May 20, 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.

Sundays in Pentecost: Open to the Spirit (1)

Sundays in Pentecost: Open to the Spirit (1) We begin the Pentecost season with a Sunday series of excerpts and reflections from Scot McKnight’s new book, Open to the Spirit: God in Us, God with Us, God Transforming Us. Scot is the Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL, […]

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: May 19, 2018

Welcome to our weekly Brunch, and thanks to Pastor Dan for holding the fort for the past few weeks. This weekend marks the end of the Easter season with the celebration of Pentecost. Michael Spencer called Pentecost “The Third Great Day” and said of it: The clear purpose of Pentecost was to bring into birth […]

It’s No Longer Just Fringe Theology

It’s No Longer Just Fringe Theology When I was in seminary back in the mid- to late-1980s, I remember taking a class with Don Carson on some of the Pauline letters. He remarked that students at that time had a completely different set of interests than they did just a decade before. I had been […]

Another Look: The Purpose of the First Testament

Why did the Jews compile sacred books together and form a canon of Scripture known as the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh? For what purpose did they put together what Christians have traditionally called the “Old Testament”? I believe they brought the canon of the Hebrew Bible to completion, at the end of a long process, because of […]

Sundays in Easter: The Very Good Gospel (6)

When Jesus talked about witness, he referred to our being his witnesses. We are to be his evidence as we show the world that the Kingdom of God has come. • Lisa Sharon Harper • • • On Sundays in Easter, we are hearing from Lisa Sharon Harper about The Very Good Gospel: How Everything […]

When the child falls in the well… — On being too biblical

I love the Bible. I have come to have little patience with biblicism. The most “biblical” Jews in Jesus’ day were the Pharisees. We commonly criticize them for their hypocrisy, for exalting human traditions over God’s Word, or for adding a multitude of rules in their attempt to interpret scripture for religious practice. I think […]

Buechner on Memory

Memory There are two ways of remembering. One way is to make an excursion from the living present back into the dead past. The old sock remembers how things used to be when you and I were young, Maggie. The faraway look in his eyes is partly the beer and partly that he’s really far […]

Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart: Contemplative Photography (5)

Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart Contemplative Photography, part five We return to our occasional consideration of the insights of Christine Valters Paintner, author of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice. Paintner helps us learn how photography can become a contemplative practice, allowing us to “see” in different ways. Today, […]

Sundays in Easter: The Very Good Gospel (5)

Shalom says we all are connected. Every relationship created by God is strung together in a web of intimate relationships. To affect one is to affect all. So when our distrust of God leads us to separate ourselves from God, we also are separated from ourselves. We govern ourselves in our own ways, not in […]

Back when we were beautiful…

Yesterday, I turned sixty-two. The thought struck me that, once you start counting “three score and…” (Psalm 90:10), you’ve reached the road toward home. Here is one of my favorite songs about aging, by the incomparable Emmylou Harris, along with Rodney Crowell.