November 1, 2014

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.

Hooray for Shaun King!

Last night I read that Shaun King resigned on September 1 as pastor of Courageous Church in Atlanta, GA. Here’s what he said to the congregation: After much prayer and many discussions with my family, friends, and mentors, I have decided that it is time for me to transition out of my role as Lead […]

This Goes too Far

Last week I put up an excerpt from Pat Robertson’s controversial video in which he said he would advise a husband to divorce his wife with Alzheimer’s disease. You will note that I did not pass direct judgment on his comments, but merely described them as “strange” and “surprising.” I encouraged us not to pile […]

Crossing Borders

Last week, our local Borders bookstore closed, as they are doing everywhere across the country. On my final visit, I was able to pick up eight or nine books for $1.00 each. On any other day, that would have been a cause for celebration. On this day, I had a sick feeling in my stomach. […]

A Simple Pattern of Spiritual Formation

I’ve been reading Skye Jethani’s excellent new book, With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God. I hope to comment on it more this week, including a full review. For now, as a Sunday afternoon meditation, I offer this excerpt in which Jethani sets forth a cycle that describes the way many of us experience […]

God’s Mercy and Our Lack Thereof (Trinity 13)

In Bach’s day, the readings for the thirteenth Sunday after Trinity included Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. The cantata he wrote for that day in his third cycle of cantatas (Aug, 1725), uses a powerful text on the Gospel written by Salomo Franck. It powerfully contrasts God’s mercy and our lack thereof in caring […]

iMonk Classic: On Re-Baptism

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer Series from Sept, 2008 Note from CM: A reader wrote me this week and asked about whether she should be re-baptized. After being baptized as an infant, she grew up in a nominal Catholic home, came “back to God” (her words) as an adult, and now the church she […]

Fantasy Friday Night Dinner Party

It is an old way to talk about the people and topics we find most interesting… You are having a dinner party for four, including yourself. If you could invite anyone else in the world, living today, who would you ask to join you at the table? Why would you ask those particular people? What […]

Wild Things I Cannot Control

I was reading through some old files the other day, and I came across a NYT column by David Brooks about the film, “Where the Wild Things Are.” I remember enjoying the film; his commentary on it prompted my thinking and imagination even more. For Brooks, the movie shines light on the matter of personal […]

A Day at Work in the Great Hall

Yesterday, this Caucasian, American, Midwestern Lutheran who grew up a Methodist, who had a spiritual awakening in a Southern Baptist church, who went to a non-denominational Bible college and an Evangelical Free Church seminary, who served as a pastor in American Baptist, Bible, and Community churches, went to work. I spoke to a gay colleague. […]

Here’s a strange . . .

I would prefer not to do the “pile on crazy Pat Robertson” thing here today, though some of it is inevitable in the light of the following clip. I have heard Pat say some remarkable things over the years, but this is jaw-droppingly surprising to me. What do you make of it?