New Here?
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 (

Contact David Zahl

Author Archive

    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 not doing. But occasionally, after […]

    It’s a Mockingcast Birthday Extravaganza!

    Happy birthday to us!! Thank you so much to everyone who wrote in (and continues to write in!) to say how much the cast means to you — the outpouring has been such an encouragement to RJ, Sarah, and myself. And thank you for listening, period. This project is a true labor of love.

    The milestone 200th episode is up as of this morning, in which we celebrate by talking soul toupées, American happiness, None elevator pitches, and the compelling perfectionism of Yeshua. Also, Dave comes to grips with his ADD, Sarah starts a new hobby, while RJ serenades them both like some kind of overgrown Dutch choirboy–with the help of the meme to the right.

    • Click here to read about Soul Toupées.
    • Click here to read Ruth Whippman’s article on “America the Anxious.”
    • Click here to read Eric Weiner’s piece on what it’s like to be a None.
    • Click here to read a portion of Francis Spufford’s Yeshau chapter from Unapologetic.
    • Click here to read the article Dave mentions about mid-life crises.
    • Click here to read Sarah’s post on Overconfident Men and Underestimating Women.


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

    The Political Dimension of Life Remains Tremendously Important. But the Psychospiritual Dimension Trumps It (!) Every Time.

    November Playlist

    Special thanks to Glenn Black for help with this one. Oh and the kickstarter for the Electric Jesus soundtrack is live — do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor!

    Click here to listen on Spotify.

    Fifteen Beatitudes for All Saints’ Day, 2020

    Paraphrased from Matthew 5:3-7 for this sermon. With thanks to Buechner, NBW, Same Old Song, K Lamar, and T Brewer.

    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)

    “COVID, like the Law, always Accuses,” and other Take-Aways

    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

    “To Fight This, You Need Help. Medicine, Yes, But People Are Key. You Can’t Do It Alone.”

    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 […]