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Year In Review

The Top Theology Books of 2015

The Top Theology Books of 2015

In the several years that I’ve been compiling a yearly review of theology books I have to say that this past year has been the best of them all. Some publishing years come and go without much notice, but this one will likely be remembered for quite a while.

Sin Boldly!: Justifying Faith for Fragile and Broken Souls, by Ted Peters

This book is so good we keep. writing. about. it. Go back and look – DZ has been subliminally sneaking Peters quotes or allusions into almost everything he’s written for the past 6 months. For Peters, justification is not some abstract,…

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2015: And Now, We Sing

2015: And Now, We Sing

A few weeks ago, my husband turned to me from our calendar. “Want to hear how we did this year?” he asked half-jokingly, citing the list we had made at the beginning of the year: goals, wishes, resolutions. I’ve talked here about my movement away from lists, but God help me if I can get away from them altogether, their bullet-point succinctness taunting me away from the narrative-driven unpredictability of grace and tempting me back to performancism.

I told him to read me the list.

This was at the beginning of December. The goals were laudable (eat better, read more)…

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Finding Faith: Top Ten Albums of 2015

Finding Faith: Top Ten Albums of 2015

It’s that time of the year again, time for another top ten albums list. The more of these I write, the more I realize how futile it is to attempt to pick ten albums to represent the year in music. This year the task was made even harder by the launch of Impossible to Say, Blake Collier’s and my music podcast. Thanks to the podcast, I listened to probably twice the amount of new music I listened to last year, which made winnowing down this year’s list an arduous task. So, without further ado, here are the albums that have…

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“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Six Favorite Moments of 2015

“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Six Favorite Moments of 2015

I’m one of those people who stumbles across shows and albums and movies waaaaaay after they’ve gone public; all the books I read are written by people who have entered into the great slumber decades, if not centuries, ago. I’ve nothing to offer you about books, movies, shows, albums from 2015 that you don’t already know. But, what I can give you as a year-in-review is, well, me. These few moments are merely moments when I was reminded that my faith in Christ and the theology I study are living breathing things: working both in me and through me toward…

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Pot Kettle Black: Keeping the Mocking-Score in 2015

A little rundown of what got traffic/traction in 2015 for those looking to while away the post-Christmas coma. Fresh content will be fairly sparse until the new year:

foxscore
Most Read Posts of 2015

  1. Stephen Colbert Loves the Thing He Most Wishes Had Not Happened
  2. The Scandal of One Way Love
  3. Infidelity, Love and the New Shame
  4. Hello from the Inside
  5. Addressing the Grace Gap in American Churches
  6. Instagramming the Sin of Omission
  7. When Your Life Inevitably Falls Apart
  8. In a World of Suffering, the “And Yet”
  9. Your Best Story, Now!
  10. My Relationship With God Is Better Than Ever

Honorable Mentions: Fifty Shades of Something, What Would Jesus Do (for Lent)?, The Agony of Getting Everything You Want, Step Into Their World, & Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lion?

Least Read Posts of 2015 AKA Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (And Still Does!)

  1. Pimp My Whitewashed Tomb
  2. Gaming the New Self Help
  3. The Mad Genius of Mindy Kaling
  4. Parsing America’s Professional Prophets
  5. Split or Steal
  6. Nerd Alert!

Most Popular Tweet: This One

Most Popular Facebook Post (Not Already Mentioned Above): The Five Rules of Being a Grown Up

Most Downloaded Sermon(s):A Love Too Best To Be”

Most Watched Conference Talks (Not Given By a Bestselling Author)

  1. Hiding in the Bathroom – Sarah Condon
  2. Life at Play – Jamin Warren
  3. Stories of Grace – John Zahl
  4. The Lame Shall Enter First – Will McDavid

P.S. Special new Christmas episode of The Mockingcast up now. Click here to listen.

The Top Ten Films of 2015

The Top Ten Films of 2015

2015 has produced the most balanced mixture of high quality blockbusters and enraptured indie films in recent years than I can remember. In forfeiting control of some of its biggest franchises to more capable auteurs, Hollywood saw the successful resurgence of some of its most popular franchises with Creed, Jurassic World, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The smaller market also produced plenty of memorable pictures, and witnessed the transformation of one of its zeniths into a major silver screen production in Mad Max: Fury Road. In both the indie and mainstream movie-verse, filmmakers invited their leading ladies to take…

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Five Golden…Themes! What We Loved Writing about in 2015

Five Golden…Themes! What We Loved Writing about in 2015

As we blanket our house with nic-nacs and expensive toys, it’s the perfect time to look back at the things that matter—or the things that mattered—or the things that at least we thought mattered at the time—to us this year. Here are Five Golden Themes for 2015—repeated stories and obsessions that didn’t just creep into the collective cultural psyche, but seemed to define it, for better or worse.

Performancism and Suicide. I had to check and make sure this hadn’t been on one of our previous year-end roundups. I thought surely, with all the times we’ve written about “the epidemic,” this…

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Pope Francis shakes hands with an inmate as he meets with prisoners at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, September 27, 2015.    REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Consuming 2015: Favorite Music, Media, Books and Humor

Alrighty, culture vultures, time for our annual round up of favorites. Every pundit on the planet seems to be in agreement about how hard a year it’s been, geo-politically and otherwise, so thank God the opposite appears to be true aesthetically. Lots of wonderful stuff appeared. These are predominantly personal picks, albeit ones with an eye, as always, toward Mocking-resonance (click here for TV):

Music

Favorite Discoveries

Sing Slowly Sisters by Robin Gibb. The term “lost classic” gets thrown around so often that when one actually surfaces, it often gets re-lost. Such is the case with Robin Gibb’s second solo record, the one…

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The Dirty Deacon’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2015

The Dirty Deacon’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2015

Pinning down actual years on films is a tricky endeavor. Some films travel film festival circuits and have limited theater releases well before they’re actually “out”. However, my list below contains the top 10 horror films that had a wide release in 2015, whether it was in theaters or through video-on-demand services.

10. The Visit [dir. by M. Night Shyamalan]:

There were so many terrific horror films that came out in 2015 that I had a very difficult time narrowing down my top ten. Some may be surprised by my inclusion of this divisive Shyamalan film, but it was between it and Del Toro’s Crimson Peak (you…

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The Best of the Year in Television 2015

The Best of the Year in Television 2015

Goodness gracious it was a wonderful year for television, the past six months especially. A bunch of beloved series came to a close (Justified, Mad Men, Parenthood, Hannibal), a couple of promising newer ones blasted into the stratosphere (Fargo, The Leftovers), and there was no dearth of quality debuts (Mr. Robot, Better Call Saul). So much good stuff that we had to declare a tie for the top spot.

Seasons that have gotten raves that we’re waiting for the holidays to binge on are You’re the Worst, The Americans, Bojack Horseman, and Jane the Virgin, so they weren’t included below. But…

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A Mockingbird Gift Guide (2015 Edition)

A Mockingbird Gift Guide (2015 Edition)

That time again! To check out last year’s list, click here.

For the youth minister looking to inject their presentations with a bit more pizzaz, or the mid-level manager needing to spice up staff meeting: Pyro Mini Fireshooter

For all the other parents in your toddler’s playgroup who are barely treading water this season: Rain for Roots brand-new Advent album, Waiting Songs or Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets’ The Quality Holiday Revue Live on vinyl

For the guy at your old church who always accused you of mis-reading Paul: Reformation Readings of Paul ed. by Jono Linebaugh and Michael Allen

For those of us who like the idea of a calendar more…

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“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Four Favorite Moments of 2014

“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Four Favorite Moments of 2014

With three young kids, one who’s a toddler, I don’t get out to the theater much. Being absolutely exhausted at the end of the day, I can barely finish a glass of wine let alone a good novel. I solely rely on Pandora for my music selection and Netflix for TV programming ideas, so I’m not quite “up-to-date” on what’s hot and what’s not in the entertainment industry. But, what I can give you as a year-in-review is, well, me. Before we get any further into January, what follows are some of the moments from this past year when I…

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