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Under Robert E. Lee’s Shadow: Growing Up in The Lost Cause

It was announced last Thursday that the six story tall statue of Robert E. Lee on Richmond Virginia’s Monument Avenue is going to be removed. It is a response to the murder of George Floyd and the following week of protests and riots in the city. The news says that the rest of the Confederate […]

The Triumph of Lo-Fi Aesthetics

This one comes to us from Peter Severson: We have learned quickly that a lot of our contemporary industries weren’t built to be pandemic-proof, but the sudden shutdown of live-action television and movie production might be the biggest cultural shock of them all. The industry has recently experienced a compelling devolution in style, one that […]

NOW AVAILABLE: StoryMakers – Adventure Three: The Stars!

Drum roll please!!! We are thrilled to announce that StoryMakers’ next kidzine has arrived and is available through the online shop! After the adventures of Creation and The Flood, you can continue the journey through the new zine…The Stars. Have you ever considered how complicated it would be to explain to your friends, let alone […]

Good Luck With That Self-Sufficiency You Speak Of

Jesus invited us to a dance, but we have turned it into a march of soldiers. – Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom One of my favorite parts of the daily liturgy I read comes at the beginning of the evening liturgy, which I always read at some point in the afternoon–a time when I’ve exhausted […]

ANNOUNCING! Peace in the Last Third of Life: A Handbook of Hope for Boomers by Paul Zahl

SURPRISE!! We’ve dropped hints here and there that Paul Zahl has been working on a new book. The hardcover will be out this summer, but given our present circumstances (and the urgency of the book’s message), we wanted to get it into your hands as soon as possible. So we’ve done something unprecedented and have released it first as an e-book, which you can purchase as we speak! Here’s the blurb:

Everyone wants peace and hope.

As we grow older, we feel a special urgency to make peace with the past and to discover hope for the future. In his newest book, Peace in the Last Third of Life, the Rev. Dr. Paul F. M. Zahl provides a roadmap to finding peace and hope for the ‘Boomer’ generation. Zahl’s wisdom comes not only from decades in pastoral ministry, but also from cultural and historical illustrations as varied as Philadelphia Soul, War of the Worlds (1953), and the skin of St. Bartholomew. With piercing wisdom and unflagging humor, Peace in the Last Third of Life connects the core questions of Boomers to the Supernatural Power of God.

Grab your copy today!

The Freedom to Do Nothing

Gnawing Guilt and Guiltless Grace

The True Churches on Adjustment Day

If, in these tenuous times, you’re the sort of person who’d enjoy a whale of a tale about societal collapse, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more inventive entry than Chuck Palahniuk’s Adjustment Day. Equal parts screwball satire and thinly veiled prophecy, the writer of Fight Club sends up our contentious culture with a riotous story of revolt and reorganization. Not for the faint of heart but in the right hands it could make a terrific cult TV series. The class revolution that culminates on ‘Adjustment Day’ begins in the basements of churches, which the demagogue at the center of the plot, Talbott, describes in vivid terms (while duct-taped to a chair):

“His tongue crowded with food, Talbott had cited the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Prior to it the dispossessed and powerless had gone to churches for comfort, and in those the disenfranchised had discovered they weren’t alone in their misery…

Choking and sputtering, Talbott had said, ‘Those groups… recovery and support groups are the new churches.’ He’d said that traditional places of worship had been reduced to crass theaters where people went to signal their status and virtues. A true church had to serve as the place where people went in safety to risk confessing their worst selves. Not to boast and display their pride. Those who attended recovery groups, they arrived defeated. They told the story of their failure. Their sins and shortcomings. To admit their culpability, and in doing so they receive a communion with their flawed peers.”

Compassion, Connection, and the Singular “With” of the Gospel

“Now we have the privilege of seeing what only God can do.” – Ray Ortlund, quoting his friend Alfred Dickson Our eight-year-old woke up the other morning beside me, because that is our life right now, and in his half-asleep haze murmured, “This is the best time.” He was talking about that moment, which is […]

Offensive: On War Crimes and Forgiveness

Thankful for this one from Grant Wishard. Im Chaem, a delicate woman in her mid-70s, lives peacefully in the tiny village of Anlong Veng in northwest Cambodia. She raises cucumbers, tends to several cows, enjoys Thai soap operas, and is content to pass the time away with her loving children and grandchildren. Im Chaem is […]

The Cross Brings Mercy and Comfort

Yesterday morning, Comfort sailed into New York harbor. A few days ago, Mercy arrived in Los Angeles. I’m not sure I have ever witnessed a more powerful image of the Gospel.

The End of Individualism

It Is Indeed Not Good for Man to Be Alone

Now Available: The Elegy Beta: And Other Poems, by Mischa Willett

Never before has Mockingbird published a book of poetry — but with The Elegy Beta, that changes. From critically acclaimed poet Mischa WillettThe Elegy Beta features impressionistic meditations on faith and everyday life. In concert with Rilke’s Duino Elegies, this collection simmers with luminous, transcendent language. It is elegant, sharp, and frequently funny.

The Elegy Beta is available today in hardcover and paperback. You can find it in our online bookstore, on Amazon, and elsewhere.

Meet the author at the book launch in Seattle on March 10, and RSVP to the event here. Willett will also read at MockingbirdNYC in April. You can find out more at mischawillet.com.

Meanwhile, early reviews are in:

“Mischa Willett has an absolutely distinctive voice, angular, refractory, often unsettling in flashes of psychological and spiritual insight that go deep, by-passing  categories. The Elegy Beta begins in sharp, arresting jolts to consciousness and conscience, then moves in the grand title poem to a symphony of symbolic resonance that invites deep pondering and re-reading. A remarkable volume.” – David Lyle Jeffrey, author of In the Beauty of Holiness

“Find a quiet spot where your tongue can delight your ears and read these poems aloud. For some you’ll want to kneel. For others, slap your thigh and guffaw. In some an epiphany will dawn like a sun surprising you at midnight. Dwell in the lilt of Willett’s play. He’s dead serious and death-defying.” – James K. A. Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Image Magazine; author of On the Road with Saint Augustine

“Here is a striking and original collection which responds to both our biblical and poetic heritage with a fresh contemporary voice. The best response to poetry is itself poetry and in Willet’s new sequence The Elegy Beta, Rilke’s great Duino elegies are reimagined in ways that will spur readers on to their own creative response.” – Malcolm Guite, author of After Prayer

“In a world awash in a flood of cheap chatter, and numb from the noise of ALL CAPS weaponizing of words, good poetry is a healing, sensitizing balm. Willett’s The Elegy Beta displays the capacity of poetic language to remind us of the world—its everyday glory and profound peculiarity—that gets lost in the noise. These poems neither weaponize nor worship words; they rather let words do their work, like the sun does its: warming, illuminating, drawing forth life.” – Brett McCracken, senior editor, The Gospel Coalition; author of Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community