also short walking distance from the Stamford RR station — for the second in our Mockingbird-sponsored series entitled “Religious Hope from the Movies”. That’s Wednesday, July 27 at 7:30 pm. I shall introduce the movie briefly, and moderate a short discussion afterwards.

    And We’re Back!

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    Deepest apologies for going AWOL so unexpectedly these past few days. This is just a little note to say that after some technical difficulties, we are officially back! Thank you for your patience and especially to everyone who reached out in the interim and left “miss you” notes in our inboxes.

    More content on the way. Stay tuned!

    Coram Deo: Dust, Ashes and Grace  

    Coram Deo: Dust, Ashes and Grace  

    This one was written by Nico Ghibaudy.

    Sin weighs a ton.

    Or at least it feels that way. We are easily deceived in moments of weakness. It’s easy to allow the cinderblock of post-sin guilt to outweigh the infinite joy we have in the presence of God. Guilt feels heavier. Turning to Jesus in the aftermath of a sinful fall is like a child looking his parents in the face after he was told not to draw on the wall with colored markers but did it anyway. It’s hard to look our Father square in the face and admit that we…

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    Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: American Idol

    Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: American Idol

    Welcome to the seventh and final installment of act three of author Ted Scofield’s series on everybody else’s biggest problem but your own.  If you missed one or more of the previous installments, the entire series can be found here.

    Everybody worships … idols. Last time we reached this inevitable and undeniable conclusion, and in it hides the definition of greed.

    Everybody worships idols.  At first glance you may disagree, but recall that worship need not involve a supernatural being.  Merriam-Webster defines it as “extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem <worship of the dollar>.”  Dictionary.com says it’s “to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any…

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    Grace in Goofiness

    Grace in Goofiness

    This piece was written by Carrie Willard.

    My parents have three daughters and a son. We girls were, and are: rule-followers, studious, somewhat-to-highly anxious, bookish. Two of the three of us skipped a grade and became valedictorians of our high school classes, while the other was the salutatorian, and all of us were the kind of students that teachers would leave in charge of the class when they had to step out in the hallway for a moment. My brother, on the other hand, might have been the reason that the teacher had to step out for a moment, most likely to…

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    PZ’s Podcast: Hey, Everybody

    PZ’s Podcast: Hey, Everybody

    EPISODE 219

    Gosh, I like Tommy Roe!

    But why?

    Well, partly, because his songs are catchy and sweet, and especially “Everybody” (1963). But “Dizzy” (1969) also makes me… dizzy.

    The real reason a person likes a song — or really likes a song — is that it speaks for them. Or speaks to them. Or speaks from them. The song “resonates”, to use the idiom, with you. In other words, it’s not just the song. It’s the part of you that connects to the song.

    All these things we like so much (i.e., pop songs, videos, movies, novels, television shows, poems, paintings) draw something out…

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    Lively Perspective from a Malodorous Corpse: Christian Liberty in Swiss Army Man

    Lively Perspective from a Malodorous Corpse: Christian Liberty in Swiss Army Man

    This one comes to us from contributor Josh Encinias:

    Repellent as its non-stop farts, bone crackling, and other embarrassing bodily functions are, Swiss Army Man joins a new tradition of movies, beginning with Jean-Luc Godard’s film Goodbye to Language and Todd Solondz’s Wiener-Dog, that force the viewer to dig deep for empathy, accepting foibles of human will as humanity’s default mode. Otherwise, in these movies as in life, you will come away with a deeply cynical, solipsistic view of humanity. This movie may not be for everyone because of its purportedly divisive qualities, however, they are mostly joke fodder and background noise, masking the old story of death and…

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    Blessed Are Those Who Mourn: The Relief of Grief – Lauren Larkin

    Very excited to present the next breakout session video from NYC, from long-time contributor and friend Lauren R.E. Larkin. Just wish the digital version came with candy too:

    Blessed Are Those Who Mourn: The Relief of Grief – Lauren Larkin from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    The Individual Sufferer and Preaching like a Bad Kid

    The Individual Sufferer and Preaching like a Bad Kid

    This one comes to us from our friend, Cody Gainous.

    I get tasked with the Sunday morning sermon pretty regularly at the parish I serve, even though I’m only the Youth Minister. I’m always grateful for the invitation, and I’m always humbled by the opportunity. Beloved Father Capon says in his excellent The Foolishness of Preaching that “Good preachers should be like bad kids. They ought to be naughty enough to tiptoe up on dozing congregations, steal their bottles of religion pills, spirituality pills, and morality pills and flush them all down the drain.” Well and good, but a bit intimidating…

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    The Great British Baking Show: It’s Just a Cake

    The Great British Baking Show: It’s Just a Cake

    Here’s another one from our friend, Carrie Willard. The following contains a spoiler in Episode 301 (Cakes) of the Great British Baking Show.

    In the early 2000s and in the early years of our marriage, my husband and I gathered around a television set with friends on Sunday nights to watch Sex and the City, or Six Feet Under, or whatever HBO series was headlining that year. But at home, when we got tired of the news or didn’t have anything better to entertain us while we folded the laundry, we’d settle in to cooking shows on the Food Network or…

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    Costly Grace? A Fresh Look at Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Javier Garcia

    The NYC Conference video train keeps chugging! With a wonderful breakout session from our good friend Professor Garcia.

    Costly Grace? A Fresh Look at Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Javier Garcia from Mockingbird on Vimeo.