September 21, 2018

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.

Monday with Michael Spencer: Dumb up, brother!

Monday with Michael Spencer Dumb up, brother! I live in a part of the county where ignorance of every sort is widespread. The dropout rate is almost 30%. Running any kind of school here is a battle. And most of the ministers and Christians in this area are untaught, or at the most, self-taught. Comparatively […]

Andrew Perriman: A Podcast about Hell — Why both sides in the debate miss the point

One of my favorite blogs on our links list is Andrew Perriman’s P.OST site. It is always thought-provoking and relentlessly focused on trying to understand the Bible in the context of its narrative history. Now Andrew has begun a podcast, and here is the first episode, entitled “The debate about ‘hell’: why both sides are […]

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: September 15, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: September 15, 2018 It’s our final brunch of the summer and we have our usual mix of the sublime, the ridiculous, and the concerning. From neon church stages to hurricane devastation, it’s our pleasure to present this feast for your weekend consideration. What happened to the altar? Thanks to Paul […]

Wendell Berry: “The best of human work…”

The best of human work defers always to the in-forming beauty of Nature’s work. But human work, true to the nature of places as it should be, is not natural and is not a mirror held up to nature. At best it is the gift of the Heavenly Muse to the farmer’s art or the […]

Rowan Williams on the Bible (1)

Rowan Williams on the Bible (1) Today we continue our series of reflections on Rowan Williams’s book, Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer. We move on to the second big theme of the practice of being Christian — hearing God speak through the Bible. For when you see a group of baptized people listening to […]

Open Mic: “The Bible teaches…?”

Open Mic: “The Bible teaches…?” Billy Graham was famous for making his preaching points by introducing them with the phrase, “The Bible says…” Every week, pastors and preachers tell their listeners and congregations, “The Bible teaches…” What do they mean by saying that? I invite you to an open forum discussion today on that question. […]

Sermon: A Dog at the Table

Sermon: A Dog at the Table Note: updated, final edited version ready for preaching this morning From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter […]

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: September 8, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: September 8, 2018 Of all weeks, I hereby declare this week’s brunch a NO-TRUMP ZONE. I would like to enjoy my brunch in peace, thank you. Welcome to September in the Heartland… We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome […]

The Pastoral Ministry of Absence

The Pastoral Ministry of Absence There is a fine and thought-provoking article at CT by Stephen L. Woodworth called, “The Ministry of Absence.” In it, Pastor Woodworth uses personal anecdotes from his ministry along with insights from Henri Nouwen to encourage pastors to remember that, in the final analysis, people need God and not the […]

Rowan Williams on Baptism (2)

Rowan Williams on Baptism (2) Today we continue our series of reflections on Rowan Williams’s book, Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer. As we continue to hear what Williams has to say about baptism, he reminds us that, being baptized into the life of Christ, we partake of and grow into his identity. One classic […]