In an age that too often passes off legalistic moralism as “The Gospel,” even in supposedly Gospel-centered churches, it’s refreshing to find a source of genuine Law/Gospel preaching. Add to this that the preaching in this case is young, intelligent, hip, and conservative Episcopalian (yes, shocking, I know!), well, it’s worth sharing.
Mockingbird (mbird.com) was born in 2007 in the heart of David Zahl and a couple of his friends as a way to reach disaffected, young, urban hipsters. They not only succeeded, they drew in a few old, rural charismatics too. 😉 The site consists of intriguing writing that covers contemporary culture, events, lit, and music, and it offers some truly excellent preaching podcasts. They even publish a slick quarterly.
Most of all, the Mockingbird crew tackles 21st century life in a way that is astute, grace-filled, humble, and relevant—a combo sorely needed in the modern American church. I’ve found the preaching of Jacob Smith, in particular, to be some of the best I’ve ever heard.
Yes, the writing occasionally strays into East Coast literary journal-like esoterica, and love for certain aspects of culture sometimes exceeds its quota (if you don’t consider Seinfeld genius, well…), but overall, this is a great resource. Nothing thrills me more than to hear other Christians talking about the kinds of topics I tackle here at Cerulean Sanctum. I don’t agree with their take on everything, but even when I don’t, it still gets me thinking—and Gospel-driven thinking in the American Church should be something we celebrate.
2 thoughts on “Plugging Mockingbird”
I’m glad of your post, Dan, especially since I’ve long been a fan of mbird.
However, I do wonder quite what you mean by “East Coast literary journal pretentiousness”…?
(I accept that my ignorance here may be due to the fact that I’m a Brit who has only ever spent four days in the US of A.)
Interesting, Rob. I changed that line several days ago because I thought it might sound too negative. Wondering how you are reading an older version! It now reads “…strays into East Coast literary journal-like esoterica.”
I think the new line captures my feeling better. Some of those journals have a tendency to discuss cultural minutia in a way that distances from those who are not the “in” crowd, who have never discussed the metaphors in a von Trier film or the persistance of memory (or lack thereof) in an Ishiguro novel.
While I believe we Christians in the West need to look at the outliers of culture, we run the risk of being elitist among our brethren if we focus too hard on auteurs who are strangers to the rank and file. We need to be careful that we don’t build a wall and make ourselves out to be a little too hoity-toity.