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Now Available! <i>Daily Grace: The Mockingbird Devotional, Vol. 2</i>

Now Available! Daily Grace: The Mockingbird Devotional, Vol. 2

Have you heard the news?? After nearly two years of scheming, thinking, devoting, and writing, Daily Grace: The Mockingbird Devotional, Vol. 2 is at last available. This book features 365 entries written by more than sixty different contributors — and a whole lot of grace. You can purchase Daily Grace...
Asking Our Kids to Save the World

Asking Our Kids to Save the World

I recently went to Barnes & Noble to buy a birthday present for my daughter’s friend. I walked into the children’s section, passing one table about elections, another about climate change, another about racial justice, another about women’s rights. It took awhile to find the picture book section. Don’t get...
Can the Good Outweigh the Bad? The Case of the Philanthropist-Serial Killer

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...
Never the Same Twice: Grace and the (Divinely) Inspired World of Jazz

Never the Same Twice: Grace and the (Divinely) Inspired World of Jazz

What I would really like to have been, given a perfect world, is a jazz pianist. I mean jazz. I don’t mean rock and roll. I mean the never-the-same-twice music the American black people gave the world. — Kurt Vonnegut For decades, a legendary trumpeter has taught an Improvisational Jazz...
Count Your Midlife Blessings (At Your Own Risk)

Count Your Midlife Blessings (At Your Own Risk)

It’s not often that people my age ask me why they might want to go to church. Perhaps this is because mid-life tends not to be a time when people are looking for one more thing to do. They’re definitely not looking for one more thing to feel bad about...
The Power of Love: Grace in Augustinian Perspective

The Power of Love: Grace in Augustinian Perspective

In anticipation of the publication of John Barclay’s book, Paul and the Power of Grace, Part Five of our “Defining Grace” series continues with this essay from Simeon Zahl, Lecturer in Christian Theology at Cambridge University. He is the author of the books The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience (excerpts of which can...
Was Enoughness on the Ballot? A Few Words on Post-Election Disgust and Magnanimity

Was Enoughness on the Ballot? A Few Words on Post-Election Disgust and Magnanimity

I remember after Donald Trump was elected in 2016, those who supported Hillary Clinton complained openly and often of severe anxiety and stress. It wasn’t just the run-of-the-mill “let’s all move to Canada” stuff. A friend from college told me she couldn’t sleep because she was so scared about what...
Announcing! The Sports Issue!

Announcing! The Sports Issue!

It’s here, people! The Sports Issue has arrived to the printers and will be hitting mail trucks next week! If you’re not a subscriber yet, you do that here. Or feel free to buy single copies for your entire church volleyball league, here.  Until then, sports fans, step up to...
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Introducing “Dear Gracie”: The Mockingbird‘s Advice Column

Where in your life do you need help giving, receiving, or understanding grace?

In plain English, grace can be understood as a gift with no strings attached. When it arrives, it can be the most powerful surprise in a person’s life. But giving grace to others is harder than it sounds. During our most complicated moments — moments of grief, or a fight with a difficult roommate, or a confrontation with a philandering lover — grace can seem confusing at best. Especially for religious people. Of course we want to be kind, loving, and patient, but truthfully we also want to lay down the law when appropriate.

In the weeds of life, sometimes we all need a little guidance.

The Mockingbird is here to help. In our upcoming issue, we will introduce our first advice column featuring readers’ real-life quagmires. Behind the keyboard is Gracie — that is, Sarah Condon — with an opinion or two.

Send questions, with a pseudonym and general location, to magazine@mbird.com. While we can’t promise a response for everything, all emails will be kept confidential. We will only reprint your question, pseudonym, and general location. But no matter your circumstances, the word of Gracie is for everyone.

The Only Hope is through Horror: The Only Good Indians and the Cycles We Long to Escape

Stephen Graham Jones’ latest novel The Only Good Indians is a story of memory, guilt, and vengeance, and it is triggering in the most spiritually illuminating way. I come to it as a Native American and read in it of paranormal horror which arises out of and highlights the mundane horror which permeates contemporary native […]

Circles of Grace and the One-Way Love of God

In anticipation of the publication of John Barclay’s book, Paul and the Power of Grace, Part Six of our “Defining Grace” series concludes with my own post on grace and circularity.  In his classic children’s book, The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein tells the story of a young boy who is befriended by a tree. The tree simply […]

PZ’s December Movie Picks, Part One

Part One of PZ and John Glover’s December movie highlights is here! Set your DVRs or tune into the Turner Classic Movie channel to see these wonderful films with profoundly Christian themes. All times Eastern, and, where possible, streaming alternatives are provided in parenthesis.  December 2nd, 8:00 pm, Jane Eyre (1944) This excellent Hollywood version […]

The Thankfulness of Michael J. Fox

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Is our optimism sustainable? This is a question posed by a recent interview People magazine conducted with Michael J. Fox, in anticipation of his forthcoming memoir, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality. […]

The Illumination of Jordan Peterson’s Pen of Light

Since quarantine began I have finally had the time to peruse the bookshelf where unnecessary Amazon orders have found their place to reside for quite some time. When Jordan Peterson was the talk of the World Wide Web, I ordered his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Now three years later, the […]

Count Your Midlife Blessings (At Your Own Risk)

It’s not often that people my age ask me why they might want to go to church. Perhaps this is because mid-life tends not to be a time when people are looking for one more thing to do. They’re definitely not looking for one more thing to feel bad about not doing. But occasionally, after […]

Legislating Morality: The Political Enthusiasm of Christians

This post comes to us from Johnny Walker: Most Christians work with the assumption that their faith in Christ must have some consequence for their political lives. For many this assumption is left more or less uninterrogated and runs its course with only minimal reflection, but for some the political character of the Gospel, once […]

Another Week Ends: Martin Luther’s Emails, Resilient Kids, Fresh Starts, Popped Pandemic Bubbles, and Joy with Parkinson’s

1. Every now and then, you get to start the weekender out with the humor section. This week’s gem from the New Yorker, “Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses, as E-mailed by Your Passive-Aggressive Co-Worker,” stole the show: FROM: Martin.Luther@vatican.org TO: All Vatican Staff Subject: A Quick Note Not to be that guy, and most of this […]

Peloton vs. Sufferfest, Optimism vs. Reality

Peloton and COVID-19 have combined to lead an explosion in your in-home fitness experience. Yuppies around America now know the terms “FTP,” “Power-to-Weight ratio,” and “VO2 max,” schooled by the greatest fitness instructors in the country. It used to be that getting on a bike trainer was the equivalent of torture. You were only supposed […]

Why Baking Bread is an Act of Trust

Have you ever thought about the ratio of yeast to flour that goes into the creation of bread? Such a small substance creates such a big change. It doesn’t take much, but without yeast, bread would not be bread.  Jesus even relates the power of this process to the growth of the kingdom of God: […]

The Election is Wonderfully Good News

I don’t know if you heard, but there was an election this year. That might or might not have been good news. But there’s another election that’s even better news — the best news — and it has nothing to do with paper ballots, hanging chads, exit polling, majority rule, or the Reformed dudebros you’re […]