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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, […]

The Most Lost of Them All

Madness and Rescue from Kafka’s Prison

Overcoming Unbelief: John Updike on Feathers and Faith

Fusty Churches, Creaking Hymns, and Revived Faith

Grace at a Funeral

Racial Reconciliation and a Glimpse of God’s Kingdom

Why Richard Rodriguez and I Keep Taking Our “Inner Atheists” to Church

“I believe in Jesus Christ, the Christ who was a loser in human history—destroyed by this world—whose life reveals in its generosity and tragedy the most complete and challenging version of theism I know. What the New Atheists do not comprehend is that the crucifix cannot be mocked. It is itself mockery.”

A Splendid Failure: A Preacher’s Guide to the Pulpit

This article by Paul Walker was featured in Issue 7 of The Mockingbird: The Church Issue. The sixteenth installment: “The Sports Issue” is in the works! My hat is off to every preacher of every stripe and persuasion, regardless of the depth, insight or content of the sermon. Every sermon exacts a spectacular cost from […]

God Never Left, We Just Didn’t Know He Was There

Forty-five years ago, a small band of 20-something’s were empowered by Cornell University to guide and grow a “Residential College for the Creative and Performing Arts.” It was an interesting choice. The 5 of us — 4 Resident Advisers and a Head Resident — took it very seriously, and, well, it was 1975. Our dorm […]

A Grave Burden

Blessed are those who carry / for they shall be raised. – Anna Kamienska Several years ago, during Christmas vacation, my dad and I were discussing funerals. This is not as weird as it sounds. We were two pastors talking our trade. The conversation turned to my own grandfather’s service, which had taken place twenty-five […]

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 […]