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About David Zahl

David Zahl is the director of Mockingbird Ministries and editor-in-chief of the Mockingbird blog. He and his wife Cate reside in Charlottesville, VA, with their three sons, where David also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church (

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Author Archive

    Another Week Ends: Unhappy Affluence, Aging Springsteen, COVID Grief, High Art Humor, Ghostly Foes, and Billy Joe Shaver

    1. Not a particularly easy week to round up, as almost everything out there right now is conjecture of one kind or another, and I’m pretty sure I just wrote something about the pitfalls of prediction addiction. So I’ll stick to the handful of evergreen subjects that’ve come across my screen. First up would be […]

    Six Lessons Learned from the Pandemic (Thus Far, Sort of)

    A friend recently commented that, just because the end of this pandemic may not be in sight doesn’t mean there’s not an end. Fauci ventured something similar a couple months ago. I didn’t take it to mean that the end is necessarily eons away, just that, like so much related to this fiasco, it’s hard […]

    Fleming Rutledge on God’s Journey to Us

    A phenomenal interview with former Mockingbird Conference speaker, Fleming Rutledge, discussing the cross of Christ, procrastination, the powers of Sin, Facebook, and (of course!) God’s irresistible grace. 

    Another Week Ends: Edenic Parenting, Stryper Envy, Miscarriage Stigma, Imposter Syndrome, Clergy Burnout, and Raised By Wolves

    1. Lord Almighty, what a week. Feels like we could all use a good laugh right now, and thankfully, McSweeney’s delivered a masterpiece in Audrey Burges’s “On the Seventh Day, God Created Parenting, and Then Parenting Created Coffee“: In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth in just six days, the seventh […]

    October Playlist

    The good news is that the new Mockingbird website is almost here! By “almost” I mean it’ll launch before the end of the year. You’re going to love it. The bad news is that these playlists — for a variety of reasons — won’t survive the transition. But I doubt I’ll be able to resist posting quarterly ones on Spotify at least. Just follow @davidzahl1 there for updates. Fair warning: This month’s list is a little sappy, seeing as it’s mostly a soundtrack to this post.

    Click here to listen to (most of) it on Spotify.

    David Chang Has Nothing To Be Depressed About

    A trenchant passage from David Chang’s new memoir Eat a Peach, a book which has made headlines for its openness about the chef/restaurateur/Netflix personality’s history of depression. Apparently Chang decided to shift the direction of the book after the death of his good friend Anthony Bourdain. I for one am glad he did, ht CWZ: […]

    Another Week Ends: Bland Land, Digital Burnout, Pale Beyond, Dominion of Jack, Guilt Lit, Depression Meals, and Electric Jesus

    1. Hum, Quip, Goby, Burst, Boka, Brüush, Gleem, Shyn — these are just a few of the brands, or “blands,” seeking to disrupt the toothbrush industry right now. If you’ve scrolled through Instagram recently, no doubt you’ve seen others trying to do the same in other industries. Caspar, Harry’s, Oscar, Burrow, Keeps, Roman, Rumpl, the […]

    We Are All Sociopaths (for Love)

    Do the names Jesse and Celine mean anything to you? Right now they mean a lot to me. After years of putting it off, I finally binged Richard Linklater’s much-loved Before trilogy: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. The movies trace a single relationship between an American man and a French woman over three […]

    Spiritual Consultants at the Gates of a Great Unraveling

    The Great Unraveling they’re calling it, what’s happening to our society right now. A little melodramatic, I know; headlines are just words after all, and it’s gotten so hard to tell what’s hype and what’s not, how much of what we’re hearing is Internet-land hysteria and what’s actually, well, true. So maybe “unraveling” is a […]

    September Playlist

    Click here to listen on Spotify.

    Newly Expanded Paperback Edition of Seculosity Is Out!

    Big news: the expanded paperback edition of #Seculosity is now available! This volume is what happens when you ask a record collector to prep a reissue: he insists on remastering and adding a ton of bonus tracks. I’m so grateful to Broadleaf Books for indulging me.

    What’s new? I wrote an extra chapter about Fandom/Celebrity/Sports, added a ton of footnotes to the main text, compiled a Discussion Guide, and did a lengthy author Q&A to address various questions I’ve gotten along the way. So it’s about 25% longer and feels a lot more complete to me.

    Grab it on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

    Anyone looking to read it as part of a group, there are bulk discounts available from my publisher that I’m happy to pass on, just email me at Oh and don’t forget to please please pretty please post a review and/or rating on Amazon — that helps tremendously.

    Finally, eternal thanks to Mark Babikow for outdoing himself with yet another amazing trailer.

    Newly Expanded Paperback Edition of Seculosity! from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    Another Week Ends: Strange Rites, QAnon, Gracious Gardens, Accelerated Alienation, Imputed Memes, Masterclasses and The Killers

    1. First up, I had the privilege of penning the lead review in the latest issue of Christianity Today on Tara Isabella Burton’s phenomenal new book Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World. While the title might suggest significant overlap with #seculosity, Strange Rites is very much its own thing, both in terms of […]