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Posts tagged "Gospel"

The Irresistible Father: Grace in The Water Diviner

The Irresistible Father: Grace in The Water Diviner

I know it may not have received very good reviews, but Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner may be one of the greatest movies I have ever seen.

In my opinion, it’s better than The Mission. It’s better than Of Gods and Men. It may even be better than Red Beard.

Why? It’s because you don’t see it coming. You have no idea of the irresistible grace that is headed your way as you watch the movie unfold.  And it hits you, again, and again (and again).

Russell Crowe portrays an Australian farmer, Joshua Connor, who allows his three sons to enlist with the ANZAC troops in World War I….

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Mockingbird at the Movies: Intro (and Final Edition)

Mockingbird at the Movies: Intro (and Final Edition)

As this year’s Oscar buzz revs up, be sure to take a look at our latest publication, Mockingbird at the Movies, an anthology of film essays collected from many of Mockingbird’s contributing writers. Last week, we quietly released the fully-polished final edition, which consists of a few less typos but all of the same thought-provoking, Gospel-centered content. See the full Table of Contents here, order a copy here, and read the intro, by editor CJ Green, below. Oh and if you feel inspired to post a review on Amazon, by all means.

It was an ill-defined notion but there nevertheless—my vague childhood idea that ‘Hollywood’ had it…

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But Which God?: Revisiting the Law And Gospel Debate

But Which God?: Revisiting the Law And Gospel Debate

A few months ago, I wrote a brief piece entitled “When John Locke Turned Gospel into Law”, one that I considered to be true to the classic Mockingbird message: the unmistakably clear articulation of grace. Trying to connect that message with the philosopher John Locke’s vision of Christianity, I challenged his version of “the covenant of faith” as a false articulation of grace [a kind of afterthought]. Yet to my surprise, the post met with some pushback, and the comments, I must admit, did make a point: Does not Christianity shore up a positive vision of life, and thus an ethic?…

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CAST AWAY, US 2000 TOM HANKS CASTAWAY US 2000 TOM HANKS Date 2000, Photo by: Mary Evans/C20TH FOX / DREAMWORKS/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection(10305969)

Law & Gospel: News from Across the Sea

The following is excerpted from Mockingbird’s newest resource, Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints), which is available here. This comes from the beginning of the Gospel section:

‘News’ expresses something different from ‘knowledge.’ We live in a time of unprecedented knowledge: a day’s worth of new data now would, in terms of raw amount of information, be the envy of entire centuries past. Knowledge equips us to better live in the world around us: The scientist must be in control in the lab, and the factory manager needs good data on her employees’ output, the cost of raw…

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When John Locke Turned Gospel Into Law

When John Locke Turned Gospel Into Law

It’s no secret that here at Mockingbird we like to talk about how the themes of Law and Grace play out in everyday life, so much, in fact, that there’s now a Mockingbird publication which bears its namesake.

When we say “law”, we tend to mean that the posture of the self in some way fails to be truly at rest. As the Glossary puts it,

In practice… the requirement of perfect submission to the commandments of God is exactly the same as the requirement of perfect submission to the innumerable drives for perfection that drive everyday people’s crippled and crippling lives…

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Two Words in Job

Two Words in Job

Yesterday, while preparing for a sermon, I came across a beautiful description of both Law and Gospel in the Old Testament that I’d never noticed before. Job 33.14-28:

For God speaks in one way,
and in two, though man does not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
while they slumber on their beds,
16 then he opens the ears of men
and terrifies them with warnings,
17 that he may turn man aside from his deed
and conceal pride from a man;
18 he keeps back his soul from the pit,
his life from perishing by the sword…

26 …then man prays to God, and he accepts him;
    he sees his face with a shout of…

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The Verbal Dynamics of Spiritual Cousins, or, The Trouble with Talking Theologically

The Verbal Dynamics of Spiritual Cousins, or, The Trouble with Talking Theologically

Nothing’s lost. Or else: all is translation / And every bit of us is lost in it.

—James Merrill, “Lost in Translation”

A Simple Conversation

It may be more strenuous to discuss theology with my theological cousin than with another with whom I have only a passing ideological kinship. Language simultaneously hides, reveals, and obscures differences in theological priority or emphasis that, though logically subtle, yield immense differences in the style, tone, and attitude of daily living. Recently, I spoke with a minister about the difficulty I have had with committing to a church, or engaging with a Christian…

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When You Encounter the Spirit (You May Not Like It)

When You Encounter the Spirit (You May Not Like It)

I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of Simeon Zahl’s Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt: The Holy Spirit Between Wittenberg and Azusa Street. He has some truly trenchant things to say about the work of the Holy Spirit and its relationship to preaching. For Simeon, the Holy Spirit can encounter us directly as “negative” experience in convicting us of our sinful nature and need for grace. This outlook changes the task of preaching, shifting the emphasis away from conviction of sin and towards giving people a framework to…

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All or Nothing: The Problem with that little bit of Law

All or Nothing: The Problem with that little bit of Law

“Name Your Own Vacation” sounds like a wonderful benefit package. Who wouldn’t want to have the freedom to determine their own vacation time?

photo by yipinglim (flickr.com)

It has always puzzled me how the  American worker survives with the paltry vacation allocation that most companies in N. America offer. (Back home in Singapore, 3 weeks of vacation is more or less de rigueur and even that seems too little.)  So this blog article in the WSJ, at first glance, appeared to be a wonderful example of grace in the workplace. Having an employer who trusted the employee to know how much…

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From The New Yorker

Welcome to Mbird 2.0!

Welcome to Mbird 2.0!

At long last, the new site is here! We encourage you to explore. Beyond the crisper presentation, there are a variety of new features for you to check out. One of our chief aims with this new site was to create a platform that made better use of our increasingly vast archives (there’s gold in them hills…); we understand that the range of topics we cover can be a bit frustrating for folks who are only interested in certain aspects. To that end, we’ve introduced a number of new ways for content to “bubble up,” that is, to find past…

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Another SITE Ends: Self-Restrained Aggression, Praise vs. Criticism, Cheesus Strikes Again, Galli on Substitution, DFW on Addiction and Self-Help, 3eanuts, Richard Ashcroft

Another SITE Ends: Self-Restrained Aggression, Praise vs. Criticism, Cheesus Strikes Again, Galli on Substitution, DFW on Addiction and Self-Help, 3eanuts, Richard Ashcroft

1. A Scientific American podcast/article brings to light an interesting study on the correlation between self-control and aggression, which ties in to JDK’s conference talk about the thin line between threat and promise (recording coming Monday!), ht JD:

Past studies have shown that exerting self-control may increase irritability and anger. But the new research found that the increased aggression brought on by self-restraint has a much broader effect. The researchers studied different types of self-control and the subjects’ subsequent behavior. For instance, participants who carefully controlled their spending of a gift certificate were more interested…

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