Issue 17: The Surprise Issue (digital download)




A PDF download of Issue 17 of The Mockingbird.

“What is the kingdom of God? Jesus does not speak of a reorganization of society as a political possibility or of the doctrine of salvation as a doctrine. He speaks of what it is like to find a diamond ring that you thought you’d lost forever. He speaks of what it is like to win the Irish Sweepstakes. He suggests rather than spells out. He evokes rather than explains. He catches by surprise.” – Frederick Buechner

In this issue, we reflect on surprises of all sorts. We remember the times when our plans were foiled by romance, tragedy, and, yes, a pandemic. We investigate the surprise that Christianity (a religion staked, quite literally, on the body of a crucified convict) should exist at all.


Confessions of a Bad Christian by Harrison Scott Key

You Never Know by Oliver Burkeman

Two Poems by Nancy Mitchell

The Sound of Surprise by Sam Bush

Kismet by Helena Dea Bala

That Thing I Keep On Doing… by Ethan Richardson

Grief Might Make You a Better Priest, But You Don’t Know That Yet with Liz Tichenor (interview)

Plumbing the Depths by Liz Tichenor

No Purity in Grace with Leslie Jamison (Q&A)

Apocrypha: Parable by Andy Eaton (poetry)

Didn’t See That Coming by David Clay

Surprised by Rage, Evermore by Charlotte Getz

This Is What It Was That Came Into the World with C. Kavin Rowe (interview)

God Was Not Surprised by Sarah Condon

A Few Frames by Laura Bondarchuk

Strange Fascinations by Blake I. Collier and Ian Olson

A Sickness for All Seasons by Zach Williams

When the Bubble Bursts by David Zahl


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