A major thank you to everyone who helped put on this past weekend’s conference in New York! We could not be happier or more grateful for how it all went. We are offering the recordings free of charge again this year; we only ask that those who were not able to attend this year *consider* making a donation to Mockingbird to help cover the cost of the event. Download links are followed by an in-line player for each recording.
1. A great little editorial on Slate about the recent instances of “Twittercide” committed by folks as wide-ranging as Gilbert Gottfried, Tucker Carlson, Keith Olbermann, and Rashard Mendenhall. The author wisely points out how silly it is to blame the medium – its immediacy is a big part of its genius after all – that while twitter may amplify trash-talking by catering to impulse, the animus/judgment was there a priori. That is, the problems are a matter of nature, not technology or even self-control:
I reject the idea that Twitter trips up naïve users such…
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…
A companion piece to this week’s episodes of PZ’s Podcast, which deal with the Protestant (architectural) face of Anglicanism:
There are few sympathetic portrayals in literature of Anglican or Episcopal clergy who are Evangelicals. Most novelists have described Anglican Evangelical clergy as self-righteous, puritanical, and hypocritical. The classic portrayals are ‘Mr. Slope’ in Trollope’s Barchester Towers, ‘Mr. Honeyman’ in Thackerey’s The Newcomes, and ‘Mr. Chadband’ in Dickens’ Bleak House (tho’ Mr. Chadband may be a Dissenting Minister rather than a Minister of the Established Church). There is also a devastating portrait of a young ‘Simeonite’ (i.e., Evangelical) clergyman at Cambridge…
Amy Adams, who just received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for her role in The Fighter was on Tavis Smiley in December to promote the film. Tavis asked Amy about having a new baby, and her response was priceless:
“I like the world more now. The focus is off of me, and that is freedom. That I no longer am the most important thing in my life. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, before I was self-centered. I didn’t even realize how self-centered. My small day to day drama is now…
Mockingbird’s resident opera aficionado Ken Wilson offers forth a truly breathtaking moment of beauty:
John Donne’s plea in Holy Sonnet XIV that grace will break his captive will, set to necessarily inadequate but characteristically gorgeous music by John Adams and sung by bass-baritone Gerald Finley in the Adams opera Dr. Atomic (about Robert Oppenheimer and the setting off of the first atomic bomb):
Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for youAs yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bendYour force, to break, blow, burn, and…
Some details subject to change (slightly). To pre-register go here.
P.S. We’ve heard that people are getting great deals on hotel rooms in the vicinity via booking.com. Also, word has it that AirTran is having particularly good sale this week, and Delta is matching the price points. Just sayin.
P.P.S. For a great and provocative discussion of keynote speaker Mark Galli’s recent work, check out InternetMonk!
Control and Freedom. Two words that dominate the emotional, spiritual and cultural landscape. Also two words that many of us spend our lives chasing after, mistaking one for the other, or believing they go hand-in-hand. Yet how friendly are these terms? What is the actual relation between freedom and personal control? Please join us this Spring in NYC as we explore how God’s grace calms our fears, upsets our controls, and inspires freedom in the way we live, work and love.
Our keynote speaker this year will be Mark Galli, Senior Managing Editor of Christianity Today. Other speakers include Jady Koch…
Another treat to tide you over until we shift back into full-speed next week, a guest year-end list from Carl Laamanen of the excellent Losing Sight of Land blog.
Human beings, especially those that really like popular culture, must love lists. This is the only explanation for the hundreds of year-end “best of” lists that begin to pervade the internet at the onset of December. This is also the only reason I can provide for why I find them so fascinating. Heck, Popmatters had two weeks of music lists alone, leading up to their top 70 albums of the year,…
A timely reflection from Mbird friend Russ Masterson:
The tug is relentless this time of year – look at things, buy things, think about things. In December materialism is like breathing, at least it is for me. In the Christmas season we tend to overshop and overeat – an admittedly weird way to celebrate the birth of Jesus, a man who modeled simplicity and moderation. Of course, Santa Claus has become as much the key person in the holiday as Christ. You probably know the story: Saint Nicholas was a fourth century saint, the bishop of Myra (present day Turkey)…
WHAT: Mockingbird seeks to connect the Christian faith with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.
WHY: Are we called Mockingbird? The name was inspired by the mockingbird’s peculiar gift for mimicking the cries of other birds. In a similar way, we seek to repeat the message we have heard - God’s word of grace and forgiveness.
HOW: Via every medium available! At present this includes (but is not limited to) a daily weblog, semi-annual conferences, and an ongoing publications initiative.
WHO: At present, we employ three full-time staff, David Zahl and Ethan Richardson and William McDavid. They are helped and supported by a large number of contributing volunteers and writers. Our board of directors is chaired by Mr. Thomas Becker.
WHERE: Our offices are located at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, VA.
WHEN: Mockingbird was incorporated in June 2007 and is currently in its seventh year of operation.
The work of Mockingbird is made possible by the gifts of private donors and churches. Our 2015 budget is roughly $225,000, and with virtually no overhead, your gifts translate directly into mission and ministry. Can you help? Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like more information.
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