“We haven’t seen them in a while,” I hear myself observing every few weeks, usually in reference to friends with whom my wife and I have lost touch. Most of the time, the estrangement is purely logistical, schedules being what they are in a house with two working parents and two napping toddlers. But guilt nevertheless sets in and triggers defensiveness. Soon platitudes like “it takes two to tango” or “life happens” are being trotted out and before long, you’re castigating yourself or the other person(s), possibly deconstructing society as a whole, and any chance of reconnection has been essentially…
A sublime passage from the 41st chapter of Moby Dick on Original Sin and scapegoating, or -whaling as the case may be, followed by a sermon that references it to great effect, ht PW:
The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung. That intangible malignity which has been from the beginning; to whose dominion even the modern Christians ascribe one-half of the worlds; which the ancient Ophites of the east reverenced in their statue devil;—Ahab did not fall down and worship it like them; but deliriously transferring its idea to the abhorred white whale, he pitted himself, all mutilated, against it. All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.
And here’s “A-R0d, Ahab, and the Daughter of Abraham” from Paul Walker:
You may have noticed that our Resources page has been under construction most of the summer. That’s because we have been hard at work expanding our sermon archive and doing a complete overhaul of its functionality. The new page went live this past weekend! A couple of features to highlight:
- Searchability — Simplified dropdown menus and tabs for easier sorting, plus sidebar widgets to highlight things you may have missed.
- Size — Twice as many files in the archive, including a number of new speakers and venues. Of the 200 or so that have been added since June, most are older, so if you think you’ve heard everything, guess again!
- Speed — New software allows for much faster browsing.
- Mobility — Unlike the old one, the new page is fully compatible with smartphones and other such devices. Files are easily accessible and playable via the menu on the mobile version of the site.
- Snazzy New Look — In other words, silly images galore.
- The Mockingpulpit Podcast! Mbird now has a dedicated podcast on iTunes, which you can subscribe to by clicking here. Subscribers will automatically receive every new sermon or talk that gets uploaded, regardless of when they were recorded.
Major thanks to Win Jordan and James Fishwick for making this happen. And while it may take a week or two to work out the kinks, please don’t hesitate to let us know if your run into any issues (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A few Sundays ago, I preached a sermon on Galatians 1:11-24, and we had a rough landing. It was one of those Sundays where I felt the plane take off perfectly, maintaining altitude for most of the sermon, but somewhere along the descent we hit turbulence.
As I drove home that day I asked myself, “What made the last part of my sermon so rough?” Why did I struggle so much with the last five minutes? Well, I realized I was trying to deliver a truth that I wasn’t actually believing myself. During the final point of my sermon–“Who is the…
EPISODE 145: Soul Coaxing
This is about the music. For it’s the music that makes me want to speak.
The other night, right in the middle of sleep — no kidding — said a “voice from above” (Joe Meek via John Leyton): “You have got to talk about ‘Soul Coaxing’”. So I did.
The music, which was actually once the soundtrack of our lives — the real soundtrack, not The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, who, great as they were, were not what most people were actually hearing at the time — is beyond good. “Soul Coaxing” is a little like “Baby, I’m Amazed”:…
Wire’s initial three albums have long been favorites of mine, especially the first and the third. The debut album, Pink Flag, employed punk minimalism and acidity with a slyly absurd literal-ism, while completely throwing out punk’s reliance on traditional rock n’ roll song structure. It’s fast and fun and leaves you off kilter in a way you don’t quite get at first. The third album, 154, is to me the consummate post-punk album, more so than say the usual suggestions of something by the Gang of Four, Joy Division or Pere Ubu. It’s polished and often desolate art rock (cold…
As Good Friday nears, a beautiful sermon of Martin Luther King’s we had sent our way, that we had to put up here. The speech was given after the bombing at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963, just three weeks after the March on Washington.
This afternoon we gather in the quiet of this sanctuary to pay our last tribute of respect to these beautiful children of God. They entered the stage of history just a few years ago, and in the brief years that they were privileged to act on this mortal stage, they played their parts exceedingly…
Another Week Ends: Assurance Anxiety, Genesis Lessons, Tumblr Love, Lost in the Cosmos, Iron Man Prep, and Hatsune Miku’s Pizza Stage
1. First off, a little pop theology. Phillip Cary contributed an encouraging review of J.D. Greear’s sensationally titled Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart to the recent issue of Christianity Today, under the header “Anxious About Assurance”. As he does in his book Good News for Anxious Christians, Cary gets straight to the heart of the matter:
Greear is not saying it’s wrong to ask Jesus into your heart. He’s saying it’s not the same thing as believing the gospel. And if we want to be assured of salvation, it’s believing the gospel that actually counts. We are saved by faith…
Grace Upon Grace is the new book of sermons from David Johnson, a great friend of Mockingbird’s here in Charlottesville, VA. You may have heard some of his sermons on our Resources page, or had the pleasure of listening to his talk on parenting at our conference this past Fall. This particular collection spans topics from all the “personal matters” of life: parents and kids, wives and husbands, money matters and big decisions, corporate ladders and childhood mistakes. In doing so, Dr. Johnson brings the heart of the gospel into the common corners of our daily lives–but not without first…
Here are some poetic words from Saint Augustine’s Sermon 69: On the same words, John 1: “In the beginning was the Word, etc.” excerpted from the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers edited by Philip Schaff. There are some beautiful lines here on the Incarnation—the Word of God becoming flesh—that could make this a Christmas sermon.
Do not follow the current of the flesh. For this flesh is indeed a current; for it has none abiding. As it were from a kind of secret fount of nature men are born, they live, they die; or whence they come, or whither they go, we know not….
This recording of the Great Reformer’s Christmas sermon was posted by the good folks at the White Horse Inn a couple of years ago (it was dug up from their tape archives). It’s a great read and an even better listen from the lips of Dr. Rosenbladt. I should note that it isn’t one of Luther’s actual sermons but an assembly of pieces from his many Christmas writings, put together by Roland Bainton as he envisioned Luther might have preached them.
It goes without saying that our prayers and hearts have been with Sandy Hook Elementary and the Newtown community since last week. On this side of our Sunday services, “Lord have mercy” is pretty much all I have left to say in my spiritually and emotionally exhausted state, and I don’t think I’m alone when I say that.
For those of us who are still struggling to maintain composure in light of tragedy, or for those exhausted from the 24 hour media coverage, or for those wrestling with the relationship between a good God and an evil…
In lieu of new blurbs for PZ’s Podcast (two new episodes went up last week!), we are privileged to bring you an appreciation of and introduction to this truly one-of-a-kind project, courtesy of Fred Rogers. We’ve tried to link to all the casts that are referenced – a few are not currently available.
Followers of Mockingbird will be acquainted, at least by title, with episodes in Paul Zahl’s podcast series. Perhaps you’ve had a listen or two; possibly you have become a subscriber through iTunes and make a habit of dialing them up. I hope so — if it’s too much…