November 18, 2017

About Chaplain Mike

Chaplain Mike works with a hospice organization in central Indiana. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1978, serving in churches in Maryland, Vermont, Illinois, and Indiana before moving into chaplaincy work. He is married to a wonderful gifted wife, Gail, and they have four children and three grandchildren. He thinks baseball is the greatest game ever invented, suffers annually as a Chicago Cubs fan, and is looking forward to putting on a cap again this spring to coach his grandson's Little League team. He loves a wide variety of music, spends way too much money on books, is happy to live in a place where there are four seasons, and is a "true believer" in Apple computers, having used them since 1988. Luther is his favorite theologian, Bach his favorite composer, James Taylor his favorite singer-songwriter, Chicago his favorite city, and hiking his favorite form of exercise. He would love to do more with photography and dreams of having a place in the mountains of Arizona some day. His heart has been captured by the grace of God in Jesus Christ and considers himself a post-evangelical disciple seeking a Jesus-shaped life and hoping to help the church do the same. He is forever grateful to his friend, Michael Spencer, for giving him an opportunity to write for Internet Monk.

The IM Saturday Brunch: Nov 18, 2017 — Thanksgiving Edition

THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH ”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” • • • THANKSGIVING 2017 UPDATES Around 50.9 million people in the United States will travel 50 miles or more […]

Another Look: The overwhelming giftedness and goodness of life

It doesn’t get any more basic than this. Here is foundational perspective for life, from a master wonderer and wordsmith. We wake up each morning to a world we did not make. How did it get here? How did we get here? We open our eyes and see that “old bowling ball the sun” careen over […]

My Evangelical Hangover: Praying for Stuff

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. • Philippians 4:6 (NLT) • • • My Evangelical Hangover Praying for Stuff Hi. I’m Mike and for a long time I lived and served in the world of evangelicalism. Now I practice my faith in the Lutheran tradition (the original “evangelicals”). But I’m talking about American […]

Another Look: The Great Divide

To the bath and the table, To the prayers and the word, I call every seeking soul. • Inscribed on a church bell in Wisconsin * * * I did a couple of talks at my church recently, discussing my transition from evangelicalism to the Lutheran tradition. As I talked, words from several iMonk commenters […]

An Invitation to Communion

Recently, I reworked the text we put in our church bulletin each Sunday inviting people to the Lord’s Table. As I have said in our discussions here before, I think that “open” communion is the approach that is most compatible with the faith of Jesus. That is not to deny that the Lord’s Table has […]

Trinity 22: Cantata & Sermon of the Week

(Click picture for larger image) • • • For Trinity 22 Today we hear from one of Bach’s “chamber cantatas,” BWV 89 — “Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim?” (How shall I give you up, Ephraim?). These required only about a dozen performers, and may have given Bach space at various times throughout the church […]

The IM Saturday Brunch: November 11, 2017

THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH ”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” Oh, we’ve had a gorgeous week of fall weather this week in central Indiana after torrential rains last weekend. The […]

Another Look: Group Seeks Genesis Ban

A Christian group, concerned about moral breakdown in American society, is pushing for a ban on the book of Genesis. A spokesperson for “People Involved in Saving, Securing, and Defending the Old-Fashioned Family” (PISSDOFF), said that decent citizens have come together to protest the publication and distribution of Bibles containing Genesis. They say that our culture cannot […]

How NOT to respond to unimaginable grief

How NOT to respond to unimaginable grief Here we go again. The indestructible Society of Job’s Friends speaks out in the wake of the mass shooting in Sutherland. This time the theologizing comes from Lutheran pastor Hans Feine at the Federalist. In the article Pastor Feine defends God against critics and cynics who charge that […]

“This world is ruled by violence”

Democracy don’t rule the world You’d better get that in your head This world is ruled by violence But I guess that’s better left unsaid • Bob Dylan • • • The Bible has a lot more to say about violence and its devastating effects upon the human race than it does about other sins, […]