Where Have I Landed? What Is Mockingbird?

Welcome to the Mockingbird website! Mockingbird is an organization devoted to “connecting the Christian faith with the realities of everyday life”, and this site is one of our chief venues for doing so. (We also publish books and magazines, host conferences, and distribute podcasts.) We think of the website as an ever-growing catalog of the ways in which a Christian understanding of reality – what people are like, what God is like, and how the two intersect – is borne out around us. As you might imagine, this looks different every day. One minute we’re talking about parenting, the next we’re delving into pop music, the next we’re exploring religious history. Sometimes we’re simply being ridiculous. There are a handful of regular columns–e.g., a Monday devotional, a Friday news round-up–but for the most part we’re flying by the seat of our pants.

We have done our best to make sure there is something for everyone, so if you don’t find something of interest immediately, click around our archives, listen to a recording, peruse our publications, comment on a discussion. We’re glad you found us. Grace abounds.

Still Confused?

There’s tons more information on our About and Frequently Asked Questions pages. But for the uninitiated, here’s a taste of our “greatest hits”, broken down by subject (followed by a list of some recommended reading/listening):

Theology/Bible

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“What Is the Distinction Between the Law and the Gospel?”
“The Subjective Power of an Objective Gospel”
“Bigfoot Called My Unicorn an Antinomian”
“Possibly Insane Thoughts on Ash Wednesday”
“My Relationship With God Is Better Than Ever”
“This Post Can’t Teach You Theology”

Music/Film/TV

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“The Secret History of William Axl Rose”
“The Magnetism of the Exiled Soul to Stranger Things”
“Did I Listen to Nirvana Cause I Was Angry?”
“The Strange (and Life-Saving) Medicine of Red Beard”
“When Your Life Inevitably Falls Apart: Watching Rev”
“Robert Downey Jr, Mel Gibson and the Idiot Forgiveness of God”

Social Science

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“Justifying Our Lives Away”
“Overconfident Men and Underestimating Women”
“God Redeems Our Work (Even Our Anthropomorphism)”
“Surviving November”
“Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lion?”
“Attachment Theory and Your Relationship With God”

Religion

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“Expectation Hangovers and Twentysomething Nones”
“Christian Battle Lines and the Narcissism of Small Differences”
“The Dangers of Transformation in a Suicidal Church (and World)”
“What Would Jesus Do (for Lent)?”
“Church of the Deconstruction”
“The Zacchaeus Option”

Relationships

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“When You Marry the Wrong Person”
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Equal Marriage”
“Overinvested Parents and Their Unhappy Children”
“Blessed Messes and the Law of Mothering Ineptitude”
“Infidelity, Love, and the New Shame”
“Please Help the Cause Against (Male) Loneliness”

Sports

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“This Team Is Terrible…And Awesome”
“House of Yoga, Church of CrossFit”
“The Harsh, Hopeful Ballad of Urban Meyer”
“Spitters, Change-Ups & the American Need for Baseball”
“Nick Saban and the Doctrine of Imputation”
“I Am Bartman”

Literature

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“On Hemingway’s ‘Big Two-Hearted River'”
“The Seven Sacraments of Harry Potter”
“Grace, Love and Justice in Tolstoy’s ‘The Forged Coupon'”
“The Gospel’s Steady Work of Reversal”
“The World Within the Fracture: 20 Years of Infinite Jest”
Poetry Archive

Humor

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“Resolving to Love Calvin and Hobbes (17 Years Later)”
“Everything I Never Learned from Seinfeld”
Bringing You the Gospel, pts 1-44
From The Onion
From The New Yorker

Recommended Reading/Listening

First Look:

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Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life, by Paul F.M. Zahl
Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints), by Will McDavid, Ethan Richardson and David Zahl
The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning
The Mockingbird Devotional, edited by Ethan Richardson and Sean Norris
Churchy, by Sarah Condon
One Way Love, by Tullian Tchividjian
The Gospel According to Peanuts, by Robert Short
Unapologetic, by Francis Spufford
Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
The Complete Stories, by Flannery O’Connor

Next Steps:

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On Being a Theologian of the Cross, by Gerhard O. Forde
Grace in Addiction: The Good News of Alcoholics Anonymous for Everybody, by John Z
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment, by Robert Farrar Capon
The Bondage of the Will, by Martin Luther
Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), by Elliott Aronson and Carol Tavris
Sinners Welcome, by Mary Karr
The Angel That Troubled the Waters, by Thornton Wilder
The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt
Sin Boldly! Justifying Faith for Fragile and Broken Souls by Ted Peters
The Mockingbird Magazine, by various

Deep Cuts:

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Between Noon and Three, by Robert Farrar Capon
The Crucifixion, by Fleming Rutledge
Commentary on Galatians, by Martin Luther
Fear, Love, and Worship, by C. Fitzsimons Allison
Clinical Theology, by Frank Lake
Beyond Deserving, by Dorothy Martyn
The Reconstruction of Morality, by Karl Holl
Theophilus North, by Thornton Wilder
Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
The Cocktail Party, by T.S. Eliot

Listening/Viewing:

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Why We Always Lose When We Keep Score, by Paul Walker
The Zoolander Antidote, by Aaron Zimmerman
The Merciful Impasse, by Paul F.M. Zahl
Theology We Love to Hate, by Sarah Condon
Everything New Is Moralism Again, by Jacob Smith
The Gospel for Those Broken By the Church, by Rod Rosenbladt
The New Recipe: Grace in Family Life, by Dorothy Martyn
On Not Being C.S. Lewis, by Francis Spufford
Looking at All the Lonely People, by David Zahl
Brand New Me: Instagrammed Lives and the Promise of the Cross, by Ethan Richardson
Hiding in Plain Sight: The Lost Doctrine of Sin, by Simeon Zahl
Does Jesus Like Donuts?, by Aaron Zimmerman
Crunch Time, by Nick Lannon
The Mockingcast, by various
The Mockingpulpit, by various
PZ’s Podcast, by Paul F.M. Zahl