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Oklahoma City Conference Schedule!

With just over a month until our Fall Conference in Oklahoma City (10/28-29), we are excited to announce the final schedule, including talk titles, below. We’ll be exploring the theme, “Grace in the Grind: The Gospel in Contemporary Culture”, and we hope the weekend will provide rest and respite from the stress of daily life. As a reminder, thanks to the generosity of The Anglican Foundation and All Souls Episcopal Church, this conference is completely free! Just please be sure to pre-register ASAP so that we can plan accordingly.


Friday Oct 28th

12:30 – Registration opens

1:00pm – Welcome and “Falling Into Grace, Pt 1” – John Newton

2:15pm – “The Gospel Monday thru Friday: Glimpses of Grace in Relationships” – Alex Large

3:15pm – Breakouts

  • “Lazaretto, or Where Is That Moral Progress I Was Promised?” – Scott Johnson
  • “The Kingdom of Heaven According to Hollywood: It’s Not Where You Think It Is” – Carrie Willard
  • “Repentance as an Act of Rebellion” – Jonathan Mitchican
  • “Grace All the Way Down” – Mac Stewart

6:00pm – “Falling Into Grace, Pt 2” – John Newton

6:45pm – Anglican Foundation presentation

7:00pm – Dinner and Drinks! (menu coming soon)

Saturday Oct 29th

8:30am – Doors open

9:00am – “Sacraments, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: Pop Culture and the Loss of the Enchanted Imagination” – Jonathan Mitchican

9:45am – “A View from the Back Pew: Grace in the Grind of Family and Church” – Carrie Willard

10:45am – “Things Done and Left Undone: Hope Beyond the To-Do List” – David Zahl

11:30am – Concluding service

12:30pm — Book Table closes


See you in Oklahoma!

Previously on Parenthood: Another Breakout Session

Previously on Parenthood: Another Breakout Session

For the session I’m hosting—“Thou Art my Beloved Child: Parenthood for Prodigals”—we look at instances of surprisingly unconditional grace, mercy, and compassion (i.e., love) in the family context as seen in the TV show Parenthood. My emphasis is more on parenthood-the-topic than Parenthood-the-show so that anyone, whether a regular Parenthood viewer or someone who has never even heard of it, can follow and enjoy the discussion. That said, I use Parenthood for my illustrations because I myself am obsessed. If you’re uninitiated, it is one of the most honest and psychologically in-touch shows currently out there, which is no…

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Freezing Repetitions and the Spirit of Play in Thornton Wilder's Theophilus North

Freezing Repetitions and the Spirit of Play in Thornton Wilder’s Theophilus North

A number of people have asked about the quotes from Thornton Wilder’s novel Theophilus North that I used in my talk at the 2009 Mockingbird Conference in New York [embedded at the bottom of the post]. The first comes at the end of the chapter ‘Diana Bell’, in which a woman who is trying to elope slowly realizes she is not really in love with the man whom she is trying to marry. She discovers instead that she is playing out once again an old story in her life, without realizing it; one which has repeated itself before and has…

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2009 Mockingbird Conference: "Grace in Personal Relationships"

2009 Mockingbird Conference: “Grace in Personal Relationships”

Handouts and book table list now included! You can download everything individually or as a whole. Hopefully the file sizes are somewhat manageable. Again, while we are making everything available for free, if you were not able to attend and would like to contribute to the cost of putting the event on, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again to everyone who took part!

1. Opening Sermon and Address – Justin Holcomb
2. Relationships in the Bible, Part 1 and Q&A – Steven Paulson
3a. Grace In Addiction – Kate Norris and John Zahl
3b. Grace In Romantic…

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Wingsuit Base Jumping

The Mockingbird Conference, which begins tomorrow, will be the theological equivalent of this:

I hope everyone is excited!

A MBNYC Conference Playlist

A MBNYC Conference Playlist

1. Today- Smashing Pumpkins
2. Omaha- Counting Crows
3. Jesus, What A Friend For Sinners- Matthew Smith
4. (Nothing But) Flowers- Talking Heads
5. Sometimes- James
6. Shady Lane- Pavement
7. On A Plain- Nirvana
8. Once- Pearl Jam
9. Climb to Safety- Widespread Panic
10. Screaming Infidelities- Dashboard Confessional
11. Song For a Future Generation- B-52’s
12. Paper in Fire- John Mellencamp
13. Red Rain-Peter Gabriel
14. Runnin Down a Dream- Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers
15. Rusty Cage- Johnny Cash
16. Say You Will- Fleetwood Mac
17. Seasons- Chris Cornell
18. Get Down Tonight- KC & The Sunshine Band
19. She’s the One-The Beta Band
20. The Grateful Dead- China Cat Sunflower
21. Love Will Find A Way-…

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The 2008 Mockingbird Conference: God's Grace in a World of Glory

The 2008 Mockingbird Conference: God’s Grace in a World of Glory

A week has passed and I can still hardly believe how well our first conference went! Sean and I want to thank everyone who came, and everyone who helped make it happen. It was an experience we will definitely keep with us for a long time to come. For those of you who couldn’t make the trip, here’s how it all went down:

[Note: we’ve whittled down the size the mp3s from the previous post so that they’ll take up roughly half as much room on your hard-drive.]

On Thursday evening April 3rd, we convened at St George’s Episcopal Church for the…

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What Is the Distinction Between the Law and the Gospel?

What Is the Distinction Between the Law and the Gospel?

People often ask us what we mean when we talk about “the distinction between the Law and the Gospel” – and we talk about it a lot! It sounds fancy, I know, but does it actually have any grounding in the Bible? Or is it simply something we/otherpeople have latched onto for the sake of convenience? Or worse, some leftover relic of the Protestant Reformation that’s long since become irrelevant and/or outdated?

A lot has been written on the subject, but for the sake of, um, convenience, I thought I’d provide three particularly pithy summaries of what constitutes this distinction (and…

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