September 25, 2016

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.

Another Look: My Christmas Poet

First posted November 2010.  For years now, a favorite book in my library has been an old worn copy of The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, published in 1904. A brief note in fountain pen ink inside the cover says that it was given as a Christmas gift in 1908, and a sticker in the back […]

The Gospel of the Empirical Perceptibility of Grace, or in other words, Keep it Physical, Stupid!

In my studies I am reading Ola Tjørhom, who represents what has been called “evangelical catholicism.”  He is concerned that the Reformation project went seriously wrong, and one of its greatest failings was its lack of recognition that the ecclesiology of the Reformers remained essentially catholic even while they criticized Rome in terms of doctrines and […]

Why Do We Love this Season?

Why do we love this season? I would suggest that aesthetics have much to do with the answer to that question. Advent and Christmas are made sensible to us by means of the things we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch at this time of year. Spiritual truth comes out of the closet of the […]

An Advent Sermon by Michael Spencer

Note from CM: Michael Spencer gave this sermon in the third week of Advent, 2006. In the light of yesterday’s post on the collapse of evangelicalism, I thought it timely. Michael explores the arrogance of many of us who wear the name “Christian,” and considers some of the criticisms we’ve received from one who shows a measure […]

Was 2012 the Year of the CEC?

“The party is almost over for evangelicals; a party that’s been going strong since the beginning of the “Protestant” 20th century. We are soon going to be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century in a culture that will be between 25-30% non-religious.” – Michael Spencer, CEC (2009) “In 2012 we witnessed […]

An Advent Tradition I Forgot to Mention

In 2008, Michael Spencer drew attention to a resource guaranteed to provoke wonder in our hearts and minds during Advent. I regret that I am late in pointing you to this Advent Calendar in 2012, but don’t let that stop you. Take a few moments each day to meditate on some of the most remarkable […]

Silence. Please.

I am convinced more and more every day — and especially in the light of tragic events yesterday — that the wisdom Christians in the U.S. need to learn is found in the Book of Job. Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out […]

Advent: The Process of Making a Way

They are working on our street now. Several years ago, we had a major flood in our town and now they are laying large drains under the street to prevent the kind of damage many local home and business owners suffered. In addition, they are using the opportunity to beautify the downtown area and our […]

The Horizontal Gospel (Richard Rohr)

One of the greatest contributions of those who are helping us see the fullness of the Gospel today through the New Perspective and other emphases upon the Kingdom is that they are raising our understanding of the horizontal meaning of Jesus’ work closer to the significance it holds in the New Testament. “God-centered” interpretations of […]

Return to Sister Winter

Tinsel and Lights by Tracey Thorn Merge Records (2012) You loved it as a kid And now you need it more than you ever did It’s because of the dark You see the beauty in the spark That’s why, that’s why The carols make you cry Joy, joy… Sentimentalism, in my view, is the enemy […]