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Week In Review

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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Another Week Ends: A Compassionate Judge, Johnny Football, Smug Liberalism, Choose Your Own Failure, Alcoholic Wine, and Hobbes & Me

Another Week Ends: A Compassionate Judge, Johnny Football, Smug Liberalism, Choose Your Own Failure, Alcoholic Wine, and Hobbes & Me

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast.

1) Hard not to start off with this amazing story of grace in practice, of an accused criminal sentenced to 24 hours in jail, and accompanied the whole time by his judge. The Washington Post tells the story of Green Beret veteran Sgt. Joseph Serna and District Court Judge Lou Olivera, and the Veterans Treatment Court over which he presides. The story describes Serna’s three tours of duty, the friends he lost, the multiple times he almost died himself. And the consequential PTSD he faces today.

While Serna’s years in combat…

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Another Week Ends: Crooked Cops, Rueful Rates, Toasted Prayers, Humanized Preppies, Katims’ Path, GNR Haters, and 15 Year Old Prince

Another Week Ends: Crooked Cops, Rueful Rates, Toasted Prayers, Humanized Preppies, Katims’ Path, GNR Haters, and 15 Year Old Prince

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with musician Derek Webb, among other things. Conference recordings coming early next week!

1. Given the grim findings reported in the next item, I thought we’d kick off with a beautiful story of grace that aired on CBS this week. Pretty much the reverse of every prison movie ever made, thank God:

2. This past Friday, the National Institute for Health Statistics published updated findings on national rates of suicide, and the news is not good. Bluntly put, between 1999 and 2014, the US suicide rate has risen by…

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Another Week Ends: Lots of Religious Things Including But Not Limited To Cheerleaders, Voyeurism, Marshmallows, and Solitary Confinement

Another Week Ends: Lots of Religious Things Including But Not Limited To Cheerleaders, Voyeurism, Marshmallows, and Solitary Confinement

Check out this week’s episode of The Mockingcast–and subscribe through iTunes or your favorite Android Podcasting App!

1. The Atlantic’s project, “Choosing My Religion,” is running full steam ahead (Ethan mentioned it a couple weeks back), and its goal is simply to record stories of how young people deal or don’t deal with religion.

As a part of the project, a particularly interesting article surfaced this week entitled, “Cheerleaders for Christ,” featuring the story (as reported with a surprising amount of grace) about a Texas high school whose cheerleaders wrote Bible verses on their banners at football games. (Speaking of Texas high school football, and…

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Another Week Ends: Doubtful Substitutions, American Psychos, Anxious Superheroes, Angry Texts, and Throwback Specials

Another Week Ends: Doubtful Substitutions, American Psychos, Anxious Superheroes, Angry Texts, and Throwback Specials

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast.

1. I hope everyone had a nice Easter week. Hard to believe we’re less than two weeks away from NYC! Which means that those of us in liturgical churches will be reading about “doubting” Thomas this Sunday. A perfect opening for the recent installment of The NY Times’ Stone column, this time from philosopher William Irwin, “God Is a Question, Not an Answer”. Before you roll your eyes at the title (#gimmeabreak), a big part of Irwin’s argument has to do with dismantling any understanding of faith that doesn’t allow…

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