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A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma...

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    The God of Seven Buses

    The God of Seven Buses

    I recently started reading Gregory Boyle’s excellent Tattoos on the Heart, a memoir of his powerful ministry in Pico-Aliso, a low-income area in L.A. dominated by gangs. So far, it’s full of incredible stories about the action of grace upon those who had spent years cultivating facades of toughness and independence, almost as a matter of survival. Boyle, […]

    Another Week Ends: Questing for Cultural Innocence, Narrating Luther, Inverting Transhumanism and Reforming One's Pets

    Another Week Ends: Questing for Cultural Innocence, Narrating Luther, Inverting Transhumanism and Reforming One’s Pets

    Lots of love – commingled with envy – for everyone at the Tenth Annual Mockingbird Conference in NYC! “For the rest of us” (G. Costanza), some links for the weekend: 1. First up, The Hedgehog Review here in c-ville posted a wonderful article on “The Persistence of Guilt.” Who knew that the great Sigmund Freud […]

    Suffering, Love, and the Sounds of Silence

    Suffering, Love, and the Sounds of Silence

    The camera hovers over a swelling sea, looking down, and a boat glides from the bottom of the frame, up through the middle, and passes, steady, up the frame and out through the top. The camera pans out slowly, the boat slowly being swallowed by the scale of the world it inhabits. Just as the […]

    Valorized Intelligence and Less Profitable Truths of the Heart

    Valorized Intelligence and Less Profitable Truths of the Heart

    In recent news, CBS doubles down on eccentric male geniuses for its fall television lineup. One show, Pure Genius, treats us to an inside view of a Silicon Valley billionaire’s game-changing medical innovation; another, Bull, features the “brilliant, brash, and charming” titular consultant. And the MacGyver reboot, in addition to featuring an actor ten years […]

    From the Archives: Modern Origins of Anxiety - Scientific Christianity and Epistemic Optimism

    From the Archives: Modern Origins of Anxiety – Scientific Christianity and Epistemic Optimism

    The question of what causes anxiety is one to which we’ve given an embarrassing amount of attention, especially within the context of Christianity. The Onion was good to remind us that “Anxiety [Isn’t] Resolved By Thinking About It Really Hard”, but the relationship between religion and anxiety is a fascinating and potent one; i.e., the decline of religion and rise of anxiety […]

    Climbing Ladders with Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-26)

    Climbing Ladders with Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-26)

    The following is an excerpt from Eden and Afterward: A Mockingbird Guide to Genesis, available on Mockingbird and Amazon. The chapter below focuses on the story of Cain and Abel. Here we follow the second generation of humanity, and we continue to see the effects of the Fall radiating outward. The first result of the […]

    Another Week Ends: The Problem with "Parenting", Solipsistic Audiophiles, Más Havrilesky, Self-Defeating Happiness, and Dubious Decency

    Another Week Ends: The Problem with “Parenting”, Solipsistic Audiophiles, Más Havrilesky, Self-Defeating Happiness, and Dubious Decency

    1. Having a dog used to be easy, and were it 1995, I’d get one in a heartbeat. Fill up the gallon pail of food, a couple large buckets of water, and for the next three days the responsibilities were watching it run around (outside), fetch, the usual. Now I might be leaning cat-wards – dogsitters, […]

    Checking in with Game of Thrones (Season 6 Finale Edition)

    Checking in with Game of Thrones (Season 6 Finale Edition)

    Into the interregnum – spoilers abound. (Click here to listen to a special GoT episode of The Mockingcast, in which a few of us try to make sense of the religious elements of the show/books.) Cersei Lannister, first of her name: married to King Robert Baratheon in the wake of Robert’s Rebellion. Bereaved of Robert in […]

    From the Archives - Coping with Our Failure to Be Happy: Moral Palliatives vs Repentance

    From the Archives – Coping with Our Failure to Be Happy: Moral Palliatives vs Repentance

    Well, we’re probably nearing our yearly limit for writing about anxiety, but great articles on the subject have been irrepressible. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that our increasing need to self-actualize, and increasing avenues for doing so, is a root behind the contemporary epidemic of nerves that had 1 in 5 American adults on anti-anxiety […]

    Nothing New: Notes on Game of Thrones, with an Eye on the Books

    Nothing New: Notes on Game of Thrones, with an Eye on the Books

    [Spoilers for s6e8 abound below:] “There is nothing new under the sun” -Solomon, Ecclesiastes 1:9 “To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.” -Quaithe of Asshai The most recent episode of Game of Thrones, “No One”, centered on return. For Brienne, Jaime, Daenerys, Sansa, Jon, […]

    The Door and the Stories We Tell: Reviewing Game of Thrones

    The Door and the Stories We Tell: Reviewing Game of Thrones

    Spoiler Alert for those who have not yet seen this past week’s episode of Game of Thrones (Season 6, Episode 5). A drunk King Robert gallivants across a wooden stage, two conspicuous stagehands tracking his movements with a poorly-painted backdrop of woods behind him, setting the scene. Bawdiness, drinking jokes, and other low-comedy staples ensue, […]

    Kierkegaard on the (Lost) Offense of Christianity

    Kierkegaard on the (Lost) Offense of Christianity

    [T]ake away the possibility of offense, as they have done in Christendom, and the whole of Christianity is direct communication; and then Christianity is done away with, for it has become an easy thing, a superficial something which neither wounds nor heals profoundly enough; it is the false invention of human sympathy which forgets the […]