New Here?
     
Week In Review

Another Week Ends: Andrew Garfield Falls in Love with Jesus, Internet Trolls Enter the Confessional, Ninety-Percent Forgiveness, Bootstraps Parenting, Kirk Franklin Loses His Religion, and Labour-In-Vain Road

Another Week Ends: Andrew Garfield Falls in Love with Jesus, Internet Trolls Enter the Confessional, Ninety-Percent Forgiveness, Bootstraps Parenting, Kirk Franklin Loses His Religion, and Labour-In-Vain Road

1. Happy Friday, everyone! First up, America Magazine’s interview with Andrew Garfield, who plays Rodrigues in Scorsese’s adaption of Silence, which is wide-releasing today. Apparently Garfield prepared extensively for his role as a Jesuit priest, practicing Ignation Exercises for several months before shooting. To get the scoop, Jesuit Brendan Busse went on a “religious blind date” with Garfield. It started off pretty awkward…the actor was tired, the Jesuit was excited [about Ignatius Loyola]. And then Garfield explained his weariness: “…the grief of living in a time and a place where a life of joy and love is f–ing impossible.”

He goes on to identify the law: that, even…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Amputee Palliatives, Burnouts, Good Riddance Day, Pig Ethics, Silence and the Penitent Magdalene

Another Week Ends: Amputee Palliatives, Burnouts, Good Riddance Day, Pig Ethics, Silence and the Penitent Magdalene

1. This first one is an absolute treasure, well deserving of a post of its own. I’m referring to “One Man’s Quest to Change the Way We Die” by Jon Mooallem in The NY Times Magazine. Mooallem profiles doctor and triple amputee B.J. Miller, who has become well-known for the unconventional and rather Buddhistic approach to palliative care he’s pioneered at a hospice in San Francisco. To these ears, however, Miller’s story and vocation brim with what can only be called grace in practice. Meaning, his is a case in which the experience of grace–of being loved at your darkest/ugliest/most…

Read More > > >

Another Advent Ends: Pint-Sized Edition

Another Advent Ends: Pint-Sized Edition

No weekender today, or next Friday, but we did record a fresh episode of The Mockingcast last night. The articles we discussed are:

1. “How Busyness Became a Bona Fide Status Symbol” by Jena McGregor in The Washington Post. We also reference this post.

2. “More People Die of Heart Disease Around Christmas” by Alice Park in Time. Really cheery, I know.

3. The standout was probably “How’s the Economy? Just Look at How Much Celebrating ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ Will Cost“, compiled by Elizabeth Olson for The NY Times.

4. We closed with Cornelius Plantinga’s review of Cicero’s How to Grow Old…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Mr Dan, Dr Heidegger, Fr Nouwen, Rev Rutledge, Prof Haidt & Ms. Smith

Another Week Ends: Mr Dan, Dr Heidegger, Fr Nouwen, Rev Rutledge, Prof Haidt & Ms. Smith

A bit light on the commentary today since the Year in Television ate up most of the daylight–though Lord knows we had plenty to say on an extended episode of The Mockingcast (I forget who we interviewed this time…).

1. First up, a super sweet story of grace that we missed back in October, about a 4-year old and her new best friend, ht JZ.

2. A terrific little essay from Charles Leadbetter in Aeon entitled “Nobody Is Home” on a subject that far too few people are talking about. Longing for “home”, which is often code for childhood, or love, or heaven, or God, is an…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Security Blankets, Shoulder Angels, Irresistible Cookies, Human Machines, Pharisaic Elves, Mismanaged Empathy, and the World’s Largest Rube Goldberg Machine

Another Week Ends: Security Blankets, Shoulder Angels, Irresistible Cookies, Human Machines, Pharisaic Elves, Mismanaged Empathy, and the World’s Largest Rube Goldberg Machine

1. Let’s start off with some seasonal cheer from A Charlie Brown Christmas. This week, the internet reminded us to take a closer look at Linus, who, during a Christmas pageant recital of Luke 2:8-14, does something incredible. I’ll let writer/discoverer Jason Soroski take it from here:

Linus is most associated with his ever-present security blanket. Throughout the story of Peanuts, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and others all work to no avail to separate Linus from his blanket. And even though his security blanket remains a major source of ridicule for the otherwise mature and thoughtful Linus, he simply refuses to give it up.

Until this…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Silent Scorsese, Chinese Credit, Stigma Supremacy, Moralized Rationality, Merciful Madness, and Anderson Xmas

Another Week Ends: Silent Scorsese, Chinese Credit, Stigma Supremacy, Moralized Rationality, Merciful Madness, and Anderson Xmas

1. If there’s a must-read article this week, it’s the profile of director Martin Scorsese that Paul Elie produced for The NY Times Magazine. Elie is always a joy to read and “The Passion of Martin Scorsese” is no exception. Most of it centers around Scorsese’s adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s Silence, a ridiculously Christocentric project that he’s been working on for 27 years. The article is not short, but you’ll kick yourself if you skim over the anecdotes Martin relays from childhood. Basically, he had the polar opposite experience of the Roman Catholic Church than you normally hear about in…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Upended Progress, Attachment Theory, Lulu Listening, Moral Superiority, Post-Truth, and Bingeing More Than Turkey

Another Week Ends: Upended Progress, Attachment Theory, Lulu Listening, Moral Superiority, Post-Truth, and Bingeing More Than Turkey

1) “Maybe it’s time we tell you,” the Atlantic seems to be saying, just more than a week after the world seemed to turn upside-down, “that we humans haven’t always believed in progress. To the contrary, it’s a rather new idea.” In Joel Mokyr’s essay from yesterday, “Progress Isn’t Natural,” our optimism towards human endeavors and scientific discoveries is at odds with what before could be described as “ancestor worship,” a feeling of due respect for tradition and classical texts prior to the Enlightenment:

After 1600, Europeans developed scientific instruments that allowed them to see things the ancient writers could never…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Jailed Dads, Imperfect Moms, Failed Perfectionists, Leonard Cohen, Kenny Lonergan, and Atlanta

Another Week Ends: Jailed Dads, Imperfect Moms, Failed Perfectionists, Leonard Cohen, Kenny Lonergan, and Atlanta

1. There’s been a lot of talk of reconciliation these last few days, and for good reason. It’s a topic that can get dangerously abstract, dangerously quickly. Fortunately, we couldn’t have asked for a more powerful, gut-level picture of what reconciliation looks like than the clip below. Guilt, shame, forgiveness, mercy, second chances, estranged fathers (little-f and capital-F), prayer, gratitude–this one has it all. Just be sure to have some tissues handy. I haven’t cried so hard since my son was born. Praise God (for a Day!), ht GWL:

While we’re on the subject of kids being reunited with parents, if you have…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Go Cubs Go!, Cormac McCarthy, Dead Mothers, Email Tics, Teen Depression, and the Church of McDonalds

Another Week Ends: Go Cubs Go!, Cormac McCarthy, Dead Mothers, Email Tics, Teen Depression, and the Church of McDonalds

1. Lots of Cubs love to be had this week. First, if you didn’t see the incredibly sweet line up of grandma and grandpa reactions on NPR this week, go there first.

And then there’s Bill Murray, at it again, giving a free Game Six ticket to a stranger from Indiana. And it was a ticket to sit right next to him!

And as if we needed any sort of Mockingbird defense of the whole spectacle—or of the whole spectacle of sports fanmanship overall—a great Science of Us bit about the power of sports teams to vicariously represent us. As the article…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: More Meritocracy, Hakuna Matata Election, Dating Apocalypse, Loving Psychos, The Ambush of Grief, and Irresponsible Gender Equity

Another Week Ends: More Meritocracy, Hakuna Matata Election, Dating Apocalypse, Loving Psychos, The Ambush of Grief, and Irresponsible Gender Equity

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with Zac Hicks, author of the brand new book The Worship Pastor.

1. In a great piece called “Meritocracy Is Exhausting,” from The Atlantic (ht DT), Victor Tan Chen explains how a society built on reward can be not only tiresome but also inescapable. Chen says that the cogs of America rely increasingly on “performance reviews,” synthesized by “data-gathering technologies.” He cites behavior tracking apps, marketing algorithms, and online review forums as just a few examples. Such technologies, or “models,” have obvious flaws: namely reinforcing a sense of supremacy among certain groups.

Even…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Online Scammers, Difficult Dating, Playborhoods, Art History Riddles, George H.W. Bush, Spirit-Breathed Emails, and More Serious Vacations

Another Week Ends: Online Scammers, Difficult Dating, Playborhoods, Art History Riddles, George H.W. Bush, Spirit-Breathed Emails, and More Serious Vacations

1. Wow, if there was a subcategory for stories like this first one, I’d have to call it, “Weird Stories of Forgiveness.” Weird and weirdly beautiful. It starts with a 62-year-old woman named Maria Grette who, after a nasty divorce and some prodding from her friends, created an online dating profile. She made contact with a romantic 58-year-old Danish man who was in fact a 24-year-old Nigerian “scammer,” who, in time, tricked her into wiring him money. A few thousand Euros later, she realized something was amiss.

Three weeks after her silence, he called her and confessed. He told her that he…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Dylan, Cash and O’Connor, Gospel Guitar, Cathartic Indignation, Black Mirrors, and Impossible Fun Runs

Another Week Ends: Dylan, Cash and O’Connor, Gospel Guitar, Cathartic Indignation, Black Mirrors, and Impossible Fun Runs

1. Awesome, awesome story about a funky gospel music guitarist in the Atlanta area named Don Schanche, who also happens to be white. The Bitter Southerner published Don’s story, which gives a beautiful picture of racial reconciliation happening not on some abstract or systemic level, but interpersonally, on-the-ground, as a fruit of the gospel. The message which reconciled Don to his own faith is the same message of welcome and acceptance that he received from those within these little, nowhere churches where he played.

I learned how to find the key when a singer jumps into a song without warning, how…

Read More > > >