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Surprise! Issue 17 is Available for Pre-Order

What is the kingdom of God? Jesus does not speak of a reorganization of society as a political possibility or of the doctrine of salvation as a doctrine. He speaks of what it is like to find a diamond ring that you thought you’d lost forever. He speaks of what it is like to win the Irish Sweepstakes. He suggests rather than spells out. He evokes rather than explains. He catches by surprise.

– Frederick Buechner

The latest issue of The Mockingbird magazine is available for pre-order! Magazines will ship by the end of April.

In this issue, we reflect on surprises of all sorts. We remember the times when our plans were foiled by romance, tragedy, and, yes, a pandemic. We investigate the surprise that Christianity (a religion staked literally on the body of a crucified convict) should exist at all.

Special guest content from Oliver Burkeman, Helena Dea Bala, Leslie Jamison, Liz Tichenor, and C. Kavin Rowe, plus new writing by Sarah Condon, Charlotte Getz, David Zahl, and more. See full contents below!

If you are a current subscriber who has moved, you can email your updated address to! Please and thank you!

Pre-order your copy here, or sign up for a subscription here.

Good News For People Who Love Bad News

Watching the News While Reading the Bible

Life Outside the Camp: Cancellation, Purity, and Public Space

The Goal of Cancellations is Not so Much to Target Unpopular People, as to Maintain a Shared Space Free of Contaminants.

Good News on a Bad Day: Reflections on Getting Covid, One Year Later

I Was One of the First to Get Sick. Instead of Doubting God’s Goodness, I was utterly Overcome by Him.

Announcing The Brothers Zahl Podcast!

Coming late February! Click here to stream the full trailer — and be sure to subscribe!

Also available on Spotify.

In Praise of Blizzards

Maybe That’s Why the Blizzard Remains the Best Natural Disaster of All, Spiritually Speaking

He Showed Up In Boots: Garth Brooks is a Fool for Christ

Perhaps Because of the Shock of the Moment, It Seemed Perfectly Right

Now What? On the President, the Pandemic, and Love

Our Circumstances Change Our Devotions — Whether We Fail or Succeed

Parallel Universes, Politics, and Love

What Can Christians Living in “Parallel Universes of Belief” Do to Find Common Ground?

Putting the Christ in Christian: Do You Feel Uncomfortable Enough?

Who Exactly is Sharing Whose Lifestyle and Values Here?

Batteries Not Included

Hello friends. I’ve just posted the new episode of The Mockingcast, Batteries Not Included,” which, as RJ explains in the prelude, will be our final episode of the year.

Those who follow us on social media know that, just after the cast was recorded, co-host Sarah Condon received some unbelievably tragic news. You can read her message here, but please please please keep Sarah and her family in your prayers.

Given the context, we were a little hesitant to release the episode, but she, RJ, and I are ultimately hopeful that it could speak some comfort to those who are hurting with/for her. It certainly did me. You can listen here. The blurb is as follows:

In which RJ, Sarah, and Dave talk mer-baby mishaps, library impermanence, celebrity pastors, and their increasing distaste for the season of Advent.

  • Click here to read Elizabeth Faidley’s write-up of the Pearl the Mermaid Baby Saga, which includes a picture of you-know-who (you’ve been warned).
  • Click here to read Ben Dolnick’s piece about Library Books.
  • Click here to peruse our gift guide.
  • Click here to read Ruth Graham’s article on the Rise and Fall of Carl Lentz.
  • Click here to read the article on Sad Clowns.
  • Click here to read David French’s column on The Crisis of Christian Celebrity.
  • Click here to read Walter Russell Mead’s meditation on Advent.

Per the announcement at the beginning, you can support The Mockingcast by texting “Mcast” to 77948 (or going here). As always, thank you SO much for listening — thank you even more for praying — and we look forward to coming back at you in 2021.

Stubborn Burros: Why Intrafaith Dialogue May Be More Important Than Interfaith Dialogue

Dialogue Won’t Heal our Deepest Divisions, but It will Humanize our Adversaries