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2019 Mbird NYC Conference happens 4/25-27!

2019 Mbird NYC Conference happens 4/25-27!

A bunch of details about our upcoming 12th annual conference in NYC are now up on conference.mbird.com. Some things to note: Our theme will be “Beyond Deserving: Hope in a World of Performance”! Speaking of performance, we didn’t get just any Conference YoYoist – we got JWYOYO! On Friday night...
The Illusion of Prestige and the College Admissions Scandal

The Illusion of Prestige and the College Admissions Scandal

I spent every day after school when I was in fourth through sixth grade doing my homework in a conference room that was covered floor to ceiling in college brochures and posters. When I finished my homework, I would look over the various shiny brochures and marvel at all the...
Now Available! <i>Life Is Impossible: And That's Good News</i>, by Nick Lannon

Now Available! Life Is Impossible: And That’s Good News, by Nick Lannon

Have you heard the Good News? Life Is Impossible…is now available through the Mockingbird bookstore and Amazon! This slim, gospel-centered book points to God’s abundant mercy and love amidst life’s painful realities. With wisdom, humor, and compassion, Nick Lannon illumines the light of Jesus, the One who achieves the unachievable. “A...
Lent Doesn't Make Sense When Incarnation > Salvation

Lent Doesn’t Make Sense When Incarnation > Salvation

Instinct and revelation do not typically occupy the same space. For a revelation reveals truth that we otherwise would miss. In this regard, religion is most interesting when it offers ideas that are distinct and/or counterintuitive, when it brings something new to bear upon the old. In particular, the idea...
Glad, Sad, Bad, and Mad: Anger at God in Christian Life

Glad, Sad, Bad, and Mad: Anger at God in Christian Life

Here is Bonnie Zahl’s piece from the Faith & Doubt Issue. Pick one up here before they’re gone!  There’s an episode in the second season of Ally McBeal where the main character Ally goes to the hospital to see her boyfriend, who is a doctor, and ends up meeting his...
See It, Believe It! The Faith & Doubt Issue!

See It, Believe It! The Faith & Doubt Issue!

As early as January 30, we will be putting the thirteenth issue of The Mockingbird onto mail trucks to readers like you. We’re incredibly excited for you to see it. It’s colorful, it’s insightful, and believe it or not, despite the heady-sounding theme, it’s as winsome and down-to-earth and heartfelt...
One Year Later: Still Processing the Willow Creek Crash

One Year Later: Still Processing the Willow Creek Crash

The first time I went to Willow Creek Community Church, circa 1994, I didn’t want to be there. My new pastor and boss was a fan of Pastor Bill Hybels, and our church staff flew to Chicago to attend a conference together. I feared that any church that large must...
The Dangers of Parenting Under the Influence

The Dangers of Parenting Under the Influence

This one comes to us courtesy of an actual college student, Charlie Meyer: Waiting in the airport today, my family chipped away at a crossword. We were stuck with only a few clues left to solve, so needless to say, stakes were high. In a family where crossword answers are...
Steve Brown on the Laughter of the Forgiven

Steve Brown on the Laughter of the Forgiven

Mockingbird-favorite Steve Brown’s classic, When Being Good Isn’t Good Enough (recently revised in a new edition), calls us to enter the impasse of the overcontrolled Christian, half-looking at ourselves or at others with one eye, while the other one’s uneasily flitting back and forth to the scoreboard, seeing how things are measuring up....
Latest entries

Another Week Ends: Success Robots, Weed Church, Blessed Poor, Affect Theory, Scientistic Limits, Fanny, and Twin Feather

Another Week Ends: Success Robots, Weed Church, Blessed Poor, Affect Theory, Scientistic Limits, Fanny, and Twin Feather

1. Don’t shoot the piano player but another week, another flurry of #seculosity… This first item comes from Peggy Noonan, who hit the college admissions scandal nail on the head in her “Kids, Don’t Become Success Robots” column in The Wall Street Journal. She writes: In the past decade or so I’ve observed a particular parenting […]

PZ's Podcast: Soul Searchin' Time, Blowing Away, Seasons in the Sun, and Soul Trajectory

PZ’s Podcast: Soul Searchin’ Time, Blowing Away, Seasons in the Sun, and Soul Trajectory

EPISODE 266: Soul Searchin’ Time The previous cast, “Surprise, Surprise”, raised the vexing question of exceptions in the practice of grace to sinners and sufferers. I spoke about the chronic inability of Christians who emphasize grace to embody it in relation to specific sinners and specific sins. One example I chose was from the Reformed […]

Walker Percy on Distraction and Selfhood ~ Scott Johnson

Nuclear winter, malaise, transcendence, and an amiable dude in khakis — all this and more in the following video! Very pleased to share this talk by Scott Johnson, from our recent conference in Oklahoma City, a revised version of which appeared in the latest Mockingbird magazine, the Faith and Doubt issue.

Walker Percy on Distraction and Selfhood ~ Scott Johnson

“All Is Lost…and All Is Not Lost”: An Introduction to Our Latest Book, <i>Life Is Impossible</i> by Nick Lannon

“All Is Lost…and All Is Not Lost”: An Introduction to Our Latest Book, Life Is Impossible by Nick Lannon

No one ever said life would be easy. But does your life ever seem…too hard? Does self-help, strangely, not work? If so, consider Life Is Impossible: And That’s Good News, the new book by longtime Mockingbird writer Nick Lannon. It’s a slim work, biblically sound and buoyed by vivid illustrations from culture and everyday life. Read […]

Lemon, Out!

Lemon, Out!

This post was written by Michael Neal. I was pretty bummed when I learned that Netflix had dropped 30 Rock from its roster. What’s not to love about Tina Fey and 30 Rock? It’s witty and hilarious, socially informed, and often a sound diagnostic of our tendency to self-justify and virtue-signal. Thank God someone at […]

The Imperfect Eye – John L’Heureux

From Picnic in Bablyon, L’Heureux’s journals from 1963-’67.

The Imperfect Eye

I saw tonight that he is on my side,
the lion. For the first time, I saw it.
And by God all the furniture got up

and danced (that hulking desk
a creditable tango) and I, though not much
on my feet, waltzed through Judah

like a Crazy-priest. Sometimes joy
is like that, coming quick as dandelions
springing to attention while the sun

shudders still—a little—from the melting
winter. Anyway here I was with lions
to account for and that desk

and questionable antics all along
(indignities of sun and dandelions
while our bones still creak with Lent)

and I thought God, what now, until
again I heard the music of the dance
again I waltzed through Judah.

“I something fear my father’s wrath” no more.

Things We Cannot Say

Things We Cannot Say

There are things we cannot say. This is a fundamental truth about life. It is not a lesson we learn explicitly, but early in our childhoods we learn that some things are not to be spoken. Social pressure or the desire for social status cause us to keep our mouths shut. We learn that we […]

Special Faith and Doubt Episode of The Mockingcast!

As you may know, each time a new issue of The Mockingbird hits the post office, we do a special episode of The Mockingcast to hit the highlights of the theme in discussion. The new one, ladies and gentlemen, is up! Join Ethan as he chats with Sally Lloyd-Jones, Gordon Marino, and Connor Gwin to talk about faith and doubt, and their contributions to the new magazine. Click here to listen. And click here to get a copy of your own.

Swimming with Killer Whales, and Cars that Go Up, Up, Up

Swimming with Killer Whales, and Cars that Go Up, Up, Up

It is a scientific fact that there exists a space in the human gut that functions purely to process stories. We’ll call it the Story Organ. You hear a particular story and at once there begins this churning and grinding, like one of those plastic rock polishers you get from the nerd stores. Said Organ […]

The Life-Changing Magic of Tearing my Students’ Papers Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tearing my Students’ Papers Up

Grateful to share this piece by Mischa Willet: The exercise goes something like this: at the start of class, I ask students to take out a piece of paper, which more often than not these days means they cast about looking helpless till a more-responsible classmate offers aid. I give them some prompt, whose subject […]

Bauer Out(r)age

Bauer Out(r)age

This post was written by Kyle Dupic.  In the last issue of Sports Illustrated, MLB pitcher Trevor Bauer was featured due to his lightning rod of a personality. Bauer is a perfect example of the way social media has expanded and highlighted our love/hate relationship with nearly everything. He is on the cutting edge of […]

Optimus Prime and the Religion of Toys, Part 3: Mass Producing the Monomyth: Joseph Campbell’s Unintended Legacy and Ours

Optimus Prime and the Religion of Toys, Part 3: Mass Producing the Monomyth: Joseph Campbell’s Unintended Legacy and Ours

This concludes our friend Jeremiah Lawson‘s three-part series on Transformers. If you missed the other two installments, begin at the beginning! For the symbols of mythology are not manufactured; they cannot be ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed. They are spontaneous productions of the psyche, and each bears within it, undamaged, the germ power of its source. […]