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Posts tagged "Augustine"


Science Is Not the Enemy (But with Friends Like These…)

The New Republic recently posted some pretty provocative thoughts on (capital-s) Science – you know, the discipline that’s been martyred and victimized in the contemporary era like none other (?). Not that adjudicating on the territory of different fields of study is particularly fun or interesting, but there are definitely some nuggets in this piece, and also […]

Anthony Weiner and The Court of Public Opinion

The recent hubbub surrounding Anthony Weiner’s second exposure for “sexting” is immensely difficult to write about, but relevant. Recidivism? Check. Judgment? Check. Grace? We’ll see. The media has spent a good portion of the past week trying to classify the New York mayoral candidate’s behavior. Is he a punchline? A sex addict? A narcissist? Classifications […]

Cracked Actors, Self-Propulsion, and the Will of God

The second preview from our publication Grace in Addiction: The Good News of Alcoholics Anonymous for Everybody. This one comes from the chapter on Step 3 (“made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him”), pgs 64-69: “Let me give you a truth that […]

The Cross As Moral Striving?

Bad PR dies hard. Somehow, the word got out that Christianity is about moral reform and our inner 2nd-grade, grumpy-pants teacher has been looking over our shoulders ever since. Despite the insistence of St. Paul, Luther, Calvin and a host of other Reformers, faithful laymen and preachers that we’re free in Christ, we’ve had a […]

Another Week Ends: Zeitgeistlichkeit, Atheist Religiosity, Freakonomic Fathers, Ralph Erskine, MJ, Devo’s Paradox, Hunger Games, Deep Blue Sea, and Hoarders

1. A pair of terrific book reviews have appeared in The NY Times over the last couple weeks, the first being Generation X author Douglas Coupland‘s inspiring riff on Hari Kunzu’s opus, Gods Without Men, and the exciting new genre it epitomizes (“Translit”). Ironically enough, he makes a number of Twitter-ready observations: [We are living […]

One of Us Cannot Be Wrong (I Told You So)

You know you’re listening to something pretty magnificent when both Ira Glass and St. Augustine get a nod. Kathyrn Schulz’s TED talk from 2011 is precisely such an instance. Her subject is one that we know (too) well: human fallibility and the art of being wrong. Up until a year or so ago, she chronicled […]

Luther didn’t start the fire: St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

In the year 427/428, St. Augustine endeavored to reevaluate his prolific writings in order to correct them of “anything that offends me or might offend others (Augustine, 8) Among his various corrections and explanations, he offered a new insight into his interpretation of the identity of the speaker in Romans 7.14-25. Referencing his book entitled […]

The American, Disordered Desires and the Conflicted Self

“My soul, why do you face about and follow the lead of the flesh? Turn forward, and let it follow you! Whatever you feel through the senses of the flesh you only feel in part. It delights you, but it is only a part and you have no knowledge of the whole.” –Augustine, Confessions In […]

O Lost, And By The Winds Grieved

Human suffering is an important touchstone for much of what is discussed here at Mockingbird. And as a native Pensacolian watching oil wash up on our shores every day, I am seeing suffering in my own life and in the lives of my family and friends on a scale that I had never before imagined. […]

Book Review – Original Sin: A Cultural History

The best book I read in 2008 was Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs. Jacobs, who teaches English at Wheaton College, begins by pointing out that throughout history (and in almost every culture) humankind has always pondered the question, “if we are basically good, or at best morally neutral, then why is the […]

Not Just Luther: Augustine on the Distinction Between Law and Gospel

Some scholars of the Protestant Reformation fault Martin Luther’s psychological insecurities for his obsession with grace and Christian freedom. The implication being that Luther reinterpreted grace as a means of self-medication and that consequently, we should be skeptical of Luther and other Reformers who advocated the primacy of grace. Yet, this is far from the […]

Flight of the Conchords and St. Augustine

As a minister I always find it interesting when people ask me the question, “What should I do?” Most of the time they seem to have an answer in mind, and what they’re really asking for is validation/permission (or for an opportunity to get mad at me!). The Flight of the Conchords’ song “Part Time […]