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Theology

The Trauma of Decadent Religion (and the Best Worst S-Word)

The Trauma of Decadent Religion (and the Best Worst S-Word)

The notion of sin dominated my girlhood. Raised in Indiana by fundamentalist parents, sin was the inflexible yardstick by which I was measured. Actions, words, even thoughts weren’t safe from scrutiny. The list of sinful offenses seemed infinite: listening to secular music or watching secular television, saying “gosh” or “darn” or “jeez,” questioning authorities, envying […]

Reading Proverbs Wisely

Reading Proverbs Wisely

Yes, you read the title correctly — I wrote “reading Proverbs.” Stay with me for a bit, it’ll be fine. I know many a Mockingbird reader has read Proverbs before, but if you’re reading the Bible with anything like a (Lutheran) Law/Gospel hermeneutic, then it’s fair to say that Proverbs isn’t exactly at the top […]

Crime and Punishment and <i>Adventure Time</i>: A Kierkegaardian Reflection on Lowliness

Crime and Punishment and Adventure Time: A Kierkegaardian Reflection on Lowliness

“Because when you have stanky old wizard eyes, sometimes you see things that are real, and other times it’s like crazy, crazy, crazy, in your face, all the time. *sighs* All the time.” – Ice King Adventure Time​ is the single best kids show (which is also secretly for adults) of all time. I’ve obsessively […]

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: The Apocalyptic Turn and the […]

A Fictional Non-Eulogy on What Faith Really Means, by Robert Farrar Capon

A Fictional Non-Eulogy on What Faith Really Means, by Robert Farrar Capon

The following snippet comes from Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle, by Robert Farrar Capon. Detailing a tumultuous month in the life of a parish priest, this mystical novel disentangles the most crucial of themes: death, romance, mystery, and redemption. Here, our narrator Father William Jansson reflects on ‘faith’, following the passing of his dear friend, […]

Grace in an Age of Distraction II – Steven Paulson

The second of Steven Paulson’s stellar presentations at our recent OKC Conference, this one’s gotten a lot of love from those who’ve heard it. It works both in concert with and independent of the first one:

Grace in an Age of Distraction 2 – Steven Paulson from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Hopelessly Devoted: Legal Christianity

Hopelessly Devoted: Legal Christianity

This reflection was written by Alexander Chapota. When I became a Christian nearly twenty years ago, I knew the run was over. I was tired of lying, life had become so heavy, and I badly craved relief. And so I repented of my sin and dedicated my life to Christ. And yet, not many months […]

The Distraction of Our Lives – Jady Koch

Here comes the next video from our OKC Conference last month! The illustrious Rev. Dr. Koch presiding:

The Distraction of our Lives – Jady Koch from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

When God Turns Down a Title

When God Turns Down a Title

Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. […]

The Ethics of Authenticity

The Ethics of Authenticity

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. – Eric Liddell Stop me if you’ve heard this story before…. A young underdog struggling to find their voice in a backwards town where they don’t seem to fit in. They want to […]

I Don’t Identify as Human: The Hidden Image of the Hidden God ~ Adam Morton

With sincerest apologies to the much esteemed and beloved Rev. Morton, this video fell through the cracks! Behold, the final breakout video from our Spring Conference in NYC, featuring a cover image for the ages:

I Don't Identify as Human: The Hidden Image of the Hidden God – Adam Morton from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Now Available! Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle, by Robert Farrar Capon

A priest’s suicide. A lover’s confession. A web of mysteries. The latest installment in Mockingbird’s Robert Farrar Capon series is available today! Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle explores the secret life of a clergyman and the ultimate mystery of redemption.

In our discussions about Exit 36, Valerie Capon used one word repeatedly: “mystical.” She was adamant the book should have a colorful cover that could reflect the unique otherworldliness of this particular work. To me, her insight did not at first square with what appeared to be a coarse, noir-tinged novel about a suicide. “The suicide is the hook,” Valerie said. “Robert wasn’t really writing about that.”

So what was he writing about?

The Rev. Mark Strobel, our friend in Fargo, ND, says this book reads like one of Jesus’ parables. Brooding, humorous, a little outrageous, Exit 36 tells the story of Father William Jansson, an Episcopal priest with an unruly libido who receives an urgent phone call from a woman who knew the suicide victim (intimately). In her grief she turns to Jansson, who falls backwards into the four themes of eschatology: Death, Judgment, Hell, and Heaven. It’s undoubtedly one of Robert’s earthier works—grungy, sultry—but, as Valerie suggested, the persistent promise of the resurrection glows under its surface. The climactic sequence left me stunned.

This new edition of Exit 36 is the fourth entry in Mockingbird’s Capon collection and features a brand-new, deeply moving foreword by our friend Chad Bird. You can now find Exit 36 in our online bookstore and on Amazon, along with Mockingbird editions of Robert’s other works. As always, we welcome your help in spreading the word!

Happy reading,

CJG, editor

“Capon looks directly at the agony of a fallen world through the mystery of the reconciliation of everything and everybody in Christ. Whatever scandals one might find in this book, however, the scandal of grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus triumphs over it all. Capon’s voice is needed now as much as it ever has been.”

—The Very Revd Mark Strobel, Fargo, ND

“Running parallel to the good old-fashioned mystery is a long look at our deepest anxieties about death, sin, forgiveness when forgiveness is outrageous and impossible, and love. The romance of love is dealt with unabashedly. But the humanity of love – the Jesus who lives in us all and frees us from sin — is revealed by our narrator’s own searching thoughts, bold self-examination, frank dialogue with parishioners and quietly stunning acts of compassion.”

—Laura E. Bondarchuk, East Marion, NY

You can find Exit 36 in our online store and on Amazon!

You can also find Mockingbird editions of Robert’s other books: More Theology & Less Heavy Cream, The Man Who Met God in a Bar, and Bed & Board.