Conferences

2014 NYC Conference Recordings: Identity, Anxiety & the Christian Message

An incredibly heartfelt thank-you to everyone who helped put on this year’s Mockingbird Conference in NYC, especially our friends at Calvary St. George’s Church. We took some risks this time around, and if reports are to be believed, it sounds like they paid off. Phew!

We are once again making the recordings available at no charge; we only ask that those who were not able to attend this year *consider* making a donation to help cover the cost of the event. Download links are followed by an in-line player for each recording. Almost everything was videotaped, and we’ll be rolling the clips out gradually over the next few weeks (some of the presentations won’t make much sense without the accompanying footage). At the bottom we have provided a link at the very bottom to download everything in one big file.

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Thursday April 3rd

Devotion 1, “Presentation” – John Zahl


Can You See the Real Me? – David Zahl


Friday April 4th

Devotion 2, “Profession” – John Zahl


The Chimera of Identity in an Anxious World – Paul Walker


Communicating Grace Through Story – Sally Lloyd-Jones*
As we hopefully made clear beforehand, Sally’s wonderful talk was not recorded or taped.

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Morning Breakouts

I’m New Here! What’s Going On? – RJ Heijmen


Stephen Colbert and the Ancient Pulpit of Satire – Ethan Richardson


Everything New Is Moralism Again – Jacob Smith


What’s My Faction? (Teen) Angst and Young Adult Dystopias – Deborah Leighton


The Uglier Ditch: First Century Love in the Present Tense – Jono Linebaugh


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Devotion 3, “Pedigree” – John Zahl


Jesus, Nietzsche & Me – Tim Kreider


Thomas Cranmer’s Gospel of Divine Allurement – Ashley Null


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Afternoon Breakouts

Ye Who Are Heavy Laden: Anxiety, Suffering and the Gospel – Lauren Larkin


Online Honesty and Instagram Authenticity – Bryan Jarrell


Eden and Afterward: Introducing an Mbird Guide to Genesis – William McDavid


Grace in Identity-Induced Despair: The Literature of Reynolds Price – Win Bassett


It Can’t Mean That: The Terrible Parables of Jesus – Nick Lannon


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Devotion 4, “Predisposition” – John Zahl


Can You Say the Creed (and Still Call Your Soul Your Own)? – Francis Spufford


 

Saturday April 5th

Devotion 5, “Passion” – John Zahl


The Rationalist Delusion and the Perils of Certainty – Jonathan Haidt


On Not Being C.S. Lewis – Francis Spufford


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Bonus Track:

Presenting Comfortable Words: A Reception in Honor of Paul F.M. Zahl – Jady Koch, Todd Brewer & Paul Zahl


DOWNLOAD EVERYTHING IN ONE ENORMOUS ZIP FILE (320MB)

2014 NYC Book Table / Reading List

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:

LITERATURE

photo 2-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

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-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

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SOCIAL SCIENCE
-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

MUSIC

-Sam Bush and Kathryn Caine, Love and Mercy*
-High Street Hymns, High Street Hymns
-High Street Hymns, Love Shall Be Our Token

Cosmic-Gospel-Prog, Gospel-Funk, & Gospel-Boogie

As promised, here are tracks from the devotions at the Mockingbird NYC Conference…

1. “Let us affirm our faith with the (cosmic) Nicene Creed.” Eela Craig, 1978 #AustrianCosmicProg 


2. “Holy Spirit, don’t leave me for a minute.” Limousine, 1976 #SwedishGospelFunk

3. “Won’t you serve Him?” Cyril Walker, 1983 #GospelBoogie

BONUS TRACK: “Holy Ghost” by The Barkays

SPRING CONFERENCE IN NYC: Final Schedule (T-Minus 1 Day)

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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 info@mbird.com to sign up)
5:00pm Registration Opens!
6:30pm “Can You See The Real Me?” – David Zahl
7:30pm Dinner (click here for the jaw-dropping menu)

Friday April 4th

8:15am   Coffee and Registration
9:00am   Morning Talks (30 minutes each)

10:15am Coffee Break and Book Signing with Sally
10:45am Morning Breakouts

12:00pm  ** Lunch
1:15pm Afternoon Talks (30 minutes each)

2:30pm Afternoon Breakouts

3:45pm Book Signing with Tim
5:30pm Cocktail Reception in the St. George’s Chapel celebrating the release of Comfortable Words: Essays in Honor of Paul F.M. Zahl and PZ’s Panopticon (including Book Signing with Paul Zahl)
7:00pm “Can You Say the Creed (And Still Call Your Soul Your Own)?” – Francis Spufford
7:40pm Q&A and Book Signing with Francis
8:00pm Dinner

Saturday April 5th

8:45am Coffee
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
11:30am Conference Ends
12:30pm Book Table closes

CLICK HERE TO PRE-REGISTER TODAY!
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NYC Preview: What’s My Faction? (Teen) Angst in Dystopian Young Adult Fiction and Film

NYC Preview: What’s My Faction? (Teen) Angst in Dystopian Young Adult Fiction and Film

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…

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NYC Preview: Searching for Myself at the MoMA

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:

cezanne.applesIf 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.

The conference will be at St. George’s Episcopal Church in NYC April 3-5, 2014. For the full schedule, go here; to register, here.

NYC Preview: Ye Who Are Heavy Laden: Anxiety, Suffering and the Gospel

NYC Preview: Ye Who Are Heavy Laden: Anxiety, Suffering and the Gospel

We all, at one point or another, have experienced anxiety or suffering to some degree, and many of us have experienced both. The way our world addresses anxiety is to offer temporal solutions that may (to some extent) ease the physical side-effects of anxiety. But, in the grand scheme of anxiety itself, these temporal solutions do nothing for the root problem: I’m actually anxious, I’m actually stressed. The same can be said for the way our world addresses suffering; often the solutions offered to the sufferer do nothing for the greater problem: I’m actually suffering, I’m actually hurting.  We’d tell…

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NYC Preview: The Uglier Ditch: First Century Love in the Present Tense

NYC Preview: The Uglier Ditch: First Century Love in the Present Tense

This session will be led by none other than the Dr. Jono Linebaugh. To register for the conference today, click here.

I have a question.

“God is love” (1 John 4:8). That’s not a question, but it raises one—the one.

That “God is love” is a confession grounded in the cross of Jesus Christ: “This is love…that God loved us and sent his Son to be a sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10, see also Romans 5:8). But, to sing an old song, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” No? Neither was I.

Remember Lessing’s “ugly, broad ditch”? “Accidental truths of…

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NYC Conference: Talk Titles and PZ Reception!

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Hard to believe we are less than four weeks away from our annual conference in New York City (4/3-5)! High time we announced the titles of the main talks, eh? Be sure to note the special reception taking place on the evening of the 4th:

Thursday April 3rd

6:30PM  “Can You See the Real Me? Lonely Ambition and the Roots of Freedom” – David Zahl

Friday April 4th

9:00AM  Morning Talks

  • “The Chimera of Identity in an Anxious World” – Paul Walker
  • “Communicating Grace Through Story” – Sally Lloyd-Jones*

2:30PM  Afternoon Talks

  • “Nietzsche & Me” – Tim Kreider
  • “Thomas Cranmer’s Gospel of Divine Allurement” – Ashley Null

5:30PM   Cocktail Reception in the St. George’s Chapel celebrating the release of Comfortable Words: Essays in Honor of Paul F.M. Zahl and PZ’s Panopticon (including Book Signing with Paul Zahl)

7:00PM   “Can You Say the Creed (And Still Call Your Soul Your Own)?” – Francis Spufford

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

*Sally’s session will not be recorded or taped.

BONUS TRACK: Check out the amazing menu that the caterers have prepared for us by clicking here. As you’ll see, we’ve upped the ante this year. There’s even word that Brooklyn Brewery may be sponsoring the event (say a prayer).

PRE-REGISTER TODAY!

NYC Preview: National Lampoon: Stephen Colbert and Ancient Pulpit of Satire

NYC Preview: National Lampoon: Stephen Colbert and Ancient Pulpit of Satire

Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.  –Jonathan Swift

He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” (Mk 4.11-12)

In a Google Talk in 2012, Stephen Colbert spoke (without his character) on the nature of satire, specifically his kind of satire, and the intended “clanging against the world”…

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All You Need Is (One Way) Love, or Looking at All the Lonely People

Pleasantly surprised by how well this came together and greatly encouraged by the response it received. Filmed at the Liberate Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL on 2/22:

Liberate 2014 – David Zahl from Coral Ridge | LIBERATE on Vimeo.

NYC Preview: Grace in Identity-Induced Despair: The Literature of Reynolds Price

NYC Preview: Grace in Identity-Induced Despair: The Literature of Reynolds Price

This preview comes to us from Win Bassett. To register for the NYC Conference, now just four weeks away, go here.

Reynolds Price, from little old Macon, North Carolina, graduated from Duke University, attended Merton College at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, traveled across Europe, befriended artists on the cusps of their fame, and landed a job as a professor back in Duke’s English Department by the time he turned 25. Four years later he published his first novel, A Long and Happy Life, which won the William Faulkner Foundation Award and sold over a million copies. Price published several more…

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What Would Jesus Tweet? The Gospel in the 21st Century (Conference Recordings!)

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An enormous thank you to all the fantastic people at St Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church in Louisville, KY, who made the What Would Jesus Tweet mini-conference possible earlier this month! What a privilege it was to meet so many new friends; the warmth and graciousness of the welcome we received was nothing short of overwhelming. To read a (very generous!) re-cap of the event, go here. The recordings are now available, both on our Resources page and here, in the order in which they were given. Click on the talk titles to download, or on the players below to listen:

Talk 1: What Would Jesus Tweet? – David Zahl


Talk 2: Everybody’s Anxious, Nobody’s Bored – David Zahl


Everything New Is Moralism Again – The Rev. Jacob Smith


The Psychology of SalvationDr. Eric Johnson


Talk 3: What We Talk About When We Talk About Freedom and Closing Q&A – David Zahl and Jacob Smith


NYC Preview: I’m New Here. I Don’t Know Anyone. And What the &%*! Is Going On?

NYC Preview: I’m New Here. I Don’t Know Anyone. And What the &%*! Is Going On?

Recently, one of my current coworkers, whom we shall call Will, made a confession to me about his first Mockingbird Conference. A friend of mine, with whom Will worked at the time, had convinced him to come along, and so, after flying into LaGuardia, Will found himself in the backseat of my car on our way into Manhattan. Listening in on the front seat conversation between my friend and I (both Episcopal priests), which was undoubtedly, shall we say, “salty,” the following thoughts ran through Will’s head: “Who are these guys? What are they talking about? Are they even Christians?!…

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SPRING CONFERENCE IN NYC – Breakout Sessions!

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At long last, we can announce the full slate of breakout sessions at our upcoming conference in NYC. They are as follows:

  • I’m New Here! What’s Going On? – RJ Heijmen
  • Introducing The Fundamentals – Jacob Smith
  • What’s My Faction? (Teen) Angst in Dystopian Young Adult Fiction & Film – Deborah Leighton
  • National Lampoon: Stephen Colbert and the Ancient Pulpit of Satire – Ethan Richardson
  • The Uglier Ditch: First-Century Love in the Present Tense – Jono Linebaugh
  • Grace in Identity-Induced Despair: The Literature of Reynolds Price – Win Bassett
  • Ye Who Are Heavy Laden: Anxiety, Suffering, and the Gospel – Lauren Larkin
  • The Passion of the Childish Gambino: Online Honesty and Instagram Authenticity – Bryan Jarrell
  • Arrested Development in Flannery O’Connor – Will McDavid
  • It Can’t Mean That: The Terrible Parables of Christ – Nick Lannon

Keep an eye open for previews of each of the breakouts, which we’ll be rolling out in the coming weeks. One final exciting detail to add is that The Rev. John Zahl will be serving as our conference chaplain this year! For more information, or to pre-register, click here.

Also, today is the final day to sign up for our mailing list if you would like to receive a free copy of the first issue of The Mockingbird. They ship first thing next week!