July 16, 2018

Archives for May 2014

iMonk Classic: On Being Too God-Centered

Note from CM: This week we will be exploring some themes related to the idea of “ordinary Christianity” or “quiet Christianity” — what Michael called here, “Christian humanism.” This essay will provide a good introduction to the week. Read also: Interesting column on the paradoxes of Calvinism. Udo Middleman on “The Islamization of Christianity.” * […]

Sermon: When God Is Late

Note from CM: I was asked to preach at a local Presbyterian church this morning. Their pastor is doing a topical series about our disappointments with God, and he asked if I would focus on John 11, the story of Jesus’ raising Lazarus. The emphasis of the message is on Jesus’ delay in coming to […]

Saturday Ramblings, May 10, 2014

Hello fellow imonkers. I hope you are enjoying your Saturday. The last few weeks I have poked fun at Chaplain Mike’s fandom of the Chicago Cubs. But since I respect Mike more highly than almost anyone I know, I have vowed to lay off. For a week. Did you know that one-fourth of American Hispanics […]

Witnessing a Birth

Last Sunday I had the privilege of experiencing something rather special. I was invited to attend the first ever service of a new church. For the last 30 years I have had a strong interest in church planting. When in seminary I wrote a thirty page paper on “Philosophies of Church Planting”. I have a […]

Daniel Grothe: Dripping Wet: Developing a Christian Imagination for Baptism

Note from CM:  Our friend Adam Palmer recently introduced me (via email) to Daniel Grothe, who serves at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. After reading his blog, Edging Into The Mysteries, I agreed with Adam that Daniel has good things to say and that he says them well. So, he graciously agreed to share […]

iMonk Classic: Grace Is As Dangerous As Ever

A classic Michael Spencer post from May, 2007. The last few weeks of my men’s morning Bible study has been about “Texts That Will Get You In Trouble,” and we spent two sessions on John 8, and Jesus’ words to the woman caught in adultery: “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” […]

Paul Zahl: Grace in Pastoral Ministry

  He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. – Matthew 12:20, NRSV * * * Pastors see many things. It is easy to get angry in ministry. One can become overwhelmed by brokenness, dysfunction, and trouble in people’s lives. A pastor feels responsible. A […]

Paul Zahl: Humor in the Pulpit

I remember well a special meeting we had in seminary when our wives were invited to join us for a discussion of marriage. One of the speakers was Walt Kaiser, one of my favorite profs at Trinity. Dr. Kaiser is among the most winsome people I’ve ever met. His lectures and preaching were always filled […]

Ancient-Future Faith (4): Worship in a Postmodern World

As a young student in Bible college, newly awakened by the Spirit and called to pastoral ministry, I never had a single class on the subject of worship. So when I graduated and went into my first church armed with a guitar and accompanied by a wife who played the piano, we did what we […]

Saturday Ramblings, May 3, 2014

Happy May, fellow imonkers. First, a quick baseball update (Chaplain Mike loves baseball updates): As of Friday, the Chicago Cubs have played 26 games (out of a 162 game schedule) and are only 9.5 games behind first place. If my math is correct (highly unlikely) this means that at this pace they will only be […]