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Count Your Midlife Blessings (At Your Own Risk)

Count Your Midlife Blessings (At Your Own Risk)

It’s not often that people my age ask me why they might want to go to church. Perhaps this is because mid-life tends not to be a time when people are looking for one more thing to do. They’re definitely not looking for one more thing to feel bad about...
The Power of Love: Grace in Augustinian Perspective

The Power of Love: Grace in Augustinian Perspective

In anticipation of the publication of John Barclay’s book, Paul and the Power of Grace, Part Five of our “Defining Grace” series continues with this essay from Simeon Zahl, Lecturer in Christian Theology at Cambridge University. He is the author of the books The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience (excerpts of which can...
Was Enoughness on the Ballot? A Few Words on Post-Election Disgust and Magnanimity

Was Enoughness on the Ballot? A Few Words on Post-Election Disgust and Magnanimity

I remember after Donald Trump was elected in 2016, those who supported Hillary Clinton complained openly and often of severe anxiety and stress. It wasn’t just the run-of-the-mill “let’s all move to Canada” stuff. A friend from college told me she couldn’t sleep because she was so scared about what...
Never the Same Twice: Grace and the (Divinely) Inspired World of Jazz

Never the Same Twice: Grace and the (Divinely) Inspired World of Jazz

What I would really like to have been, given a perfect world, is a jazz pianist. I mean jazz. I don’t mean rock and roll. I mean the never-the-same-twice music the American black people gave the world. — Kurt Vonnegut For decades, a legendary trumpeter has taught an Improvisational Jazz...
Asking Our Kids to Save the World

Asking Our Kids to Save the World

I recently went to Barnes & Noble to buy a birthday present for my daughter’s friend. I walked into the children’s section, passing one table about elections, another about climate change, another about racial justice, another about women’s rights. It took awhile to find the picture book section. Don’t get...
Can the Good Outweigh the Bad? The Case of the Philanthropist-Serial Killer

Can the Good Outweigh the Bad? The Case of the Philanthropist-Serial Killer

Each morning, as the coffee buzz kicks in, we all ask ourselves what must happen for the day to be a success. There are relationships to keep up, cleaning to do, work to be done, and exercise (if that’s your sort of thing). But as the day unfolds, the boat...
Announcing! The Sports Issue!

Announcing! The Sports Issue!

It’s here, people! The Sports Issue has arrived to the printers and will be hitting mail trucks next week! If you’re not a subscriber yet, you do that here. Or feel free to buy single copies for your entire church volleyball league, here.  Until then, sports fans, step up to...
Now Available! <i>Daily Grace: The Mockingbird Devotional, Vol. 2</i>

Now Available! Daily Grace: The Mockingbird Devotional, Vol. 2

Have you heard the news?? After nearly two years of scheming, thinking, devoting, and writing, Daily Grace: The Mockingbird Devotional, Vol. 2 is at last available. This book features 365 entries written by more than sixty different contributors — and a whole lot of grace. You can purchase Daily Grace...
Latest entries


The House That Who Built?

I don’t agree with everything Fr. Stephen Freeman publishes on his blog, Glory to God for All Things, neither can I vouch for all the assertions he makes in his vast library of writings. After all, he operates in a ministerial context on the verge of the polar opposite side (doctrinally) from where I minister. […]

Judge Not: Okay, but Why?

This post comes to us from Adam Neder, the Bruner-Welch Professor of Theology at Whitworth University. He is the author of Theology as a Way of Life: On Teaching and Learning the Christian Faith and Participation in Christ: An Entry Into Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics. Does anyone who cares even a little about the plausibility of Christian witness need to […]

The “Little Apocalypse” of Advent

I still recall the first time my parents let me go to summer camp with my best friend. Neither I nor my parents understood what this particular summer camp was really all about. All we saw in the brochure was horseback riding and a big swimming pool, so I was very excited, until the first […]

When Hope Turns to Ashes: The Weakness of John the Baptist

This post comes to us from Nathan Carr: When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Mt 11:2-3) Here sits a man whose life has been spent in the […]

Trading Grace for Insults: The Call of J. Cole

It’s that time of year when I, and likely you as well, look back over the past twelve months and attempt to decide which albums, films, and television series stood out as favorites. One of my favorite albums came out early in January and was the director’s cut version of an album from 2019. I’m […]

Thou Shalt Be Needed but Never Needy: Sad Clowns, Lonely Husbands, and COVID Friendships

Sad clowns. That’s the term used to describe me and my peers. It’s not flattering. As far as I know, it was coined in a Boston Globe article a few years ago about middle-aged male loneliness. A sad clown is a man of a certain age whose default agreeableness and readymade dad jokes mask his […]

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus, 2020 Playlist

And not a moment too soon.😫 Welcome Lord Jesus!

Click here for the (sadly pared-down) Spotify version!

Giving Tuesday Indulgences for Black Friday Guilt

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and then Cyber Monday. For four days we buy, buy, and buy — for others (because we have to) but also for ourselves. Perhaps mostly for ourselves. The frenzy of spending is occasioned by the holiday season, but more and more of us have been self-gifting. With all the […]

“Can I Ever Be Forgiven?” On the Radical Unity of Sinners

I live in a northern suburb of St. Louis, MO, a city which has been the per-capita homicide capital of the USA for the last several years. In 2020, the city stands a good chance of breaking its previous record, set in 1993 when its population was larger by about 80,000 people. In the ’90s, […]

#GivingTuesday on Mockingbird

Today, as you likely know, is Giving Tuesday, and we would so love for you to consider Mockingbird in that regard. To make a one-time gift, or sign up for monthly donations (*which includes a complimentary subscription to our print magazine), please visit www.mbird.com/support. We need your help to keep this bird in the air! […]

Dogs, Play, and the Terrifying Open-Endedness of Grace

Our family welcomed a dog into our ranks two months ago, and believe me when I tell you, it has been a journey. Kevin, named after our younger son’s kindergarten teacher (as well as the lead characters from Home Alone and The Wonder Years), is a white lab whom we picked up from a farm […]

How Strange Is Your God? James Wood on the Idolatrous Voice of Christ

All week the forecast was bad. Weather.com showed only thunderclouds, rain, and a long series of yellow lightning bolts. But when the day came — a day when college-aged Christians would gather outside to protest human trafficking — the storms held off. The clouds came in, but the air was clear. One of my friends, […]