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About David Zahl

David Zahl is the director of Mockingbird Ministries and editor-in-chief of the Mockingbird blog. He and his wife Cate reside in Charlottesville, VA, with their three sons, where David also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church (christchurchcville.org).

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Author Archive
    
    Are We Divided Because We're Lonely? Or Lonely Because We're Divided?

    Are We Divided Because We’re Lonely? Or Lonely Because We’re Divided?

    Han Zicheng was barking up the right tree. Last December, the 85-year old Chinese widower made headlines when he put himself up for adoption. Han was suffering from chronic loneliness but had passed the age where seeking out some kind of fresh give-and-take companionship made sense. He needed an arrangement that acknowledged his frailty and […]

    May Playlist

    May is off to a rad start with new material from Jon Parks (!), Sons of Bill (!), and the collaboration of the year between Janelle and BW. And let’s not forget about Juliana Hatfield’s full-length ONJ tribute from last month – pure magic. Click here to listen on Spotify:

    From The New Yorker

    How to Turn a Neighbor into an Other (According to Thomas More and Martin Luther)

    How to Turn a Neighbor into an Other (According to Thomas More and Martin Luther)

    Another incisive excerpt from How To Think, the fantastic little book by upcoming conference speaker Alan Jacobs, this time about the origins of cultural repulsion and “othering”—featuring none other than Martin Luther and Thomas More. There’s some choice language in the following, but the parallels to modern online discourse are too spot-on not to share.  […]

    Another Week Ends: De-Konged, Earning Easter, Natural Causes, Deep Laziness and American Recordings

    Another Week Ends: De-Konged, Earning Easter, Natural Causes, Deep Laziness and American Recordings

    1. Not quite sure what to make of the fact that in the eleven or so years I’ve been writing on Mbird, I have never been forwarded a single news item more than this one. I suppose I should take it as a compliment, as Lord knows there are worst things to be associated with. […]

    NYC Conference Update (T-Minus 2 Days and Counting!)

    NYC Conference Update (T-Minus 2 Days and Counting!)

    Our 11th Annual Conference in NYC (4/26-28) is almost here, and we wanted to relay a few exciting details that have just come together: The Pixie and the Scout sent us the final menu earlier this week and it looks scrumptious as can be. Click here to read. Reminder: registration for meals cuts off a […]

    April Playlist

    Click here to listen (to most of it) on Spotify:

    Another Week Ends: French Police, Long Hours, Divine Pranks, Self-Aware Addicts, Oldham's Charms, and Wild Country

    Another Week Ends: French Police, Long Hours, Divine Pranks, Self-Aware Addicts, Oldham’s Charms, and Wild Country

    1. First, if you didn’t catch the headlines about French policeman Arnaud Beltrame, they’re tailormade for today, e.g., “French officer who swapped places with a hostage in terror attack dies.” The story is really something: The Daily Mail ran an interview with the Catholic monk who gave Beltrame last rites and was in the midst […]

    The Most Compelling Argument for the Truth of Christianity

    According to Fleming Rutledge, that is. From her stellar collection of reflections on Christ’s Passion, The Undoing of Death, pgs 142-144:

    “Religious figures are not usually associated with disgrace and rejection. We want our objects of worship to be radiant, dazzling avatars offering the potential of transcendent happiness. The most compelling argument for the truth of Christianity is the Cross at its center. Humankind’s religious imagination could never have produced such an image. Wishful thinking never projected a despised and rejected Messiah. There is a contradiction at the very heart of our faith that demands our attention. We need to put a sign on it, though, like the signs on trucks carrying chemicals: Hazardous material, highly inflammatory cargo. Handle at your own risk.”

    Crying ABBA: An (Over-)Annotated Introduction to the Second-Best Selling Group of All Time

    Crying ABBA: An (Over-)Annotated Introduction to the Second-Best Selling Group of All Time

    Inspired by Ben Self’s wonderful Bruce Cockburn playlist the other day (pts 2-3 coming soon!), here’s what I’ve affectionately been informed is “the toughest sell” in A Mess of Help. No apologies: The Church of Wilson has drawn scores of worshippers over the years, including a disproportionate number of musicians. Those who are interested in […]

    March Playlist

    I think I speak for everyone who was in Tyler when I say, do yourself a favor and check out some Josh White! I’ve had Pilgrim on repeat since we got back… Click here to listen on Spotify (barring one track, that is):

    Grace in the Age of Fentanyl

    Grace in the Age of Fentanyl

    “[Karl] Marx famously called religion the opiate of the masses, but these days opiates are the opiates of the masses.” That’s the first variation of this observation I came across last week, via Tim Kreider’s new I Wrote This Book Because I Love You. The second run-in occurred a couple days later, toward the middle […]