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Halloween: A Recess for the Buffered Self

Many things separate us in the twenty-first century from our ancestors. Some of them are obvious — cars, cell phones, flush toilets — and others less keenly understood, but nevertheless intuited. We all sense a vast gulf between the present and half a millennium ago, but in what does it primarily consist? Philosopher Charles Taylor […]

Confessions From Social Media’s Dr. Frankenstein

Netflix’s recent documentary, The Social Dilemma, gathers the voices of psychologists, software engineers, and tech innovators in a collective plea for social media reform. The film’s urge for humanity to reconsider social media habits is nothing new, as the last decade or so has been stuffed to the brim with books, TED Talks, and films […]

Google’s Search to Know Me: Social Media Algorithms and Being Known by God

I got a Facebook account in 2008. It was before the age of selfies and smartphones, Snapchat and Instagram. Then, it truly was a social network — simply a tool for connecting, and everything was fairly innocuous. I was in eighth grade, and my friends and I posted albums containing way too many pictures of […]

What Lies Beneath: The Horror Story Of Our Hidden Monsters

This post comes from Josh Irby. Josh and his wife advocate for orphaned children in Eastern Europe in partnership with the non-profit Lost Sparrows. Horror films are not my favorite genre, but I have seen my share over the years. Most follow the same basic plot-line: A city/institution/family/individual lives in peace and security, until strange […]

Learning to Love the Job I Can’t Get

Certainly work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected. – George Macdonald, Wilfrid Cumbermede During my second-to-last semester of college, I had to take a senior seminar class to finish up my major’s curriculum. Each session covered various […]

Performative Podcast Subscriptions (and Other Attempts at Justification)

I have a number of behavior patterns that have been with me for many years. One of the joys of getting older is realizing that all the cycles and habits you thought you would outgrow are still with you and will most likely be with you forever.  One of my behavior patterns is a cycle […]

Robert Farrar Capon on Self-Knowledge and Atonement

This excellent piece by Will McDavid was originally published on Mbird in November of 2013: Our pride drives us to establish our own righteousness. We strive all our life to see ourselves as keepers of rules we cannot keep, as loyal subjects of laws under which we can only be judged outlaws. Yet so deep […]

All the Lies I’ve Believed about the Spectrum (and the Truth)

All your sorrows have been wasted on you if you have not yet learned how to be wretched. – Seneca I just finished a binge of Netflix’s Love on the Spectrum, and the series was everything it was recommended to be: heartfelt, honest, and sweet. There was the added bonus that it was filmed in […]

The God Who Needs

You could be forgiven for thinking you are no longer necessary. Since March, a flood of unemployment has judged countless people “non-essential.” But you don’t need to be waiting in the unemployment line in order to feel superfluous. Employed ministers cannot conduct crucial services in-person, while therapists feel helpless to guide their clients over Zoom. […]

May My Virtue Signals Be Transformed Into Love

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, […]

Godliness Cozies Up to Our Mess

I have struggled lately to be patient with messy people. If I’m honest, I have likely always struggled with this, but I see it acutely now. My faith (as I evolve in my understanding of it) continually drags me back to important truth — everyone deserves love, everyone and everything is likely redeemable, and cleanliness […]

The Gospel According to Hamilton

This piece by Cort Gatliff was originally published in January of 2016. For more from Gatliff (and others) on all things Hamilton, check out the Mockingbird Hamilton guide! My life can be divided into two distinct eras: Before Hamilton and After Hamilton. On October 1, 2015, after months of following the online hysteria and critical […]