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While we are currently at our maximum number of regular contributors, Mockingbird is happy to publish quality writing from guests. To submit something for consideration, simply email it to info@mbird.com. We can’t promise anything, but we will take a look. Naturally, the best way to get a sense of what we are looking for is to read the site.

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    The Weight of Silence

    The Weight of Silence

    This review of A Quiet Place comes to us from Sam Guthrie.

    How do you survive in a world where you’re being hunted by blind monsters that possess a keen sense of hearing? According to the box office hit, A Quiet Place, you plan really well. You prepare, train, and pray that your children don’t make a sound, that life remains muffled, and you know where and when it’s safe to whisper.

    In a post-apocalyptic world where a blind alien species has all but wiped out the human race, the Abbott family (parents played by real-life power-couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) has…

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    Stupid Kids Doing Stupid Stuff

    Stupid Kids Doing Stupid Stuff

    This little piece comes to us from the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase.

    In the film “20th Century Women,” there’s a compelling scene between a mother and her teenaged son. The mother has just brought him home from the hospital; he was rushed there after playing a game with his friends that went wrong. The game involved him hyperventilating while another boy stood behind him, wrapping his arms around his torso, and squeezing. Which caused him to pass out. Normally, a person comes to just a few seconds after this, but in this case, the boy remained unconscious. By the time his distraught…

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    Why Is Jesus Slumming with That Denomination?

    Why Is Jesus Slumming with That Denomination?

    This one comes to us from Chad Bird.

    Let’s start with the obvious: Christianity is an outwardly fractured religion. You’d think Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world and bloody each other’s noses over, like, Every. Single. Thing.” Just for perspective, note that there are far more denominations than there are languages spoken around the globe. We’ve out-Babelled Babel.

    Even the most unrealistic optimist doesn’t believe this will improve. After all, we’ve been on this kick for 965 years. Humpty Dumpty has been on the ground for a long, long time. And all the king’s councils and all the king’s ecumenists,…

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    Moses and the Millennials: Looking to a Second Millennium Man for a Millennial Question

    Moses and the Millennials: Looking to a Second Millennium Man for a Millennial Question

    This one was written by Abigail Russell.

    Identity has been a buzzword in the Christian milieu for a few years now. We flock to personality tests and identity paradigms like MBTI and the Enneagram because having a title, a description, anything we can claim as ours pulls us in like an addiction. We take the tests over and over again wanting proof that we’ve changed and grown but also longing for consistency. We find our “type,” and it becomes like a friendly shadow following closely behind; it becomes the murky, undefined evidence that we exist. But despite all these identity handles,…

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    The Golden (Arches) Rule

    The Golden (Arches) Rule

    This tasteful reflection was written by Andrew Taylor-Troutman.

    On the first Sunday of the month, I gathered with the other middle schoolers early in the morning before church and piled into the motley assortment of cars driven by our church’s college leaders. I worshipped those undergraduates and would have gladly tagged along wherever they drove. Plus, you got to wear your t-shirt and jeans. Having arrived downtown in the shadow of tall buildings, all you had to do was help unfold tables and unload boxes of donations. When people came to look over the clothes, you smiled politely. Maybe said God…

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    The Distraction of Grace

    The Distraction of Grace

    This reflection comes to us from Blair Kilgallen.

    Our two granddaughters had been staying with us for several days while our kids took a respite in Iceland before they got too weighed down with the arrival of their third child.

    Morning plans were set. My wife Rachel was working at the clinic. Arrangements were made for me to drive our granddaughters over the mountain-pass to drop them off with their other Gramma in Denver. Afterwards, a group from our local church-plant was to meet with the leadership of our oversight church.

    Then things took an unexpected turn, as they often do in the mountains.

    A…

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    This Table Set For Us: Babette’s Feast

    This Table Set For Us: Babette’s Feast

    This review was written by David B. Witwer.

    We shuffle up the scarlet steps to find the stage already set for us. There is no curtain; sitting down we are transported from the city into a kitchen—marked by a long, simple table and wooden beams standing sentry. Bits of glass dangle overhead, awaiting the light.

    We are greeted by many voices. The ever-shifting chorus reveals Berlevåg to us, a quaint town led by a minister who preaches that “God’s paths run across the sea and the snowy mountains, where man’s eye sees no track.” We find that, astonishingly, the villagers have interpreted…

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    Touching Kevin’s Heart with Dirty Hands

    Touching Kevin’s Heart with Dirty Hands

    This one comes to us from Blake Nail. 

    Our culture is obviously in the middle of some division: some think it’s necessary, and others think it’s harmful. It seems people, especially on the internet, are on the hunt to shame, ridicule, or in some cases, completely ruin people’s lives and careers. Albeit sometimes over reasonable issues, not to negate real offense and wrongdoing. Often, though, people are being shamed for having different views, thoughts, and sometimes even associations. It can even be for unintentional offense, for which the mob has no mercy. When the Law comes down on you, it doesn’t…

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    Ignorance Is Not Bliss: Ivan Karamazov Visits Westworld

    Ignorance Is Not Bliss: Ivan Karamazov Visits Westworld

    This post was written by Nate Mills. 

    When Moses stood before the Burning Bush, he responded to the Lord by asking, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Moses’s hesitancy was rooted in a deep uncertainty surrounding his identity. He was unsure of his own right to be an actor in God’s plan for the Israelites. King David, wondering similarly about the weight of his duties, asked of the Lord, “What is man that you are mindful of him? What is the son of man that you care for…

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    When God Watches Movies

    When God Watches Movies

    This review was written by Mockingbird intern Jeff Dillenbeck.

    What is the purpose of movies? Is it to entertain? To communicate? I’ve typically seen movies as meant to be artistic expressions (especially after seeing most of the best picture Oscar nominees, this past year), works that evoke emotion or relay something about the human experience in way that the written word can’t quite capture. Like other the other art forms, film has the power to move its human audience—to provoke thought, to encourage, to empower.

    But what do movies have to say to the divine?

    That’s what film critic Josh Larsen (of the…

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    Grace in Molly's Game

    Grace in Molly’s Game

    This one was written by Anna Nott.

    If you haven’t seen the action/drama/thriller/hint of comedy that is Molly’s Game, I suggest that you stop reading this article, and investigate a way to watch it.

    Spoilers to follow.

    I have been a subscriber to MoviePass, i.e. I have access to unlimited movies in theaters (no more than one movie per day) for 10 bucks a month, since October. So far, Molly’s Game is the only film I’ve made a point of seeing twice.

    Molly, played by the exquisite Jessica Chastain, is an Olympic skier for the U.S. women’s team, who, due to an unlucky fall…

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    Revisiting Deconstruction: On Definitions and Doubt

    Revisiting Deconstruction: On Definitions and Doubt

    This piece, a companion/response to the recent article “Closer Than You Think (The Trouble with Deconstruction),” was written by Edward Watson.

    I recently read Connor Gwin’s post on the necessity of constructing faith before attempting to deconstruct it. The pedant in me was ruffled, simply because ‘deconstruction’ doesn’t mean what it is taken to mean in that post. I was later informed, however, that Gwin is responding to a movement in post-Evangelical thought of which I’d been completely ignorant, and that this use of the term is taken from there. On this basis, it seems worth writing a short post on…

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