New Here?
     
About Mockingbird

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

Contact

Author Archive
    
    Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: Livin’ the Dream

    Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: Livin’ the Dream

    Welcome to the third installment of act two 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, you can find them here.

    In Act One of this greed epic, we determined that as a culture we cannot define the term and, although we’re quick to see greed in others, we refuse to see it in ourselves.

    In Act Two we’re examining why we cannot define and admit to greed. Last time we discovered that, right or wrong, in our society money is a proxy for intelligence, so accumulating lots of it can’t…

    Read More > > >

    The Essence of Christianity (Plus)

    A couple of brand-new bonus recordings to which to draw your attention on this Tuesday afternoon:

    • Scott Jones and Bill Borrer interviewing Paul Zahl about “The Essence of Christianity” for their stellar New Persuasive Words podcast (which you can subscribe to here). You might think of it as a preview of the in-person conversation they’re going to have in April:

    Sometimes these things don’t turn out as well as you’d hope. But sometimes they do, which seems to have been the case here. Or so we’ve been told, thank God.

    The Cursed Tree and the High Priest: The Christ Imagery of The Revenant

    The Cursed Tree and the High Priest: The Christ Imagery of The Revenant

    A brilliant look at The Revenant, from our friend Caleb Stallings.

    Being a native of Georgia, I’ve always been oddly proud of our pine trees. Up until the recent film industry boom in Atlanta, I felt like the Peach State had few cultural icons to offer, the pine tree being a (less than) obvious exception. Whether Ray Charles was glimpsing that romantic moonlight between them, or Johnny Cash was reveling in their incomparable heights, the Georgia pine has long stood as a symbol of strength, power, and even transcendence. In Alejandro Iñárritu’s most recent film, The Revenant, the pine in particular,…

    Read More > > >

    PZ’s Podcast: Saved!

    PZ’s Podcast: Saved!

    EPISODE 210

    When you were in a tight spot, how did help get through to you, assuming help did get through to you?

    Did God speak from out of the whirlwind — of crisis, panic, and despair? Or did aid come from inside yourself — a ‘how-to’ or random thought that proved serviceable in the midst?

    If you’re a regular listener to PZ’s Podcast, you may well answer, the former. That’s certainly what happened to PZ!

    Nevertheless, your source of inspiration, and help, and salvation in the imminent immanent sense of the word: what was it?

    You won’t be surprised that I’ve been thinking, in…

    Read More > > >

    2016 NYC Conference: Breakouts and Theme

    Will Eisner - New York - Expo CBBD

    At long last, some details about our upcoming 9th Annual New York conference (4/14-16). Thank you for your patience! We’re excited to announce that the theme this year will be “Relief! The Boldness of Grace in a World of Expectation”, and we can confirm that the slate of breakout sessions will include:

    1. I’m New Here! What’s Going On? – Melina Smith and Bryan Jarrell
    2. Performancism 101: Achievement Culture and the Golden Calf of College – CJ Green
    3. Good Enough? Where Positive Psychology and the Gospel Meet – Sasha Heinz and Jacob Smith
    4. Grace Stinks: When the Healer Carries a Sword – Stephanie Phillips
    5. An Episco-Disco Primer: Exploring the Oddball World of Leftfield Christian Music (1975-1985) – John Zahl
    6. Good News at World’s End: Grace in Eschatology – Will McDavid
    7. Blessed Are Those Who Mourn: The Relief of Grief – Lauren Larkin
    8. Cheap Grace? A Fresh Look at Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Javier Garcia
    9. A Just Relief: How the Gospel Inspires Justice and Mercy – Raleigh Sadler
    10. The Most Foolish Job in the World: Planting a Grace-Centered Church – Jonathan Adams and Curt Benham
    11. Impossible is Nothing… and Everything – Nick Lannon
    12. Grace-based Healing Prayer – Laurel Marr and Ben DeHart
    13. The Future’s Past: Time Travel and Justification in Fiction, the Bible and You – Adam Morton

    1cf32dc0b32ac7254af47125729237cbOther Special Events include: A Mockingbird at the Movies panel, the first-ever Friday night Episco-Disco (courtesy of DJ JAZ), and a live taping of The Mockingcast in which Scott Jones sits down with Paul Zahl to talk about the 10th anniversary of Grace in Practice, among other things.

    We’re still waiting to hear from a couple of potential speakers (sorry!), but we can tell you that the line-up for the “main stage” already includes theologian Ted Peters, sociologist Eric Klinenberg, musician Derek Webb, comedienne-priest Sarah Condon, wannabe gentleman farmer Ethan Richardson, and blizzard enthusiast David Zahl. Our chaplains this year will be The Rev. Dave Johnson and The Rev. Nancy Hanna. Watch this space, and conference.mbird.com, for more details as they emerge.

    Earlybird discounts expire this coming Monday, Feb 1st, at which point all other price options will be available. Again, thanks for your patience. We are really, really excited about this event. I mean, who doesn’t need a little relief?!

    Mockingbird at the Movies: Intro (and Final Edition)

    Mockingbird at the Movies: Intro (and Final Edition)

    As this year’s Oscar buzz revs up, be sure to take a look at our latest publication, Mockingbird at the Movies, an anthology of film essays collected from many of Mockingbird’s contributing writers. Last week, we quietly released the fully-polished final edition, which consists of a few less typos but all of the same thought-provoking, Gospel-centered content. See the full Table of Contents here, order a copy here, and read the intro, by editor CJ Green, below. Oh and if you feel inspired to post a review on Amazon, by all means.

    It was an ill-defined notion but there nevertheless—my vague childhood idea that ‘Hollywood’ had it…

    Read More > > >

    Barefoot and Scrubbing for Love

    Barefoot and Scrubbing for Love

    This one comes to us from our friend, Rebecca Graber. 

    Recently I watched the movie Barefoot on Netflix. It’s a classic odd couple movie; the leading male, Jay, is a womanizing, gambling, down-on-his-luck scoundrel who’s on probation, scrubbing floors at a mental hospital. His counterpart, Daisy, is a new resident who does not know why she is there, and as we find out, has not really had contact with the outside world. Her social skills and experiences are equivalent to a five-year-old girl. In need of money from his wealthy family and through a series of events, Jay ends up taking…

    Read More > > >

    Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: Bucks are Brains

    Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: Bucks are Brains

    Welcome to the second installment of act two of author Ted Scofield’s on everybody else’s biggest problem but your own. If you missed one or more of the previous installments, you can find them here.

    In Act One of this greed epic, we determined that as a society we cannot define the term. Each of us has an individual definition of greed that does not include us and, as our socio-economic situation evolves, so does our perception of greed, leaving us forever outside its grasp. It’s our life-long refrain, with rotating boogeymen: The other guy is greedy. I am not.

    In Act Two we’re…

    Read More > > >

    When Everyone’s an Expert: Listening to Scripture in the Midst of Uncertainty

    When Everyone’s an Expert: Listening to Scripture in the Midst of Uncertainty

    This one comes to us from Eric D. S. Dorman: 

    Cogs in the media machine constantly bombard us with differing perspectives on all matters of public debate. Blogs, newspapers, television, social media sites – thousands of responses and re-responses in discussions about everything.

    The situation rightly causes us to ask the question: who should we believe?

    It’s a constant dilemma in the Christian life. Who are you listening to? Pharaoh or Moses? Yahweh or the prophets of Baal? The old person or the new? Temptation or the word? The forgiveness spoken by God in Christ, or the word of condemnation spoken by the Accuser?…

    Read More > > >

    PZ’s Podcast: How To Be Popular If You’re a Guy

    PZ’s Podcast: How To Be Popular If You’re a Guy

    Episode 209 (up now!)

    The answer to that question has to lie, somehow, in whatever explains the popular success of Rodney Marvin (‘Rod’) McKuen.

    Rod McKuen died a year ago, and did you know he sold 100 million records? No kidding. Rod McKuen sold 100 million records.

    (He also sold 60 million books. But hey…)

    Here is a man who was universally dismissed, from day one of his earthly success, as being a “kitschy” Philistine and arch-sentimentalist. No critic had a word of praise for him. Ever, ever, ever. And that’s been true right up to the present day.

    And let the People say: He…

    Read More > > >

    MBird Tyler 2016 Conference (3/18-19) – Registration Now Open!

    What'sTheStory_Poster

    The human heart responds to story. Narrative is unique in its power to shape our imagination and inspire us to dream and, yes, even wake up. But stories can also trap and trick. Join us for The 2nd Annual Mockingbird Tyler Conference, March 18th-19th, as we welcome acclaimed Hollywood script developer and “story guru” Bobette Buster along with David Zahl, Ethan Richardson, Sarah Condon and Aaron Zimmerman of Mockingbird to explore the question we all must answer: “What’s The Story?”

    To register, or find out more, click here.

    From the Magazine: Our Interview with Nicholas Carr

    From the Magazine: Our Interview with Nicholas Carr

    A teaser edition of our interview with Nicholas Carr, the entirety of which can be read in the Technology Issue! You can subscribe to our magazine here.

    In his book, The Shallows, which was a 2011 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Nicholas Carr talks about the internet’s re-wiring of the human mind. Like a number of well-regarded tech skeptics (Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, Sherry Turkle), Carr argues that the way the internet presents information to us is changing the way we think everywhere else—in our jobs, in our free time, in our inner lives. Towards the end of his book, he…

    Read More > > >