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Religion


Don’t Overthink It: The Gospel We All Need

Thankful for this post from Matt Metevelis: I lead with my head. I am always more comfortable with things when I can analyze and argue about or with them. My wife is very leery of asking me questions that involve more than a simple answer. I’ve been interrupted and asked for the “Reader’s Digest Version” […]

The Lord’s Prayer for Prodigals

The following is from the coda of Wesley Hill’s magnificent book, The Lord’s Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father, pp. 99-101. It’s taken a couple of years for me to realize how much looking at [Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son”] hanging over my kneeler has affected the way I pray […] In […]

God’s Little Puzzle Pieces

The reflection comes to us from Casey Wilson: We are puzzle pieces. A strange thing to say, but it is true. Ever wondered what your purpose is? Or struggled with your identity? Or wonder where your life fits into the bigger picture in relation to the people around you? I’ve had moments like these in […]

Spiritual Consultants at the Gates of a Great Unraveling

The Great Unraveling they’re calling it, what’s happening to our society right now. A little melodramatic, I know; headlines are just words after all, and it’s gotten so hard to tell what’s hype and what’s not, how much of what we’re hearing is Internet-land hysteria and what’s actually, well, true. So maybe “unraveling” is a […]

A (Low-Anthropology) Guide to Quarantine Prayer and ‘Loud Time’

Recently, over coffees and 1000-calorie donuts the size of our heads, a couple of friends and I discussed our morning spiritual routines. I expressed frustration, for the thousandth time, that establishing a morning routine of Bible reading / journaling / prayer / whatever is very difficult for me. And that I consistently feel shame as […]

Newly Expanded Paperback Edition of Seculosity Is Out!

Big news: the expanded paperback edition of #Seculosity is now available! This volume is what happens when you ask a record collector to prep a reissue: he insists on remastering and adding a ton of bonus tracks. I’m so grateful to Broadleaf Books for indulging me.

What’s new? I wrote an extra chapter about Fandom/Celebrity/Sports, added a ton of footnotes to the main text, compiled a Discussion Guide, and did a lengthy author Q&A to address various questions I’ve gotten along the way. So it’s about 25% longer and feels a lot more complete to me.

Grab it on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

Anyone looking to read it as part of a group, there are bulk discounts available from my publisher that I’m happy to pass on, just email me at info@mbird.com. Oh and don’t forget to please please pretty please post a review and/or rating on Amazon — that helps tremendously.

Finally, eternal thanks to Mark Babikow for outdoing himself with yet another amazing trailer.

Newly Expanded Paperback Edition of Seculosity! from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

When Christians Sing of Hope: Glenn Packiam’s Worship and the World to Come

Among the positive effects of quarantine is a refocusing on what is temporal and what is eternal. Remember the Iowa Caucus? Remember the Oscars drama from last year? Neither do I. The unrelenting passage of time will always remind us that most of our concerns don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but something […]

Is Christianity to Blame for Slavery?

This one comes to us from our friend Jeanette. Recently in a polemical piece for the New Republic, historian Bruce Bartlett wrote that Christianity is responsible for slavery. The claim is pithy, irritating, and particularly slippery. Necessarily, in polemics, language has to be as vague as possible in order to stir up the maximum amount […]

Church Shopping at the Apocalypse

This (timely!) article by CJ Green was originally featured in Issue 7 of The Mockingbird: The Church Issue.  Don’t tell me you’re going to read Stephen King next, my mom said when I started high school, suspiciously eyeballing my more grown-up selection of books. At the time, I didn’t know who Stephen King was, but […]

The Folly of the Cross in Our Divided World

Crucifixes are kind of everywhere, if you look closely enough. We wear them as necklaces, earrings, or tattoos; we use them to decorate our houses; and most churches usually place a cross front and center. Athletes make the sign of the cross when they excel in competition. Vampires are repelled by the mere sight of […]

When the Romans Got Infected

Grateful for this post by David Evans: Even though the media has called these months dominated by COVID-19 “unprecedented times,” historians have been quick to point out that epidemics and plagues are anything but unprecedented. Modern historians have reminded us of the Spanish Flu of 1918; medieval historians would ask us to consider the Bubonic […]

The Reproachful Lectures of a Father: People-Watching in Gilead

If mid-twentieth-century Gilead were a real place, I would certainly buy a bus ticket there. This fictional Iowa town of Marilynne Robinson’s soon-to-be four novels has captured my imagination from the beginning, with Gilead (2004), followed by Home (2008), and Lila (2014). I can’t wait for the release of Jack (2020), but in the meantime, […]