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Politics


If Our Sins Were Embroidered on Our Hats

Recently, a friend texted me and another friend saying that she saw a couple at Trader Joe’s wearing hats embroidered with a provocative statement with which she disagreed. She politely walked up to them and engaged them in conversation (this friend is much braver than me), but they were unfortunately not receptive or interested in […]

When Justice is Unjust: the Death of Jesus in First Corinthians

New Testament scholar, John Barclay, on the foolishness of the cross to the Gentiles: To hail Jesus the crucified as the Christ, the Son of God, was even more an outrage [than the death of Gavius]. If he was executed as a criminal by legitimate authorities, he was rightly degraded to the rank of human […]

Caught in the Current of Current Events: The Difference Between The News and the Good News

“The newspaper is the second hand in the clock of history; and it is not only made of baser metal than those which point to the minute and the hour, but it seldom goes right.” – Arthur Schopenhauer There’s a story that when Napoleon’s army was abroad at war, his mail would come only sparingly. […]

Among the Other Gods: A Christian Air Force Chaplain’s Weird Work

Thankful for this distinct perspective from Clifton Hanson. At the beginning of Advent, I found myself leading a tree lighting ceremony. I’ve been part of tree lighting ceremonies before—this was no ordinary one. Sure, we did the usual stuff: important people addressed the crowd, we read the Christmas story from St. Luke’s Gospel, and of […]

Are We the Romans?

I remember purchasing Botch’s We Are the Romans at Earwax on State Street in Madison in October of 2003, and I remember buying along with it Dying Fetus’ latest record, Stop At Nothing. This was a time in which I not only listened to bands with names like Dying Fetus but also took perverse delight […]

Preaching Politically in Turbulent Times

Was Rudolf Bultmann a Nazi sympathizer? Short answer—no. And yet…the accusation is commonplace within some sectors of scholarship. In his recent Gifford lectures, the New Testament scholar N.T. Wright said as much, accusing Bultmann of Lutheran “quietism” in the face of the Third Reich because he was a “friend and philosophical disciple” of the infamous Nazi, […]

Can You Love Your Enemies?

Tread lightly is a phrase I have been hearing (and using) a lot lately, especially when it comes to discussing what does and does not get published on this site. Tread lightly: not because the mission at Mockingbird is apolitical, necessarily, and not because our writers are all above the fray. I have my opinions […]

Just Another Late Night in Washington, DC

This one comes to us from Jim Moore. Sometimes life in America turns into one giant discourse on the work of the Law and the work of the Gospel. That’s how I felt tonight watching Emma Thompson star in Mindy Kaling’s movie Late Night. The movie revolves around an acerbic, cantankerous late-night comedian who has […]

REPENT!

The end is near! We’re all gonna die! Life is an exclamation! This urgency has been fully framed by the New York Times reporter whose essay “The Coming Collapse” declared: “It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion.” We […]

Language, Witness, and Control: Some Thoughts on Rhetoric and Grace

Reading Hannah Arendt’s marvelous book on The Human Condition, I came across a particularly thought-provoking paragraph on the ancient ideal of speech. Arendt draws a sharp contrast between the Greek household—which was ruled by necessity, the need to provide food and shelter and to raise children—and the political life. The two were distinct because once […]

“As Regards This Psycho-Political Atmosphere…” (from Milkman, Pt 1)

As regards this psycho-political atmosphere, with its rules of allegiance, of tribal identification, of what was allowed and not allowed, matters didn’t stop at ‘their names’ and at ‘our names’, at ‘us’ and ‘them’, at ‘our community’ and ‘their community’, at ‘over the road’, ‘over the water’ and ‘over the border’. Other issues had similar […]

Living and Dying With Rich Mullins: Let Go and Let Rich Be Rich

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Rich Mullins’ death in a car accident at age 41. To commemorate this occasion, I am writing my memories of his music — not so much music criticism as memoir-via-music. See part 1 here and part 2 here. I love Rich Mullins because he was willing to criticize or even reject […]