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The Ministry of Weirdness, Courtesy of The Rev. Alfred Yankovic

The Ministry of Weirdness, Courtesy of The Rev. Alfred Yankovic

“Even as a child, I understood on some intuitive level that Weird Al was not merely the Shakespeare of terrible food puns (“Might as well face it you’re addicted to spuds”) or an icon of anti-style (poodle fro, enormous glasses, questionable mustache, Hawaiian shirts) but a spiritual technician doing important...
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 Relief of Comedy

The Relief of Comedy

This delightful post comes from Ben Fort: Back in September, a sermon went viral. A British pastor was praised for a grace-filled rebuttal to the burdensome false teachings found in the video of a fellow clergyman. This kind of interaction isn’t surprising to anyone on Christian Twitter, except the debate...
When Is a Baseball Card More Than Just a Baseball Card?

When Is a Baseball Card More Than Just a Baseball Card?

Blame Michael Jordan, or blame COVID-induced storage diving, or blame birthday number four-zero-one last month, but I’ve been doing some serious time traveling of late. The calendar may read 2020, but inside my head I’ve been traversing 1986-1994, one pop culture artifact at a time. Listeners to The Mockingcast have...
When Grace Comes as a Trophy

When Grace Comes as a Trophy

My mother has been going through things lately. Like many people right now, she has time on her hands to unload the boxes that were lovingly packed away decades ago with the best intentions about the then-present “meaning” but with little regard for how callous time might make us. She...
Good News That Never Goes Out of Style

Good News That Never Goes Out of Style

Ideas are sort of like clothes. Like when you find a new jean jacket and it instantly becomes your favorite. The fit is impeccable, as if it were designed for only you. You wear it everywhere with pride and are the envy of everyone. The jacket becomes your signature accessory...
Why I Invited Daryl Davis to Speak in DC

Why I Invited Daryl Davis to Speak in DC

Grace, Race and the KKK ~ Daryl Davis from Mockingbird on Vimeo. There’s a scene about fifteen minutes into Accidental Courtesy, the 2016 documentary about musician Daryl Davis, that so blew my hair back that I immediately looked up his contact info for the purposes of begging him to join...
ANNOUNCING! <i>Peace in the Last Third of Life: A Handbook of Hope for Boomers</i> by Paul Zahl

ANNOUNCING! Peace in the Last Third of Life: A Handbook of Hope for Boomers by Paul Zahl

SURPRISE!! We’ve dropped hints here and there that Paul Zahl has been working on a new book. The hardcover will be out this summer, but given our present circumstances (and the urgency of the book’s message), we wanted to get it into your hands as soon as possible. So we’ve...
Latest entries


Curiosity in Science — and Faith

The following is an excerpt from from Why Science and Faith Need Each Other by Elaine Howard Ecklund. The author, a sociologist, studies the relationship between science and faith. This passage can be found in Chapter 4, “Curiosity.” You remember some conversations for the rest of your life. When I met Jill, she was already […]

June Playlist

Click here to listen to (most of) it on Spotify. And you need a video to sustain you this week, might I suggest Rance Allen recording Dylan’s “When He Returns”:

Comfort to Afflicted Saints

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3) The pithiness of some of Jesus’ teachings, coupled with their familiarity in the church, often empties them of their radicality and counter-intuitive divergence from commonsense. Translated into the language of ethics for what Christians must do or become on the […]

“A Story Unleashed”: Jesus Couldn’t Keep a Lid on the Gospel, and Neither Can We

We all get a “gospel according to…” and that is both terrifying and liberating.

The Triumph of Lo-Fi Aesthetics

This one comes to us from Peter Severson: We have learned quickly that a lot of our contemporary industries weren’t built to be pandemic-proof, but the sudden shutdown of live-action television and movie production might be the biggest cultural shock of them all. The industry has recently experienced a compelling devolution in style, one that […]

From Minneapolis to Constantinople

Quick update: the new episode of The Mockingcast, which we recorded this past Friday, is up.

Needless to say, this was a tough one so I’m extra grateful to my co-hosts for braving the discomfort around race and jumping in with me. I hope we didn’t put our foot in it too much.

The official description being “In which Sarah, RJ, and Dave talk picky eaters, casual racism, George Floyd, and Brendan the Navigator. Also, Dave presses some steel while Sarah reheats some frozen garlic bread.”

Click here to listen.

For further reading:

  • Click here to read CNN’s report on picky eating.
  • Click here to read The NY Times piece on How to Talk to a Racist.
  • Click here to read CT’s article on The Gospel Legacy George Floyd left in Houston.
  • Click here to read Fr Stephen Freeman’s “It’s Good To Be Here.
  • Click here to read the NY Review of Books article on A Tale of Two Churches.

We’ll be taking a couple weeks off as people travel but will be back in action the third week in June.

Also, today marks Todd Brewer‘s first day as Managing Editor of this website. The existing cast of characters isn’t going anywhere, just shuffling around a bit (stay tuned). But we are SO excited to have Todd aboard in this more official capacity. He’s been with us since day one and knows Mbird inside and out. Welcome Todd!!

A Citizenship of Nothing but Belief

Once, in college, I attended an inter-denominational Christian event. Students were asked to introduce themselves and the church tradition they represented. One girl laughed and said, “I’m a Christian,” and left it at that. (She was probably a 4.) This left an impression on me, as parsing the nuances between traditions had become something of […]

The Grace to Not Give Up on Me

It’s got to be hard sticking it out with me. I don’t know yet how to recognize that fact and constructively absorb its truth without engaging in self-flagellation, but I know I want to. I have no illusion that rattling off my faults effects some proportionality of sanctification in me, as if some transaction takes […]

Another Week Ends: Productivity Hawks, the Useless God, Goodnight Zoom, Picky Eating, Wine Moms, Political Warfare, and George Floyd

1. This week’s first article might give you déjà vu — it’s just the newest in an ever fattening file on the cult of productivity. With the force of an altogether wilder God, this pandemic has slammed the idol of work. For Vox, Sam Blum interviews a series of people who have found unexpected liberation […]

Holy Foolishness: A Manifesto

Grateful for this one, by Christine Havens. Leave it to Shakespeare to introduce the metaphor “wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve” through the words of Iago, one of the playwright’s master villains. He says, “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws [crows] to peck at” (Othello, Act 1, scene 1), but will […]

Bo Burnham and a Cameo of Happiness

The other day I was poking around YouTube, as one does during quarantine, and I came across the incredible concluding segment to Bo Burnham’s 2016 Netflix comedy special, Make Happy, in which Bo rants in Kanye’s rhythmically sonic fashion for seven-odd minutes about Pringles, Chipotle, and mental health. If that’s the weirdest sentence you’ve read […]

NOW AVAILABLE: StoryMakers – Adventure Three: The Stars!

Drum roll please!!! We are thrilled to announce that StoryMakers’ next kidzine has arrived and is available through the online shop! After the adventures of Creation and The Flood, you can continue the journey through the new zine…The Stars. Have you ever considered how complicated it would be to explain to your friends, let alone […]