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The Top Theology Books of 2018

The Top Theology Books of 2018

So many books, so little time (and money). Here’s a brief guide to some of the best academic theology books of 2018 for all those without the time (or the money) to waste on disappointing reads. For our picks of ‘trade’ religion releases, see the Consuming 2018 post. Militant Grace:...
Now Available! <i>An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark</i>, by Larry Parsley

Now Available! An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley

We could not be more pleased to announce the latest Mockingbird publication, An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley. This accessible, down-to-earth devotional walks verse-by-verse through the shortest official take on the biggest life ever lived — the story of Jesus played out in...
The God of Tidying Up Hates Me

The God of Tidying Up Hates Me

Buried in a recent installment of Another Week Ends, CJ mentioned the book by sociologist Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Faith: Why the World Is More Religious than Ever. The subtitle pretty much says it all. The Wall Street Journal, in its review, summarized Stark’s principal finding this way: For the champions...
TOP FILMS OF 2018

TOP FILMS OF 2018

2018 has come and gone, and we’re a bit late on getting you our favorite flicks to hit the big (and small) screen this year. That’s just the type of year it was, though. Am I right? But this past year wasn’t all that bad. Superhero fans witnessed the Marvel...
I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

Typically, I abstain from any New Year’s resolutions. I hate diets and everything they stand for. I loathe the notion that December 31st is distinctly different from January 1st.  And “self betterment” always seems to end in a profound feeling of “self worse-er-ment” for me. But not this year. This...
Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

“You brought us out of nothing into being, and when we had fallen away, You raised us up again.” My dad’s family gathered in his parents’ kitchen, all 27 of us, for the Thanksgiving thanksgiving. Before my dad’s dad prayed, as he always does at these meals, my grandma spoke...
The Life of a Hermit TV Star: Sister Wendy Beckett

The Life of a Hermit TV Star: Sister Wendy Beckett

Saint Stephen’s Day 2018 was marked by the passing of the art historian, TV presenter, and author, Sister Wendy Beckett. I surprised myself when a few unexpected tears leaked out on hearing the news. It wasn’t from her untimely death; she was 88 after all. No, the tears, the more...
My Honest Recommendation

My Honest Recommendation

Part of being a school chaplain is writing college recommendations for students. Most colleges want similar information. Is the student responsible, driven, civic-minded, a good student? Some colleges ask more specific questions. What has the student done to serve their community? How is the student committed to making the world...
2019 Mbird NYC Conference (4/25-27): "Beyond Deserving"

2019 Mbird NYC Conference (4/25-27): “Beyond Deserving”

A bunch of details about our upcoming 12th annual conference in NYC are now up on conference.mbird.com. Some things to note: Our theme will be “Beyond Deserving: Hope in a World of Performance”! Speaking of performance, we didn’t get just any Conference YoYoist – we got JWYOYO! On Friday night...
Mockingbird Update: What's in Store for 2019 and How You Can Help

Mockingbird Update: What’s in Store for 2019 and How You Can Help

With 2019 busting down the door, it’s time for our annual update on all things Mockingbird! And what a year it’s been, praise God. Such a privilege to bear Good News, especially when the world feels like an increasingly merciless place. At the end of last year, we launched a...
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Another Week Ends: Conan Reborn, Call-Out Culture, Rockstar Sobriety, Sick Notes, Bookstores, Bossy Razors, and the Bad Place

Another Week Ends: Conan Reborn, Call-Out Culture, Rockstar Sobriety, Sick Notes, Bookstores, Bossy Razors, and the Bad Place

1. This week, let’s start with the afterlife of Conan O’Brien. After a 4-month hiatus, Team Coco revives, now completely made over: shorter episodes, a more informal set-up — also more embracing of the life cycle of late-night. With 25+ years under the belt, Conan talks to The New York Times about his inevitably approaching retirement/career-death. He […]

2019 Mbird NYC Conference (4/25-27): “Beyond Deserving”


A bunch of details about our upcoming 12th annual conference in NYC are now up on conference.mbird.com. Some things to note:

PRE-REGISTER TODAY!

Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking

Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Tolstoy’s opening lines from Anna Karenina could easily be co-opted as the introduction to countless biblical stories. We barely get our feet wet in Genesis before the pool of family history becomes toxic. Adam blames both God and Eve for the […]

Are You Burned Out?

Are You Burned Out?

…students were convinced that their first job out of college would not only determine their career trajectory, but also their intrinsic value for the rest of their lives. I told one student, whose dozens of internship and fellowship applications yielded no results, that she should move somewhere fun, get any job, and figure out what […]

Mindfulness Lowered My Anthropolgy

Mindfulness Lowered My Anthropolgy

I started practicing meditation out of necessity. Mind you, it was before mindfulness and meditation were the buzzwords they are now. I started sitting in silence and focusing on my breath in seminary after my father was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. It was the only way I could be in the presence of God; the only […]

“As Regards This Psycho-Political Atmosphere…” (<i>Milkman</i>, Pt 1)

“As Regards This Psycho-Political Atmosphere…” (Milkman, Pt 1)

As regards this psycho-political atmosphere, with its rules of allegiance, of tribal identification, of what was allowed and not allowed, matters didn’t stop at ‘their names’ and at ‘our names’, at ‘us’ and ‘them’, at ‘our community’ and ‘their community’, at ‘over the road’, ‘over the water’ and ‘over the border’. Other issues had similar […]

God Loves Dark Comedies

God Loves Dark Comedies

I’ve recently decided that God has a unique affinity for dark comedies. His sense of humor seems sadistic at times. Perhaps you find that an unscrupulous statement bred in the waters of sacrilege. But I assure you, God is smiling in the storm. At least, that’s how I’ve looked up and seen him lately. You […]

The Mirror Has Way Too Many Faces

The Mirror Has Way Too Many Faces

This past New Year’s Eve marked the first one for my husband and me to actually go out in Sydney — though, with two kids and middle age defining our lives, “going out” consists of joining friends at the North Sydney Olympic Pool for a family night of swimming and fireworks. And, it turned out, […]

You Can "Go Your Own Way" (And Surely Will)

You Can “Go Your Own Way” (And Surely Will)

I’ve listened to this podcast about Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” from Song Exploder a half dozen times already, and I know I’m not done with it. If you’re not familiar, Song Exploder is a podcast “where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.” To […]

We Are Suddenly Surrounded By Dead Trees

We Are Suddenly Surrounded By Dead Trees

For many of us in America, “the holidays” means erecting a tree. Usually from life from some woods or its simulation from a box that we assemble. But in any event, almost always, the icon we erect in our living rooms is “really most sincerely dead.” But that tree is evanescently sparkling and alive for this […]

Beautiful Messes (and Not-So-Beautiful Ones, Too)

Beautiful Messes (and Not-So-Beautiful Ones, Too)

Once upon a time, I wrote about how I gave birth to a miniature version of myself. My worst fear about motherhood is that the world would have another version of me in it. That fear came true, but not really, because as I wrote before, my son is a slightly improved version of me. Or […]

<i>2001: A Space Odyssey</i> as Cultural Icon, Cinematic Masterpiece, and Modern Myth, Part 2

2001: A Space Odyssey as Cultural Icon, Cinematic Masterpiece, and Modern Myth, Part 2

This second installment picks up where Part 1 left off. A Re-enchantment of Modernity In his essay “Science as a Vocation,” Max Weber famously wrote, The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world.’ Precisely the ultimate and most sublime values have retreated from […]