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Super Bowl Psychology: What This Year's Commercials Tell Us About Ourselves

Super Bowl Psychology: What This Year’s Commercials Tell Us About Ourselves

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of Super Bowl XIV. Congratulations to everyone who got up for work today after a fun football game. As the old adage goes, the real reason for the parties we attended last night was not the sport itself, though I really enjoyed a...
Signals Lead to Earplugs

Signals Lead to Earplugs

In the office we recently ordered Kate Murphy’s You’re Not Listening. Murphy, a journalist based in Houston, is good at her job because she is good at listening, and has basically written a book about the lessons she’s learned in the field—what makes for a good listener, why pretend listening...
The New Mockingbird Digest

The New Mockingbird Digest

Dear everyone, We invite you to subscribe to our new e-newsletter, delivered conveniently to your inbox fortnightly (once every two weeks-ish). It will be a compendium of fresh posts, pertinent archived material, and other grace-filled goodies. Think of it, maybe, as your good-news news. Note: If you are already subscribed...
The Despairing Place

The Despairing Place

Spoilers below. Early in the final episode of The Good Place, we find Jeff the doorman sitting at the gate between Earth and the afterlife. Jeff has an affinity for frogs, and as the episode progresses, he accumulates more of them — plastic frogs, plush frogs — until he barely...
The Body and the Coffin

The Body and the Coffin

This one comes to us from Kurt Armstrong. A few years ago I built a coffin for my father-in-law Walter. I made it with oak plywood, the oak a nice veneer, the plywood strong and stable so it wouldn’t warp or twist or cup. I built it, stained it, and...
The Mockingcast Goes to the Future (By Way of the Past)!

The Mockingcast Goes to the Future (By Way of the Past)!

Hard to believe we’re closing in on two months out from our annual conference in New York City (4/23-25)! The details are coming together beautifully – the lineup is pretty much set (not including a couple surprises we can’t disclose until the event itself), and the menus should be up...
When Atheists Have More Faith Than You Do

When Atheists Have More Faith Than You Do

Harold Braswell grew up a nice atheist Jew. Then, he researched hospices, and he started to ponder Jesus. The hospice he studied was Our Lady of Help in Atlanta, a free Roman Catholic facility for those who are dying but can’t care for themselves at home. The Dominican nuns there...
My Sober Mid-Thirties and the Etymology of Nothing

My Sober Mid-Thirties and the Etymology of Nothing

If you’d asked me as a teenager what my life would look like by my mid-thirties, I would have painted the most thrilling picture. There would be spotlights, awards shows, dreamy husbands, kids if I felt like it, adventure, and minutes and days just bursting with outrageous abundance. Let me...
A Future Not Earned But Given (THE FUTURE ISSUE IS HERE!)

A Future Not Earned But Given (THE FUTURE ISSUE IS HERE!)

In celebration of the Future Issue hitting the PO today, here’s Issue 15’s Opener, as well as the Contents page. If you haven’t subscribed, the time has come! Like every person who sped through HBO’s miniseries Chernobyl, I immediately wanted to know what it all looks like today. After six-plus...
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One Last Wish, “My Better Half,” and a Better Word through Baptism

I thought life should be a chance to defeat statistics… – One Last Wish, “My Better Half” In the aftermath of the dissolution of Rites of Spring, and prior to Fugazi’s iconic inception, Brendan Canty and Guy Piccioto pulled together a unique one-off indie rock project known as One Last Wish. To say the lyrical […]

Another Week Ends: Anthropology Wars, Youth Anxiety, Type of Guy Theory, Fitness Scams, Nuclear Families, Age Rage, and Mirrors4sale

1. A brilliant essay in The American Interest by Tara Isabella Burton on What The Culture War Is Really About in which the upcoming NYC Conference speaker burrows underneath the acrimony that surrounds us and reveals a conflict over, well, anthropology. In her view, the divide in our culture isn’t between those with a high […]

Recipes with a Hint of Grace: See You On Sunday, Reviewed

For years I’ve said that even if you don’t enjoy cooking, you should consider subscribing to the weekly email from the New York Times’ food editor, Sam Sifton. Sifton sends out several emails a week, actually, and they all contain a few recipes and photos, but also a short commentary on some odd news of […]

Miss Americana and the Heartbreaking Impossibility of Being Good

When I watched the new documentary about Taylor Swift, Miss Americana, I couldn’t help but see some of the elements from the story of my life portrayed in the story of her life. I know that sounds silly. I’m a 44-year-old mom of two teenagers who hasn’t been out past 10PM in months, years. I’m […]

I Really Want to Skip Church

I’m a Grade A, duly ordained, seminary educated, continuing-education-attending, prayerful, self-righteous, Professional Christian©. And sometimes—okay, a lot of times—I want to skip church. Time to back-peddle and tell you that it’s not all the time and that it’s usually for a good reason. But, as Maury Povich would announce to the world after I dramatically […]

Run to the Rescue with Love: Joaquin Phoenix’s Hollywood Sermon

I have always been a sucker for award shows. All my favorite celebrities in one place dressed in outrageous—and outrageously expensive—Chanel suits and Dior haute couture gowns, giving photo shoots, interviews, speeches, and performances? Yes please. I was especially invested in the Oscars this year because with a few friends I had tried (unsuccessfully) to […]

Anyone Who’s Played a Part

This one comes to us from Ken Wilson. On the road of despair, and only on the road of despair, does one find hope. At least that’s my experience. My life, what is the point? I still ask myself that every day – or rather, I hear the question and variants thereof echoing in my […]

Harsh Words and the Uncontrollable Power of the Tongue

This one was written by John Sloan. It’s a strange thing to remember, but I recall the scenario like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the back of my seventh grade class at Clara E. Weisenborn Junior High when, from the front row, a fellow student interrupted the teacher for a poorly timed and […]

Whispers of Grace in the Violence of Parasite

Spoilers ahead. If you have not seen Parasite — go watch the film first! As we entered the 2020 awards season, Bong Joon-Ho’s 2019 international dark comedy Parasite took the world by storm. To the director’s own surprise, Parasite snagged not just the Oscars’ Best Picture award but three awards in addition to that — Best […]

What We’re Watching and Listening To: February Edition

Sarah Condon Dracula. This version (BBC/Netflix) takes a wildly beautiful twist where Professor Abraham Van Helsing is replaced by Sister Agatha Van Helsing. It is totally engaging and utterly rapturous. In other words, this is Fleabag season 3. Miss Americana. Hear me when I say: I’ve always been a little suspicious of Taylor Swift. Hear […]

The Mockingcast Goes to the Future (By Way of the Past)!

Hard to believe we’re closing in on two months out from our annual conference in New York City (4/23-25)! The details are coming together beautifully – the lineup is pretty much set (not including a couple surprises we can’t disclose until the event itself), and the menus should be up in the next few weeks.

Anyone who’s curious about why we asked author-not-actor Tom Holland to keynote this year should run not walk to the interview we got to do with him for the special new episode of The Mockingcast, devoted to The Future Issue of our magazine. You’re in for quite a treat! I’m not sure we’ve ever gotten so much feedback on a podcast so quickly, especially of the it-made-me-genuinely-excited-to-be-a-Christian variety. Oh and while you’re at it, grab a copy of his book Dominion.

Also on the episode, Ethan speaks with NY Times tech columnist Nellie Bowles, and once-and-future Mbird authority Will McDavid mines the fertile ground at the intersection of Marcel Proust and the Left Behind series. A goldmine!

You can listen to the episode here, and pre-register for the conference here.

On “Lawlessness” and Understanding: The Gospel for Jews and Greeks

The counter-cultural, revolutionary nature of Christianity is en vogue at the moment, and understandably so. The world is not the Gospel; its claims and promises are, in the words of David Zahl, “seculosities” that we can’t help but uncritically accept. We swim amid an ocean of competing ideologies. Part of the appeal of Christianity is […]