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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 […]

Justification, Work, and Me: A Parable of River Jack Stones

One is not justified by works, but through faith. Saul of Tarsus may have been the best press agent ever. In several letters he wrote the above words, but I somehow find that talk difficult to walk. Paul murderously pursued the small collective of Jewish believers in the Messiah. They blasphemed against God, and Paul […]

The Death of Desire Is Not Adulthood: The Millennial Burden to Grow Up

This summer, as graduation parties are celebrated across the country, older teenagers will find themselves expected to swiftly eject from a liminal stage they began only a few short years prior. Dwelling in the uncomfortable region between childhood and adulthood, it will be impressed upon them to direct their verve towards and subsume their fears […]

The High Cost of Change

A few weeks ago, an Instagram influencer mentioned how her husband had recently developed a curious fixation with The Weather Channel. Every morning, she would come downstairs to find him preparing breakfast with one eye on the forecast. “Hey, honey, check out these storms over Texas,” he would say. And that’s exactly what she would […]

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 […]

Hope, Humor, and the Healing We Need Right Now

Our best hope right now just might be humor. Recent events have reminded us that racism is one of the uglier elephants in the room: a festering disease we have swept under the rug for years and dealt with superficially at best; an unresolved issue exacerbated by our unwillingness to come to the table and […]

“A Story Unleashed”: Jesus Couldn’t Keep a Lid on the Gospel, and Neither Can We

We all get a “gospel according to…” and that is both terrifying and liberating.

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 […]

A Citizenship of Nothing but Belief

Once, in college, I attended an inter-denominational Christian event. Students were asked to introduce themselves and the church tradition they represented. One girl laughed and said, “I’m a Christian,” and left it at that. (She was probably a 4.) This left an impression on me, as parsing the nuances between traditions had become something of […]