Where Have I Landed? What Is Mockingbird?

Welcome to the Mockingbird website! Mockingbird is an organization devoted to “connecting the Christian faith with the realities of everyday life”, and this site is one of our chief venues for doing so. (We also publish books and magazines, host conferences, and distribute podcasts.) We think of the website as an ever-growing catalog of the ways in which a Christian understanding of reality – what people are like, what God is like, and how the two intersect – is borne out around us. As you might imagine, this looks different every day. One minute we’re talking about parenting, the next we’re delving into pop music, the next we’re exploring religious history. Sometimes we’re simply being ridiculous. There are a handful of regular columns–e.g., a Monday devotional, a Friday news round-up–but for the most part we’re flying by the seat of our pants.

We have done our best to make sure there is something for everyone, so if you don’t find something of interest immediately, click around our archives, listen to a recording, peruse our publications, comment on a discussion. We’re glad you found us. Grace abounds.

Still Confused?

There’s tons more information on our About and Frequently Asked Questions pages. But for the uninitiated, here’s a taste of our “greatest hits”, broken down by subject (followed by a list of some recommended reading/listening):

Theology/Bible

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“What Is the Distinction Between the Law and the Gospel?”
“The Subjective Power of an Objective Gospel”
“Spiritual To-Do Lists and Mental Acrobatics”
“Bigfoot Called My Unicorn an Antinomian”
“Possibly Insane Thoughts on Ash Wednesday”
“My Relationship With God Is Better Than Ever”

Music/Film/TV

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“The Secret History of William Axl Rose”
“Stephen Colbert Loves the Thing He Most Wishes Had Not Happened”
“Hello From the Inside”
“Did I Listen to Nirvana Cause I Was Angry?”
“Take the Carbon, Leave the Bible: Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom
“When Your Life Inevitably Falls Apart: Watching Rev

Social Science

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“Justifying Our Lives Away”
“Sharing Our Lives With the People We Have Failed to Be”
“Overconfident Men and Underestimating Women”
“God Redeems Our Work (Even Our Anthropomorphism)”
“Surviving November”
“Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lion?”

Religion

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“Expectation Hangovers and Twentysomething Nones”
“Christian Battle Lines and the Narcissism of Small Differences”
“The Dangers of Transformation in a Suicidal Church (and World)”
“The Prosperous Gospel of Stage 4 Cancer”
“Modern Origins of Anxiety: Reflection on Idolatry”

Relationships

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“Robert Downey Jr, Mel Gibson and the Idiot Forgiveness of God”
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Equal Marriage”
“Overinvested Parents and Their Unhappy Children”
“If Only You Were Lonely: Social Media and Self-Forgetfulness”
“Blessed Messes and the New Law of Mothering Ineptitude”
“Infidelity, Love, and the New Shame”

Sports

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“This Team Is Terrible…And Awesome”
“House of Yoga, Church of CrossFit”
“The Harsh, Hopeful Ballad of Urban Meyer”
“Spitters, Change-Ups & the American Need for Baseball”
“Nick Saban and the Doctrine of Imputation”

Literature

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“On Hemingway’s ‘Big Two-Hearted River’”
“The Seven Sacraments of Harry Potter”
“Grace, Love and Justice in Tolstoy’s ‘The Forged Coupon'”
“The Paradox of The Power and The Glory
“The Gospel’s Steady Work of Reversal”
“The World Within the Fracture: 20 Years of Infinite Jest

Humor

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“Resolving to Love Calvin and Hobbes (17 Years Later)”
“Everything I Never Learned from Seinfeld
Bringing You the Gospel, pts 1-44
From The Onion
From The New Yorker

Recommended Reading/Listening

First Look:

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Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life, by Paul F.M. Zahl
The Mockingbird Devotional, edited by Ethan Richardson and Sean Norris
Christ Alone, by Rod Rosenbladt
The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment, by Robert Farrar Capon
The Gospel According to Peanuts, by Robert Short
Grace in Addiction: The Good News of Alcoholics Anonymous for Everybody, by John Z
Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
The Complete Stories, by Flannery O’Connor

Next Steps:

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The Bondage of the Will, by Martin Luther
Eden and Afterward, by Will McDavid
On Being a Theologian of the Cross, by Gerhard O. Forde
Who Will Deliver Us?, By Paul F.M. Zahl
This American Gospel, by Ethan Richardson
A Mess of Help, by David Zahl
Commentary on Galatians, by Martin Luther
Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), by Elliott Aronson and Carol Tavris
Sinners Welcome, by Mary Karr
The Angel That Troubled the Waters, by Thornton Wilder

Deep Cuts:

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Between Noon and Three, by Robert Farrar Capon
Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense, by Francis Spufford
Fear, Love, and Worship, by C. Fitzsimons Allison
PZ’s Panopticon, by Paul F.M. Zahl
Clinical Theology, by Frank Lake
Beyond Deserving, by Dorothy Martyn
The Reconstruction of Morality, by Karl Holl
Theophilus North, by Thornton Wilder
Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
The Cocktail Party, by T.S. Eliot

Listening:

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Why We Always Lose When We Keep Score, by Paul Walker
The Zoolander Antidote, by Aaron Zimmerman
The Merciful Impasse, by Paul F.M. Zahl
What We Talk About When We Talk About Freedom, by David Zahl
Everything New Is Moralism Again, by Jacob Smith
The New Recipe: Grace in Family Life, by Dorothy Martyn
On Not Being C.S. Lewis, by Francis Spufford
Looking at All the Lonely People, by David Zahl
Brand New Me: Instagrammed Lives and the Promise of the Cross, by Ethan Richardson
Does Jesus Like Donuts?, by Aaron Zimmerman
Grace in Parenting, by Sarah Condon
Crunch Time, by Nick Lannon
Introduction to Christian Theology Class, by Will McDavid
Good News for People with Big Problems, by David Zahl
The Mockingcast, by various
The Mockingpulpit, by various
PZ’s Podcast, by Paul F.M. Zahl