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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: Ruvolo’s Mercy, Hoos Redeemed, Techno-Adulting, Friendseagram and lots of #Seculosity

    1. First up, a jaw-dropping story of “forgiveness in a vengeful world,” in the form of an NY Times obituary for Victoria Ruvolo who died this week. Ms. Ruvolo’s widely publicized kindness toward her attacker provided emotional counterpoint to a senseless act that began in the early hours of Nov. 13, 2004. She was returning […]

    Seculosity Has Landed!!

    Beyond excited to announce that my new book Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What To Do About It is officially out today! So excited, in fact, that we made another video to celebrate #markbabikowisagenius: A few ways to support the cause (after you’ve purchased the book): […]

    April Playlist

    P.S. Click here to listen to (the majority of) it on Spotify.

    P.P.S. Happy #Seculosity Eve! Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have it discounted by almost 30%, and only an algorithm knows how long that will last, so…


    Lenten Jams: “Triptych” by Roxy Music

    Pretty bummed to hear that art-rock pioneers Roxy Music won’t be staging a full reunion for their induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame tomorrow. Then again, it’s not as though there was ever an outside chance that they’d play their exquisitely weird Passion poem, “Triptych” off 1974’s Country Life, definitely my Lenten-themed musical discovery of the year. Fortunately, we can enjoy it right here right now:


    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 […]

    Mark Hollis Had to Give It Up (and Get a Second Chance)

    To commemorate the untimely death last week of Talk Talk singer-savant Mark Hollis, here’s a seasonally appropriate–and face-melting–performance from what many consider to be the band’s peak. RIP Mark Hollis:

    Welcome to the Jungle (of Ash Wednesday)

    Those looking for a mockingtastic Ash Wednesday devotional and/or Lent-opening mic drop, be sure to check out the special episode of Same Old Song in which Jacob and Aaron surface the cognitive dissonance at work as well as the awkwardness of low anthropology, doing their best throughout not to dodge the existential gut-punch this day represents. They also talk about The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and GNR. As always, not just for preachers.

    You can listen/subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play.

    It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a #Seculosity Book Trailer! (and Tour Dates)

    Believe it or not, we’re exactly four weeks out from the release of Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What To Do About It (April 2nd). Here’s the trailer, made by the amazing Mark Babikow, and easy to download and repost and/or share – hint hint nudge nudge:

    In conjunction with the release I’ll be heading out on a tour to promote in April & May. The dates we’ve got confirmed are as follows:

    • April 3: Birmingham, AL (Cranmer House @ 7:00pm)
    • April 6: Tyler, TX (Mbird Tyler Conference @ 9:00am)
    • April 7: Houston, TX (Holy Spirit Episcopal Church @ 9:30am)
    • April 16: Oklahoma City, OK (Commonplace Books @ 6:30pm)
    • April 17: Dallas, TX (The Shaw’s @ 7:30pm)
    • April 26: New York, NY (Spring Mockingbird Conference @ 6:30pm)
    • May 2: Roanoke, VA (St Mark’s Fincastle, TBD)
    • May 3: Charlottesville, VA (Christ Episcopal Church @ 6:00pm)
    • May 5: Washington, DC (All Saints Episcopal Church @ 9:00am)
    • May 8: Bedford, NY (St Matthew’s, TBD)
    • May 10: Atlanta, GA (TBD @ 7:00pm)
    • May 17: Nashville, TN (TBD @ 7:00pm)
    • June 21: Orange County, CA (TBD)

    There’s still a few open dates in there, so if you’re interested in hosting an event in your city, drop me a line at

    March Playlist

    You can jam on most of the tracks on Spotify here. And for those inspired by the above to geek out on Thin Lizzy, look no further.

    Workaholics in the Hands of a Firing God

    “When work becomes the primary arbiter of identity, purpose, worth, and community in our lives, it has ceased to function as employment and begun to function as a religion. Or at least we have made it responsible for providing the very things to which we used to look to God.” Those two lines are taken […]

    Another Week Ends: Evangelism Aversion, Everywhere Fundies, Jussie’s Folly, Daddy Bill, Competitive Depression, and Bollywood Billie

    1. The big news lighting up church circles at the moment is the polling numbers on evangelism released by Barna earlier this month. Christianity Today reports: “Nearly half (47%) of practicing Christian millennials—churchgoers who consider religion an important part of their lives—believe that evangelism is wrong. At least, they’re more than twice as likely as […]

    Prisons of Sadness and a Love Much Greater Than Evolution Requires

    I was going to save this for tomorrow’s Another Week Ends column, but it’s just too good not to highlight all on its own. I’m referring to the sermon that author and journalist Michael Gerson gave at The National Cathedral this past Sunday. He opens with the admission that he’d missed the initial preaching date […]