March 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.

Merton on Humility

Lord, You have taught us to love humility, but we have not learned. We have learned only to love the outward surface of it — the humility that makes a person charming and attractive. We sometimes pause to think about these qualities, and we often pretend that we possess them, and that we have gained […]

A Desperate Measure?

Note from CM: We didn’t have enough strong opinions expressed yesterday(!), so I thought I’d start a discussion on something that’s happening here in the heart of the great Midwest. I don’t normally devote much space to political debates, but since this one is specifically “Christian” in origin and intent, why not? No, I’m not spoiling for […]

Music Monday: There are years and there are Years (part 2: 2015)

In 2015, I’m looking forward to a great year in music. As I said last week, it would be hard to overestimate how much music means to me and how the songs and albums I listen to each year accompany and shape my life. Michael Spencer loved music and wrote about it or spoke about […]

Sundays with Michael Spencer: March 22, 2015

Note from CM: We are drawing near to the fifth anniversary of Michael Spencer’s death. Each Sunday this year we are re-posting some of his encouraging, challenging words. The following is excerpted from a piece he wrote in March 2008. • • • I’m not a literature scholar, but I play one in the classroom several hours a […]

A Strange and Awesome Conclave

A Strange and Awesome Conclave Inside the kingdom of night I witnessed a strange trial. Three rabbis, all erudite and pious men, decided one winter evening to indict God for having allowed his children to be massacred. An awesome conclave, particularly in view of the fact that it was held in a concentration camp. But what […]

Alms, not Tithes

I have never heard an evangelical sermon on almsgiving. Despite countless texts in the Hebrew Bible about generosity toward the poor, the example of the first Christians, and a long tradition of the practice, especially during Lent, I have rarely heard the word mentioned in my adult life as a Christian. “Tithes and offerings,” yes of […]

Music Monday: There are years, and there are Years (part 1: 2014)

When it comes to music, there are years, and there are years. 2014 was a year. 2015 looks like it may be a year. Since I didn’t do an end-of-the-year review of music in December, I’ll write about the first today and we’ll focus on the second next Monday. It would be hard to overestimate how […]

Mud season and me

These are the ugly days. Before the new season springs forth in delicate color and texture, the world looks like a frat house the day after. The grass is patchy, brown and nubby, and with every step comes the possibility your sneaker treads will lose the battle with God’s good mud. Whatever snow remains crouches […]

Fundamentalist Toxicity

Fundamentalism is a problem, no matter what kind it is. Aurora Dagny (a pseudonym) has written an article for The McGill Daily called, “Everything is problematic,” in which she tells her story about her involvement in radical leftist political groups and how she eventually escaped their unhealthy influence. “There is something dark and vaguely cultish about […]

Forget “engaging the culture”

Yesterday I read an article called, 3 Ways Christians Will Address Cultural Issues in the Coming Years, by Ed Stetzer. Stetzer is one of those people who sits above the vault of the earth and keeps his eyes on the big picture, on trends. He’s a culture-watcher, a pundit. And few voices are stronger in our […]