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Can the Good Outweigh the Bad? The Case of the Philanthropist-Serial Killer

Each morning, as the coffee buzz kicks in, we all ask ourselves what must happen for the day to be a success. There are relationships to keep up, cleaning to do, work to be done, and exercise (if that’s your sort of thing). But as the day unfolds, the boat begins taking in water. The […]

The Wounded Soldiers of Avatar: The Last Airbender

Our exploration of the gracious themes in Avatar: The Last Airbender comes to a close today. To start at the beginning of this seven part series, go here. One of Mockingbird’s favorite cultural artifacts is the profound play by Thornton Wilder “The Angel that Troubled the Waters.” In this short play, Wilder reimagines the scene […]

The Supporting Cast of Avatar’s Redemptive World

Our exploration of the gracious themes in Avatar: The Last Airbender continues. To start at the beginning, go here. I’m routinely struck by how richly the Bible presents its side figures for our consideration. Entire books and songs have been written on biblical figures that only appear in one chapter of the otherwise massive text. […]

The Hell Houses We Will Not Leave

Hell Houses were a natural part of the Southern landscape when I was growing up. If you are not familiar with them, they appear in October alongside other haunted house experiences, only this one has a religious agenda. They aim to scare the hell out of you. As you mosey through each room you will […]

Avatar and the Prodigal Nephew

Our exploration of gracious themes in Avatar: The Last Airbender continues. To start at the beginning, go here. At the show’s outset, four characters are introduced to viewers as the main leads. Teens Sokka and Katara discover Aang frozen in ice, and the promised Avatar is freed after a hundred years. But unbeknownst to the […]

Avatar and Faith like a Child

Our exploration of gracious themes in Avatar: The Last Airbender continues on with its fourth installment. To start at the beginning of our series, go here. In the English language, the words “childlike” and “childish” are nearly identical, though they have opposite meanings. The word “childlike” is a positive word, associated with compassion and idealism […]

Avatar, Humiliation, Exaltation, and Manhood

To start at the beginning of our exploration of gracious themes in Avatar: The Last Airbender, go here. Theologians and scholars have noted that the pattern of Philippians 2‘s famous “Christ hymn” is one of exaltation through humiliation. We understand that Jesus is a big deal, but what made him a big deal was and […]

Avatar and the Motherly Love of God

The gracious exploration of Avatar: The Last Airbender continues. Check out the introduction to the series here. Spoilers abound! One of the unintuitive themes of Avatar: The Last Airbender is its choice to explore the power of the maternal in opposition to a world at war. At the risk of oversimplification, the power of the […]

Introducing Avatar: East Meets West

Here’s an underrated piece of pop culture news worth your consideration. In mid-July of 2020, an anime kid’s show that premiered in 2005 beat the Netflix drama Ozark for the longest tenure on the streaming provider’s Top 10 list. By that same metric, this anime show on Netflix is more popular than the meme-worthy Tiger […]

Ted Lasso is the Life Coach We Need

Hidden gems abound in this Streaming Age of TV. Who would have thought that Jason Sudakis and Zach Braff could come up with such a delightful sports sitcom? On Apple TV, Ted Lasso, is a show about a successful “American” college football coach at the lower levels who is brought in to coach a Premier […]

No Mercy: The Bittersweet Victory of Cobra Kai

I’m as surprised as you are that my favorite summer show turned out to be a sequel to an 80s karate flick styled as prestige TV. Formerly hidden away on YouTube’s premium subscription video service, Cobra Kai dropped on Netflix this weekend, bringing the world of The Karate Kid franchise to the small screen. It’s […]

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 […]