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Week In Review

Another Week Ends: A Statue of Barney Fife, the Eradication of the First Person Perspective, the Story of Taylor Swift, the Deep Magic of David Brooks, and the Resurrection of Ricardo Lockette

Another Week Ends: A Statue of Barney Fife, the Eradication of the First Person Perspective, the Story of Taylor Swift, the Deep Magic of David Brooks, and the Resurrection of Ricardo Lockette

Check out this week’s edition of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with writer/theologian Peter Leithart!

1. To start, let’s go back to Mayberry… 

Don Knotts, who played Barney Fife in “The Andy Griffith Show,” is being honored in his hometown with a statue of himself in front of the local theater. This story from The Clarion-Ledger discusses Knotts’s life and history, and delves into his childhood–it reminded me of when one of my most cheerful friends told me the truth about his own ‘inner demons’. I’d known him for years and, from the outside, he’d always seemed to be a beacon of endless joy….

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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, crate-training, sticking to a strict routine… and the dog-hotel for vacationers business has been booming.

First up, same with kids. A friend from college mentioned how much it annoyed him when, as a kid, his parents would use the phrase “underfoot” to describe him. For the record,…

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Another Week Ends: Alien Jesus, Valuable Addicts, Authentic Politicians, Manipulative Grace, Marriage Vows, and A Jury of Your Peers in the Local Grocery Store

Another Week Ends: Alien Jesus, Valuable Addicts, Authentic Politicians, Manipulative Grace, Marriage Vows, and A Jury of Your Peers in the Local Grocery Store

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with our friend Kimm Crandall, author of new book Beloved Mess.

1. To start, here’s a must-know for anyone planning to see the new Star Trek:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture [1979] will always be divisive among Trekkies…But as nebulous and confounding as some of the movie’s ideas are, apparently series creator Gene Roddenberry had an even more outlandish premise planned for the franchise’s big screen debut…

Years after Paramount shelved the script due to fears over the controversy it would cause, author Michael Jan Friedman was hired…

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Another Week Ends: Working Class Christianity, Farewell Toast, High-Functioning Anxiety, Cheeto Moms, and Evil Thoughts

Another Week Ends: Working Class Christianity, Farewell Toast, High-Functioning Anxiety, Cheeto Moms, and Evil Thoughts

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with theologian Miroslav Volf.

1. J.D. Vance wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled The Bad Faith of the White Working Class. In it, Vance describes his own upbringing in not only a working class Southern Ohio town, but also an evangelical household and church community. He defends the hope and support his faith community provided, and he uses a lot of statistics to back up that this is true of a lot of children who grew up in similar circumstances.

Vance also argues…

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Another Week Ends: Smashed Pottery, Broken People, the Laws of Beauty, Celebrity Workaholics, Moral Licensing, and Watermelon Zombies

Another Week Ends: Smashed Pottery, Broken People, the Laws of Beauty, Celebrity Workaholics, Moral Licensing, and Watermelon Zombies

First, if you haven’t seen our latest newsletter, check it out here–some very exciting things in store for the year ahead! And click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast (“The Ecumenical Apocalypse”), featuring an interview with writer/scholar Liel Liebowitz.

1. Let’s start off with this lovely piece from The Wall Street Journal:

There is a Japanese word, kintsukuroi, that means “golden repair.” It is the art of restoring broken pottery with gold so the fractures are literally illuminated—a kind of physical expression of its spirit. As a philosophy, kintsukuroi celebrates imperfection as an integral part of the story, not something…

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Another Week Ends: Poolside ICUs, Distracted Reflections, Simulated Apocalypses, Helicopter Observers, Urban Sombreros & Mrs Christ

Another Week Ends: Poolside ICUs, Distracted Reflections, Simulated Apocalypses, Helicopter Observers, Urban Sombreros & Mrs Christ

Couple of quick announcements before we dive in: This coming Wednesday (6/22) in Stamford, CT, we’re kicking off our summer series of “Religious Hope from the Movies” screenings at the Avon Theater. Very excited about this! The first selection is Whit Stillman’s Barcelona, and my father and I’ll be tag-teaming a short intro before the curtain lifts at 7:30pm. The following day, I’ll be speaking at Christ Church Greenwich (7pm) about Mockingbird and A Mess of Help. Spread the word – would love to see you! Lastly, click here to listen this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an…

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Another Week Ends: Dirty Jobs, 70s Moms, Debt Collectors, Doing What You Love, “Doing Life,” and Yes, Gospel Rappin’

Another Week Ends: Dirty Jobs, 70s Moms, Debt Collectors, Doing What You Love, “Doing Life,” and Yes, Gospel Rappin’

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with friend/broadcaster Erik Guzman, author of The Seed: A True Myth.

1. Okay okay okay. Forget about the nay-sayers for a moment, forget about the fact that the whole game-show giveaway presentation was a bit of a false display. Maybe John Oliver was only saving people from a few nasty calls, a few petty, unusable debts—I don’t care, it was still a cool moment for television. And so much better than Oprah’s big giveaway. Forgiveness of debts long run cold. If you haven’t watched the segment,…

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Another Week Ends: Bad Luck, Egyptian Daggers from Outer Space, Piety Vacuums, The Golden Calf of College, Eulogy-Virtues, Spiritual Shins, and Baptist Justice

Another Week Ends: Bad Luck, Egyptian Daggers from Outer Space, Piety Vacuums, The Golden Calf of College, Eulogy-Virtues, Spiritual Shins, and Baptist Justice

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with author and film critic Alissa Wilkinson.

1. This week New York Magazine covered the fascinating tug-of-war between meritocracy and luck in modern culture. Entitled, “Why Americans Ignore the Role of Luck in Everything,” the article discusses the inflammatory remarks of Robert Frank, an economist at Cornell, who said that luck plays a more important role in success than we like to think.

The article explores what luck is and why we tend to react so negatively to any serious mention of it. First of all, because we don’t know…

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Another Week Ends: Dunham’s Addiction, Snapchat Freedom, War Vet Atonement, Toastimonies, Careerist Personality and… EVERYTHING

Another Week Ends: Dunham’s Addiction, Snapchat Freedom, War Vet Atonement, Toastimonies, Careerist Personality and… EVERYTHING

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg.

1. I’ll just make a note of this, and then I’ll direct you to the Podcast above for more in depth (and hilarious) commentary, but it should also be read in tandem with DZ’s post from earlier this week about the state of “manliness” and male identity today. Lena Dunham, in the New York Daily News, made a comment about challenging herself to leave her “Sorry” addiction. As a woman, she found it had become a default form of communication—apologizing for things…

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Another Week Ends: Free Will(y), Pervert Park, Starbucks Snowflakes, Robert Frost and Chance the Rapper

Another Week Ends: Free Will(y), Pervert Park, Starbucks Snowflakes, Robert Frost and Chance the Rapper

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, featuring an interview with theologian and preacher Fleming Rutledge.

1. Never know whether to be heartened or dismayed when a fresh article about free will hits the webs and is immediately forwarded to us from all corners. I read once that debates on the subject were formally outlawed in Elizabethan England, such was the explosive response it could generate. Well, no one seems to have told The Atlantic Monthly, who ran an lengthy bit of journalism titled “There No Such Thing As Free Will” in their most recent print issue. (Then again, they probably knew exactly what…

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Another Week Ends: Stone Roses, Avatars, Tinder Humanitarians, (Un)Funny Sermons, Self-Compassion, Good Christian Films and a Bunch of Marbles

Another Week Ends: Stone Roses, Avatars, Tinder Humanitarians, (Un)Funny Sermons, Self-Compassion, Good Christian Films and a Bunch of Marbles

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with Howard professor of Homiletics Kenyatta Gilbert.

1. What a glorious day it is when you wake up to a new single by The Stone Roses! I’m going to withhold judgment til I’ve had a bit more time to sit with it, but woah that guitar solo:

2. Next, writing for The NY Times magazine, Amanda Hess asks, What Do Our Online Avatars Reveal About Us? A lot, as it turns out. The stakes are theologically richer than meets the eye too:

The word “avatar” originates in Hinduism,…

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Another Week Ends: Ancient Riddles, Death by Treadmill, Buzzing Bees, Sad Smartypantses, Physical Dependence, the Rise of the Monotaskers, and How to Burn a Witch According to Radiohead

Another Week Ends: Ancient Riddles, Death by Treadmill, Buzzing Bees, Sad Smartypantses, Physical Dependence, the Rise of the Monotaskers, and How to Burn a Witch According to Radiohead

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with author/theologian John Newton.

1. Let’s start with this weird and beautiful story from The Washington Post: “The key to these ancient riddles may lie in a father’s love for his dead son.” For a hundred years, archaeologists have been trying to make sense of an extensive series of ancient Swedish runes which bear the dedication: “In memory of Vämod stand these runes. And Varinn wrote them, the father, in memory of his dead son.” Although many of the riddles that follow seem completely unrelated to this mysterious father/son…

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