This morning’s entry from The Mockingbird Devotional comes from Gil Kracke.
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life…
1. We’ve spoken before about why we so often feel the need to conceive of our lives as a narrative of progress or upward-sloping trajectory. We’ve tried to highlight the dangers this poses, especially when the progress is understood to be moral or spiritual in nature. An instinct that can sometimes help us make sense of our lives (and we need all the help we can get!), when left unchecked can end up obscuring reality (where God is) and compounding loneliness. On The Huffington Post, Carolyn Gregoire explores this phenomenon in some detail, particularly in relation to Dan McAdams’ new…
1. The NY Times published a wise op-ed from sociologist Tanya Luhrmann this past week on the the subject of “How Skeptics and Believers Can Connect”. She begins the column by recounting a disconcerting experience she had promoting her terrific book, When God Talks Back, on a Christian radio station. Luhrmann does not self-identify as a Christian, which the host of the show apparently took as a cue to berate her into converting on air (rather than dig into a book that has quite a bit of sympathetic material to relate). Now, God only knows what exactly the motivation/justification at…
1. Over at PatrolMag, David Sessions posted a terrific interview with British literary critic Terry Eagleton concerning, among other things, “Capitalism and the West’s Existential Crisis.” The occasion for the interview is the release of Eagleton’s new book on Marxism. Of course, Eagleton is not your garden variety Marxist (thank God), and regardless of your political convictions, his reflections are a good companion to the “relentlessly depressing debt ceiling news,” as Sessions memorably puts it. For example:
Sessions: While we’re talking about belief, in your Terry Lectures at Yale in 2008, you described Christianity as both more gloomy than any other…
Reviewing Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark without having seen the production is a bit like reviewing The Pale King. There are plenty of comments you can make, but nothing you can really say. It’s all conjecture. You can talk about the creators, their significance and ambition, but that’s about it. Song lyrics probably shouldn’t be considered outside of their musical settings, and showtunes can’t be evaluated (or even experienced) apart from their choreography. Yet here we are.
Doubtless you’re aware that the score for the show was written by Bono and The Edge – as they themselves have joked, “We used…
Don’t Let It Get You Down – Echo & The Bunnymen
A Lady of a Certain Age – The Divine Comedy
Time Spent in Los Angeles – Dawes
We’ve Met – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Back Into Your World – Son Volt
Dear Laughing Doubters – Sondre Lerche
Piledriver Waltz – Alex Turner
The Judgement – Solomon Burke
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – The Animals
Jesus Came From Outta Space – Supergrass
A Freak Like Me Needs Company – Patrick Page in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark
Tell Me I’m Not Free – John Davis
Church of Wilson – Cotton Mather
Automatic Soup – Shudder To Think feat….
1. A couple of articles that follow-up on the filter bubble phenomenon we posted on last week, both from The NY Times. The first is an editorial by Eli Pariser, “When The Internet Thinks It Knows You” and the second a slightly broader look at the issue, “The Trouble With The Echo Chamber Online.” While the issue is clearly an important one, the solutions being proposed – i.e. programmed diversity – strikes me as a tad shallow. That is, there’s clearly a resistance to the idea that we might actually be culpable in our selective listening/browsing in a way that…
1. A great article from Chris Gottlieb for any parent who has ever been given unsolicited advice on their parenting skills ( I suppose that includes everyone?).
The author laments: I marvel at how comfortable people feel telling complete strangers about their purported parenting flaws…No infraction is too small or too strange to elicit comment. (The newspaper was too close to the baby’s eyes?) All my parent friends have experienced this no-win culture of judging parenting. Depending on their personalities, they have cowered, gotten angry or been demoralized by…
“We cannot afford to lose these old hymns, they are full of the Gospel…” Basil Manley (1891)
Every December Paste Magazine publishes a list of their top fifty albums of the year. Each year I scan the picks searching for the worthy successors to Led Zeppelin and U2. Needless to say, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
2008 was like any other year. I found myself nodding in agreement with some of their selection, shaking my head in dismay at others, and completely ignorant of most. But as I reached the end of the list I saw a write up…
Okay, here goes. I would break the pop culture of 2009 down this way: a pretty good year for music, an alright year for film and a downright incredible year for television.
Five Favorite Films Of 2009*
1. Fantastic Mr Fox
2. District 9
3. In The Loop [warning for profuse-albeit-very-inventive foul language]
Most Underrated: Duplicity
Most Overrated: Inglourious Basterds
*Bear in mind that I haven’t seen The Hurt Locker, An Education, A Serious Man, The Road, Dr Parnassus, Big Fan or 2012 yet. So this is definitely more of a favorites list than a “best of”. And I am as surprised by the predominance…
1. Old White Lincoln – The Gaslight Anthem
2. It’s All True – The Lemonheads
3. Don’t Go Away – Oasis
4. Hey Bulldog [mono] – The Beatles
5. Psalms 40:2 – The Mountain Goats
6. Bless This Mess – David Bazan
7. Jena & Jimmy – Derek Webb
8. True Love 1980 – Ash
9. Got The Hots – Michael Jackson
10. Do It Again – Steely Dan
11. Come Undone – Duran Duran
12. Wake Up – Teddy Thompson
13. For Your Lover, Give Some Time – Richard Hawley
14. Jesus Is Waiting – Al Green
15. All Things Must Pass – Billy Preston
16. Why Do I Keep Counting – The Killers
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 2014 operating budget is roughly $195,000, 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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