August 31, 2015

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.

Sundays with Michael Spencer: August 30, 2015

The evangelical notion of Christians thinking “worldview-ishly” goes back, in my experience, to the first edition of James Sire’s book The Universe Next Door. I have read the book in all four editions, have used it with students and frequently recommended it to others. I continue to find the book, when understood rightly, useful. The notion […]

Wisdom and the Insufficiency of “God-Talk”

There is something about the biblical God which enables a “secular” account of human life to be given. • Colin E. Gunton Quoted in Fretheim, God and World in the OT • • • I absolutely love the quote above. When describing the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible, von Rad made a similar statement […]

Random Thoughts: Monday in the American Circus

The “evangelical circus” that Michael Spencer wrote about is but one facet of the “American circus.” I don’t think any of these individual stories is worth an entire post, but together, they shine a light on some of the silliness that is shining forth here in the good ol’ USA and among Americans who profess […]

Wisdom Week: “Who am I?”

Kathleen Norris is one of our wisest contemporary authors. It has been over twenty years since I first read her “spiritual geography,” Dakota, the remarkable contemplative memoir about the power of place and paying attention. It retains its power today. In a chapter about her spiritual journey and the faith of her ancestors, she recalls […]

Wisdom Week: The Pastoral Wisdom of Small Talk

No one has imparted more wise insights to me about the pastoral life than Eugene Peterson. I’m sad I’ve never met him, even though when I lived in Maryland, his church was right down the road. How different my course might have been had I been introduced to him then! But then perhaps that would […]

Wisdom Week: Life is the Farm

To focus on technique is like cramming your way through school. You sometimes get by, perhaps even get good grades, but if you don’t pay the price day in and day out, you never achieve true mastery of the subjects you study or develop an educated mind. Did you ever consider how ridiculous it would […]

Wisdom Week: Proverbs – Life’s Baseline

When most people think of “wisdom” with regard to the Bible, the Book of Proverbs comes to mind. Proverbs contains observations and instructions about life at its “baseline.” It sets forth general standards of life and living well. Eugene Peterson describes its sapiential message in these terms: “Wisdom is the art of living skillfully in whatever actual conditions […]

Wisdom Week on IM: “Why?” not just “What?”

Wisdom Week on Internet Monk Post One: “Why?” not just “What?” The older I get, the less I focus on what I think and I become more interested in why I think like I do. In my opinion, this is why older people can become cynical and critical of younger generations. Many young folks are still coming to […]

Sundays with Michael Spencer: August 9, 2015

The wedge contemporary evangelicals are driving between young and old is incredibly short sighted and deadly. Doesn’t the Bible itself say that the older should teach the younger? We’ve turned things around so that anything new (even if unproven) and appealing to the not yet mature, still developing young is trotted out as appropriate worship. […]

Merton on Contemplative Prayer (3)

Hence monastic prayer, especially meditation and contemplative prayer, is not so much a way to find God as a way of resting in him whom we have found, who comes to us to draw us to himself. • Thomas Merton Contemplative Prayer, p. 5 • • • In chapter two of Contemplative Prayer, Thomas Merton offers some […]