Mockingbird is devoted to connecting the Christian message with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.
Another stellar entry from Joey Shook:
Once again this year, there’s been a debate going on between music writers about what it means to appreciate that dirty, three-letter genre simply known as “pop”. The spectrum of opinions (and number of those offering them) is of course quite wide—Katy Perry is “genius” vs. “Katy Perry is trash music”—and the two most notable articles (which represent both sides of the argument) have been a NY Times piece by Saul Austerlitz and an NPR piece by Ann Powers and Carl Wilson (Mike Powell’s response to both pieces on The Pitch is also very much…
This fabulous review/reflection comes to us from Josh Hall:
Plenty has been said about the documentary Kumare, and I certainly don’t want to stir up controversy. What happens in it is undeniably fascinating and worth talking about: this guy, by all accounts a normal American male, gets the idea to set out into the world as a “false prophet”. With pseudo-message and made-up rituals in hand, he brings a camera crew along to capture the whole thing. Not your typical documentary.
His stated purpose is as follows:
“My problem wasn’t with spirituality, but with spiritual leaders. Why do we need them? I wanted…
Another terrific one from Stephanie Phillips:
“Should we do it? Are you up for it?” my husband asked from his couch cushion. I shrugged, considering, from mine. Finally I answered. “Sure. I can handle it.” He grabbed the remote and queued up our Netflix-sponsored episode of The Walking Dead, season three. Also known as The Season with the Governor. Also known as sixteen of the most hard-to-stomach hours of television I’ve ever seen.
I remember when entertainment wasn’t this difficult—and I don’t know which has changed more, it or me. Before we had our son, I could watch anything. Horror movies? I…
In traditional New Testament studies, the student is trying to get as close as possible to the original text. The idea is that the closer you are to the original, the closer you are to the Inspiration that created the text in the first place.
The same principle applies to almost any branch of study, and also to art and literature. You want Kerouac’s actual scroll, Pollack’s actual canvas, Wordsworth’s actual pad, Mike Francis’ actual demo.
I think that Burton Cummings, Canada’s piano man, comes close to Inspiration in several of his songs, including songs he performed with The Guess Who….
We have been delighted (and humbled) to hear all the encouraging words about the first issue of The Mockingbird. If you’re without a copy, it’s not too late to place an order. We’re not biased, but we think you’ll be glad you did. In the following weeks, we’ll be publishing some of the essays from that issue on our magazine’s page, beginning with this one, from R-J Heijmen, on the art of dying in the era of the modern hospital.
While there’s no good way to enjoy a long-form read online–and as far as the look and feel of the magazine,…
This Holy Week-inspired devotion comes from Jeff Hual.
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, NIV)
When these sorts of questions are asked, the asker is calling out from a deep place of hurt in the heart, not the head. Unfortunately, those of us who try to help answer such questions often make the mistake of trying to answer questions of suffering from the head rather than the heart.
My grandfather dying was my first experience with these sorts of questions. I was 22…
Thanks so much to volunteers, speakers, and attendants of our 2014 NYC Conference! Recordings and videos should be coming soon, but for now, here’s our conference book table, which doubles as a recommended reading list from Mbird. Titles with asterisks are either new or new to us:
-W.H. Auden, The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays
-Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King (Penguin Classics)*
-T.S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party
-George Herbert, Herbert Poems
-Mary Karr, Lit: A Memoir (P.S.)
-Mary Karr, Sinners Welcome: Poems
-C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold
-Sally Lloyd-Jones, Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale*
-Sally Lloyd-Jones, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing
-Sally Lloyd-Jones, Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story
-Reynolds Price, A Whole New Life: An Illness and a Healing
-J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey
-Oscar Wilde, De Profundis: The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Writings
-Thornton Wilder, Theophilus North: A Novel
-Christian Wiman, Every Riven Thing: Poems
CHRISTIANITY / THEOLOGY
-Oswald Bayer, Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation
-Todd Brewer and David Zahl, The Gospel According to Pixar
-Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace
-Robert Farrar Capon, Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus
-Gerhard Ebeling, Luther: An Introduction to His Thought
-Gerhard Forde, On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 (Theology)
-Gerhard Forde, Where God Meets Man
-Bo Giertz, Hammer of God
-John D. Koch and Todd Brewer, Comfortable Words: Essays in Honor of Paul F. M. Zahl*
-Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians (Luther Classic Commentaries)
-Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will
-Brennan Manning, All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir
-William McDavid, Eden and Afterward: A Mockingbird Guide to Genesis*
-Jim McNeely, The Romance of Grace
-Sean Norris, Judgment and Love
-Ashley Null, Thomas Cranmer’s Doctrine of Repentance: Renewing the Power to Love
-Ethan Richardson, This American Gospel: Public Radio Parables and the Grace of God
-Ethan Richardson and Sean Norris, The Mockingbird Devotional: Good News for Today (and Every Day)
-Ethan Richardson, The Mockingbird (Magazine)*
-Francis Spufford, Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense
-Tullian Tchividjian, Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free
-Tullian Tchividjian, One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World
-Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer
-Paul F.M. Zahl, Grace in Addiction: The Good News of Alcoholics Anonymous for Everybody
-Paul F.M. Zahl, The Merciful Impasse
-Paul F.M. Zahl, PZ’s Panopticon: An Off-the-Wall Guide to World Religion*
-Paul F.M. Zahl, Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life
-Paul F.M. Zahl, Who Will Deliver Us?: The Present Power of the Death of Christ
-Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
-Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Vintage)
-Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing: Essays*
-Dorothy Martyn, Beyond Deserving: Children, Parents, and Responsibility Revisited
-Walker Percy, Signposts in a Strange Land: Essays
-Adam Phillips, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life*
-Marilynne Robinson, The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought
-Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
Here’s a quick one from Josh Encinias:
When the journalism market bottomed out in 2008, many writers—discouraged and broke—gave up on their careers. But a few years later click-bait journalism pumped life into the industry, and it’s still riding that wave. Measuring clicks may help with advertising, but a writer stuck on their deliverables become “traffic whores,” according to The Verge.
Last month, the American Journalism Review reported that The Verge’s editing team does not share clicks and traffic data with their writers.
“We used to show the writers and editors traffic, and told…
This one comes to us from Oscar Price:
The Alabama State House of Representatives recently passed a bill which, if approved by the Senate and signed by the governor, would create a ballot measure to permit the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools. That the sponsor of the bill did not actually know the Ten Commandments did little to deter his colleagues, who passed the bill by an overwhelming majority.
This is precisely the cultural climate of which Ross Douthat writes in Sunday’s New York Times – a culture in which Christianity, or some form of it, is so mainstream, and “traditional” values so…
This morning’s devotion comes from Simeon Zahl.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:12, NRSV)
The psalmist brings two things to bear here:
First, it is okay to ask God for joy. Joy is good. The reality of sin and of human limitations, and the truth of the cost of atonement, are no excuse for being grim and boring. Quite the reverse! Secure in God and His salvation, the true and natural way is to laugh at ourselves and at this world, and to seek and find the joy in it. God’s world…
Tomorrow, Mockingbird is hosting its 7th Annual Conference in New York City! The event has come together beautifully, and the full schedule is below. While we always welcome last minute walk-ins, we ask that if you plan to dine with us, you pre-register on the conference website by Monday, 3/31.
Thursday April 3rd
|2:00pm **||Pre-Conference Tour of the MoMA with Dan Siedell (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up)|
|6:30pm||“Can You See The Real Me?” – David Zahl|
|7:30pm||Dinner (click here for the jaw-dropping menu)|
Saturday April 5th
|9:30am||“The Rationalist Delusion and the Perils of Certainty” – Jonathan Haidt|
|10:15am||“On Not Being C.S. Lewis” – Francis Spufford|
|10:45am **||Q&A with Francis|
|12:30pm||Book Table closes|
This comes to us from Joey Shook.
For a band that has been tirelessly pegged as “laid back”, Real Estate is quite the unassuming craftsmen. Over their past three albums, Real Estate has proven themselves particularly devoted to consummating a distinct indie guitar rock sound that has been slightly improved upon with each new album. Others of their indie peers have successfully taken the perfecting-one-sound route (looking at you Beach House), but Real Estate has been the most deceptively offhand in honing their craft, which has led to initial reactions pinning them as nothing more than “chill out” music or, worse,…
This comes from Rev. Deborah Leighton. To view the other conference breakout titles, or to register, click here.
“The more things change the more they stay the same.” How many of us have reflected on our internal challenges as adults only to realize that they derive from the same root as the anxieties that possessed us at age 13?
The powers that be have given YA author Veronica Roth a bad rap for writing a dystopian trilogy that rides the coattails of The Hunger Games without measuring up to its complexity and wider market appeal. Indeed, time and money are much better…
From art historian, curator, and King’s College professor Dan Siedell:
Can’t wait for the Spring Mockingbird Conference? Let’s get an early start—at the Museum of Modern Art. Meet me on the front steps of St. Thomas Episcopal Church on W. 53rd and Fifth Avenue (1 West 53) at 2:00pm on Thursday, April 3. We’ll walk next door to MoMA and spend a couple hours in front of some of the most important paintings in the modern tradition, paintings that challenge our expectations. In 1899 the young painter Henri Matisse purchased a little painting of Paul Cézanne’s at great financial sacrifice. In an interview in 1925, long after he had achieved international acclaim, Matisse confessed:
If you only knew the moral strength, the encouragement that his remarkable example gave me all my life! In moments of doubt, when I was searching for myself, frightened sometimes by my discoveries, I thought: “If Cézanne is right, I am right.” And I knew that Cézanne had made no mistake.
We’ll look at paintings by Matisse and Cézanne as well as many others (including an exhibition of Paul Gauguin’s work) and explore the fragility of identity through our experience of these awkward and wobbly pictures. The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote about his long struggle to understand Cézanne’s paintings, which fascinated and perplexed him,
I remember the puzzlement and insecurity of one’s first confrontation with his work…And then for a long time nothing, and suddenly one has the right eyes….
As we walk through the galleries at MoMA, we’ll keep Matisse’s doubt and fear and Rilke’s “right eyes” before us. And we’ll explore how these strange looking pictures address us as vulnerable sufferers, in constant search for ourselves, and help us to learn to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5: 7).
Admission is $25.