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Announcing More Theology & Less Heavy Cream by Robert Farrar Capon!

This is such an honor. A dream come true even–if we’d been bold enough to dream that big. Today we can finally announce the release of More Theology & Less Heavy Cream: The Domestic Life of Pietro and Madeleine, a brand new title from the late Robert Farrar Capon. Father Capon has been one of Mockingbird’s guiding lights since our founding in 2007, and we had the distinct privilege of conducting his final interview before he passed away in 2013. Suffice it to say, More Theology and Less Heavy Cream is an indispensable look into Capon’s own kitchen (and soul).

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The blurb reads as follows:

“A dash of theology. A pinch of satire. The unmistakable smell of roasted lamb. Father Capon is back. More Theology & Less Heavy Cream collects 27 essays from the much-missed theologian, writer, and chef, featuring him and his wife’s lovable alter-egos, Pietro and Madeleine. Armed only with oven mitts and a razor-sharp wit, this unforgettable couple spars over God, food, grace, and everything in between.”

Pre-order your copy today! Available at other outlets this coming Monday, December 5.

P.S. This is the first of five out-of-circulation Capon books that we’ll be publishing over the next 18 months!

P.P.S. Order both of our new publications together and save some cash. We call it the “Capon Condon Combo”.

Announcing Churchy: The Real Life Adventures of a Wife, Mom, & Priest by Sarah Condon!

Well, it’s that time of year again! The ubiquity of Mariah Carey heralds the thrill of hope and the pressure of gift-giving–and the release of new Mockingbird publications. We could not possibly be more excited to present you with the first of the two:

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“One woman’s hilarious and deeply touching dispatch from the trenches of contemporary life, Churchy traces the fingerprints of grace from hospital hallways to community swimming pools to church nurseries and back again. Unflinchingly honest yet unfailingly hopeful, Rev. Sarah is a genre unto herself. You’ve never had this much fun going to church.”

Pre-order your copy today and it will ship on Monday!

Three Stanzas of W.H. Auden’s “In Sickness and in Health” (1940)

crc4mugwgaay0pyBeloved, we are always in the wrong,
Handling so clumsily our stupid lives,
Suffering too little or too long,
Too careful even in our selfish loves:
The decorative manias we obey
Die in grimaces round us every day,
Yet through their tohu-bohu comes a voice
Which utters an absurd command – Rejoice.

Rejoice. What talent for the makeshift thought
A living corpus out of odds and ends?
What pedagogic patience taught
Preoccupied and savage elements
To dance into a segregated charm?
Who showed the whirlwind how to be an arm,
And gardened from the wilderness of space
The sensual properties of one dear face?

Rejoice, dear love, in Love’s peremptory word;
All chance, all love, all logic, you and I,
Exist by grace of the Absurd,
And without conscious artifice we die:
O, lest we manufacture in our flesh
The lie of our divinity afresh,
Describe round our chaotic malice now,
The arbitrary circle of a vow.

A Gift Discarded in Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums”

A Gift Discarded in Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums”

Somehow, all these years later, that “dark speck” has stuck with me.

I first spotted it over 30 years ago, when I discovered John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” (available online here) in a short story class in college. I knew then that there was much more much going on in that beautiful story than I would  ever be able to divine. But I did know that I would not easily move past that “dark speck.”

Elisa Allen lives in the beautiful but cloistered Salinas Valley. As the story opens, she wears a man’s black hat pulled down low and her…

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The Captain of the Storm – by Sally Lloyd Jones

The Captain of the Storm – by Sally Lloyd Jones

A wonderful little passage on Mark 4/Matthew 8 from Sally Lloyd Jones‘ Jesus Storybook Bible, with illustrations by Jago.

The sun was going down. The air was warm and still.

“Let’s go across the lake,” Jesus said to his friends.

Jesus had been helping people all day and now he was tired. So they left the crowds at the shore and set out in a small fishing boat.

Jesus climbed into the boat to take a nap. As soon as his head touched the pillow, he fell fast asleep.

It was a beautiful evening. A gentle breeze rustled the sails. The friends were chatting happily…

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No Such Glorious Thing: Martyrdom and the God of Silence

No Such Glorious Thing: Martyrdom and the God of Silence

This post was written by Cort Gatliff.

One afternoon when I was in elementary school, as I was choosing a book to purchase from the church bookstore—my reward for behaving while running errands with my mom—I came across Jesus Freaks by the Christian band DC Talk. Named after the band’s successful album and song, both of which I counted myself a fan, Jesus Freaks tells the stories of Christians around the world who have been put to death for their faith.

That night, long after everyone in my house had fallen asleep, I stayed up reading. I became obsessed with these shocking…

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Falling Into Grace, Part One – John Newton

If you weren’t able to make it to our recent conference in Oklahoma City, fret not! Here is the first conference video featuring John Newton on his book Falling Into Grace. (The audio of all the talks will be available later this week–check the site regularly for more.)

Falling Into Grace, Part One – John Newton by Mockingbird on Vimeo.

The Unbearable Rightness of Forgiveness

The Unbearable Rightness of Forgiveness

I have a shelf filled with books on the art of writing — it is a great distraction from actually writing. But seriously, if you share my vice, you may want to check out Ann Patchett’s “The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir about Writing and Life.”

Patchett was blessed with accomplished writing mentors at Sarah Lawrence College, including the poet Jane Cooper, novelists Allan Gurganus and Russell Banks, and short story virtuoso Grace Paley. Then, it was off to the famed Iowa Writer’s Workshop. But upon leaving, her budding career took a detour, as she left her husband and her newly…

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Ian & Blake’s Terrifying Top Fives: The Scariest Short Stories for the Halloween Season

Ian & Blake’s Terrifying Top Fives: The Scariest Short Stories for the Halloween Season

Welcome once again to Ian and Blake’s annual Halloween series about a genre that does what few others can. Here’s this year’s final spooky top-five! Before you dive in, make sure you don’t miss last week’s installment on the best introductions to horror for kids.

5. “Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” by M.R. James (1904)

This entry is a spring-loaded little yarn from M.R. James, the early 20th century master of the English ghost story, and follows Parkins, an antiquary investigating the ruin of a Templar preceptory. While searching through the remains he discovers a whistle inscribed with Latin and translates the…

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Ian & Blake’s Terrifying Top Fives: This Season’s Best Introductions to Horror For Kids

Ian & Blake’s Terrifying Top Fives: This Season’s Best Introductions to Horror For Kids

Welcome once again to Ian and Blake’s annual Halloween series about a genre that does what few others can. This month, keep your eyes peeled for weekly top-five horror lists–with blistering #hottakes below. Be sure not to miss last week’s installment of the series with October’s Creepiest Urban Legends, too!

5. Dead Man’s Bones’ debut album

I am constantly keeping my ears open for music that places me within the ambience of Halloween whether it be merely how the musical atmosphere hits me or if the lyrics explicitly find their inspiration in the season. However, finding music of this variety that I would feel secure in having my niece…

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The Laws of Personality in The Road Back to You

The Laws of Personality in The Road Back to You

This reflection was written by Joshua Retterer.

I felt a wave of relief when I pulled my copy of Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile’s new book, The Road Back to You from the box. The dust jacket design was restrained and inoffensive. Why relief? The cover of Richard Rohr’s 1990 book, Discovering the Enneagram, the first  popular book on the subject, looked like a prop from the CW’s Supernatural TV series. Let’s be honest, the moment you have to explain, “No, that’s not a pentagram,” you’ve lost. For evangelicals just starting to peak out from underneath the covers after the 1980’s…

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“The Key to Jesus”: A Few Quotes from Fleming Rutledge

Here are a few quick quotes from Fleming Rutledge’s introduction to her much-talked-about recent release, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ. (Rutledge was featured on an episode of The Mockingcast–“The Gospel is for Sinners”–a few months back…don’t miss it!)

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There have been many famous deaths in world history; we might think of John F. Kennedy, or Marie Antoinette, or Cleopatra, but we do not refer to “the assassination,” “the guillotining,” or “the poisoning.” Such references would be incomprehensible. The use of the term “the crucifixion” for the execution of Jesus shows that it still retains a privileged status. When we speak of “the crucifixion,” even in this secular age, many people will know what is meant. There is something in the strange death of the man identified as Son of God that continues to command special attention. This death, this execution, above and beyond all others, continues to have universal reverberations. Of no other death in human history can this be said. The cross of Jesus stands alone in this regard; it is sui generis

There has been ceaseless flow of print and talk about the unreliability of the New Testament witness concerning Jesus…Few outside academia would know that the incongruities so frequently cited today as proof of the Bible’s unreliability were noted many centuries ago by such as Origen and Calvin. It seems more than a little disingenuous for skeptical scholars of today to act as though they were the originators of newly minted insights made possible only by their supposed discoveries and intellectual fearlessness. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that those writers who seek to reduce and diminish the figure of Jesus are creating a Jesus to suit their own preferences just as surely as Thomas Jefferson did when he took scissors and paste to the Gospels.

The key to Jesus is now, as it has always been, his crucifixion and resurrection. Nothing whatever is known from first-century extrabiblical sources about Jesus as a historical figure…Any modern reconstruction of the historical Jesus,” therefore, is certain to be a product of the cultural environment that produced it, whereas the Jesus proclaimed as Lord in the New Testament comes closer than any other figure known to human history to being universal, transcending time and historical location, belonging to all cultures and all people everywhere and forever. That is a big claim, but Christians need not be ashamed to stand by it. This proclamation of Jesus as Lord…arose not out of Jesus’ ministry, which after all can be compared to the ministry of other holy men, but out of the unique apostolic kerygma (proclamation) of the crucified and risen One.