New Here?
     
When Is a Baseball Card More Than Just a Baseball Card?

When Is a Baseball Card More Than Just a Baseball Card?

Blame Michael Jordan, or blame COVID-induced storage diving, or blame birthday number four-zero-one last month, but I’ve been doing some serious time traveling of late. The calendar may read 2020, but inside my head I’ve been traversing 1986-1994, one pop culture artifact at a time. Listeners to The Mockingcast have...
Why I Invited Daryl Davis to Speak in DC

Why I Invited Daryl Davis to Speak in DC

Grace, Race and the KKK ~ Daryl Davis from Mockingbird on Vimeo. There’s a scene about fifteen minutes into Accidental Courtesy, the 2016 documentary about musician Daryl Davis, that so blew my hair back that I immediately looked up his contact info for the purposes of begging him to join...
The New Mockingbird Digest!

The New Mockingbird Digest!

Dear everyone, We invite you to subscribe to our new e-newsletter, delivered conveniently to your inbox fortnightly (once every two weeks-ish). It will be a compendium of fresh posts, pertinent archived material, and other grace-filled goodies. Think of it, maybe, as your good-news news. Note: If you are already subscribed...
The Relief of Comedy

The Relief of Comedy

This delightful post comes from Ben Fort: Back in September, a sermon went viral. A British pastor was praised for a grace-filled rebuttal to the burdensome false teachings found in the video of a fellow clergyman. This kind of interaction isn’t surprising to anyone on Christian Twitter, except the debate...
Good News That Never Goes Out of Style

Good News That Never Goes Out of Style

Ideas are sort of like clothes. Like when you find a new jean jacket and it instantly becomes your favorite. The fit is impeccable, as if it were designed for only you. You wear it everywhere with pride and are the envy of everyone. The jacket becomes your signature accessory...
When Grace Comes as a Trophy

When Grace Comes as a Trophy

My mother has been going through things lately. Like many people right now, she has time on her hands to unload the boxes that were lovingly packed away decades ago with the best intentions about the then-present “meaning” but with little regard for how callous time might make us. She...
The Ministry of Weirdness, Courtesy of The Rev. Alfred Yankovic

The Ministry of Weirdness, Courtesy of The Rev. Alfred Yankovic

“Even as a child, I understood on some intuitive level that Weird Al was not merely the Shakespeare of terrible food puns (“Might as well face it you’re addicted to spuds”) or an icon of anti-style (poodle fro, enormous glasses, questionable mustache, Hawaiian shirts) but a spiritual technician doing important...
ANNOUNCING! <i>Peace in the Last Third of Life: A Handbook of Hope for Boomers</i> by Paul Zahl

ANNOUNCING! Peace in the Last Third of Life: A Handbook of Hope for Boomers by Paul Zahl

SURPRISE!! We’ve dropped hints here and there that Paul Zahl has been working on a new book. The hardcover will be out this summer, but given our present circumstances (and the urgency of the book’s message), we wanted to get it into your hands as soon as possible. So we’ve...
Latest entries


Human Maturity Between Sin and Righteousness

An oldie-but-goodie from Paul Zahl’s “Grace in Practice” (p.123):

“My status from God’s side is unassailable and indefectible. My substance from my side, from the analysis of anyone who knows me, is good and bad at the same time, or rather, mostly the same old, same old that I have always been, though now covered over by the thin red line, the imputing blood of Christ. We could say that this position of the simul-iustus-et-peccator self [at the same time righteous and a sinner] is the last word in what the world calls ‘maturity’. That is, the simult iustus-et-peccator self is secure in the love of another, and at the same time cognizant of its limitations, faults, and insufficiencies – its sins, in other words[…]

This is the place where Christianity becomes a matchless definition of human maturity. It is the key to living, because it lives in hope and belovedness (iustus), while at the same time accepting the limitations of a fallen, tripped-up character (peccator). This is integration. Simul iustus et peccator integrates the human object. It combines imputation, the fact that God brings everything to the table as far as my identity is concerned, and the fact that I bring nothing to the table whatsoever. The No pronounced on my sin, which I shall carry in my body and person for the rest of my life, is united with the Yes pronounced upon that sin. Imputation makes it all right for me to live as I am and also in light of what I ought and want to be.

And for more info on PZ’s most recent book click here!

Doing, Being, Asking

This one was written by Kurt Armstrong: Six years ago a friend of mine hired me to replace the front steps of his house, and two days into the job, when I got out of bed in the morning my left knee was so stiff I could hardly bend it. I hadn’t crashed or fallen […]

The God on the Cross: How Christianity Rigged the System

This one was written by David Clay: The second stanza of Weird Al’s affectionate send-up of Amish culture, “Amish Paradise,” opens with the narrator running into some trouble with the “English”: A local boy kicked me in the butt last week I just smiled at him and I turned the other cheek I really don’t […]

Miss Anthropocene and the Romance of Human Extinction

The costly aversion of the eyes from death— Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs. – Philip Larkin Until last fall when she was accused of technofascism, I had only a vague familiarity with Grimes, whose 2012 hit “Oblivion” had come to me a time or two from Spotify’s all-knowing algorithm. She didn’t seem to […]

Mt Methuselah Zoom Church

This is pretty hilarious, via SNL this past weekend:

At Sea

If my Bark sink ‘Tis to another Sea — Mortality’s Ground Floor Is Immortality — Dickinson, F1250A We are at sea. So far out that there is no shore to sight. There may be a captain, but it does not matter. The sea is calling the shots. The captain can steer the boat, but the […]

Another Week Ends: The Odd Gospel, Esther Perel, William Blake, Alan Jacobs, Henry David Thoreau, and the Coronavirus Prayer

1. Currently the most talked-about man in the world, aside from Anthony Fauci I suppose, might be Job — that long-sufferer from the land of “Uz” — because now, in this pandemic, aren’t we all Job? Fearing God, turning away from evil, rising early in the morning and making burnt-offerings on behalf of our children. […]

Tell It Like It Will Be: On the Only Word that Matters

A friend and I ran into each other at the park recently and started talking, from a safe distance, about the weirdness of life right now. “Do you ever have a moment of shock where you just can’t believe this is all happening?” I asked her. She nodded, then said, “I wonder if people will […]

500 Miles and 40 Years of Healing

Thankful for this one from Joseph McSpadden. I have been rescued by music on more than one occasion. Several times the Comforter has used a song as a way to open me up, and bring healing. This is one story of how He showed up in melodies when I felt most abandoned. My father was […]

The Making of a Saint: The Music of Good Saint Nathanael 

“Grace is indeed required to turn a man into a saint; and he who doubts this does not know what either a man or a saint is.” – Blaise Pascal For many of us, sainthood, at least in the Catholic sense, is an insignificant pastime. It is the ecclesial equivalent to the Rock and Roll […]

Grandmommy’s Grace

This one comes to us from Will Ryan. My birthday, May 14th, has always been a source of pride for me. It’s not a particularly momentous day in the grand scheme of things, but in the particular year I was born, that day happened to be Mother’s Day. I’ve always reveled in being able to […]

A Useful Lie: The Music Man and Imputation

Extended home life has led to some unusual TV viewing these days. Case in point: we all watched a 12-hour documentary on an exotic zoo owner. The shortage of content recently led me to watch the old 1962 film, “The Music Man”. The musical has almost canonical status in theater culture and is a staple […]