July 22, 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.

Angels Unaware

By Chaplain Mike The hospice chaplain walked into the room, finally seeing the patient he had put off visiting all day. It is not that he had been hesitant. The patient, Mr. Gibbs, was scheduled to be transferred to a bed in the hospice unit, but earlier in the day, he heard that they were […]

A Funeral Rant

By Chaplain Mike I have been officiating funeral services since I was 22 years old, a young know-nothing pastor in the hills of Vermont. My first funeral was for an infant who died of SIDS. That service was held on the coldest, rainiest and iciest day I can remember. Outside. At the cemetery. It was […]

A “Chance” Meeting

By Chaplain Mike Ordinary Time Bible Study 2011 The Book of Ruth (7) We have completed the first part of the story told in the Book of Ruth. Chapter one introduced two problems in need of resolution: The provision of food for Naomi and her family The provision of heirs for Naomi and her family […]

A Hymn for Ordinary Time (6): Another for Bible Week

By Chaplain Mike As I’ve thought about hymns to go with our Bible Week emphasis, it strikes me that there are not many songs we sing about the Bible. And that is how it should be. For the point of the Bible is not to point to itself but to the One who revealed his […]

Imagination Poor: A Must Read from Skye Jethani

By Chaplain Mike Back in January, I posted a children’s sermon I gave in a worship service in a quaint old Midwestern Presbyterian sanctuary. In that message, I focused on the surroundings and elements of the service the boys and girls could observe. I reminisced about what I remembered from my childhood about church—light streaming […]

My View of Scripture (at this point)

By Chaplain Mike Today, I would like to present, for your consideration and discussion, a ten-point summary of my perspective on Scripture (at this point in my understanding). The Bible is from God. It is one of the means by which God has made himself known to human beings. The various books of the Bible […]

John Stott Has Gone Home

By Chaplain Mike This editor’s note from Christianity Today this afternoon: John Stott died today at 3:15 London time (about 9:15 a.m. CST), according to John Stott Ministries President Benjamin Homan. Homan said that Stott’s death came after complications related to old age and that he has been in discomfort for the last several weeks. […]

Meditating on Scripture

By Chaplain Mike I was convinced at an early point in my adult Christian life that learning, loving, and living the Bible was essential to my Christian growth. My journey for much of the past thirty-five years has been primarily about studying and teaching the Scriptures. If I had not been a pastor, I would […]

Accessible NT Bible Commentaries

By Chaplain Mike In my opinion, the church owes a great debt to N.T. Wright in the area of biblical theology. Few in my lifetime have had the kind of impact on NT studies that Wright has. Every serious student of theology should read his “Christian Origins and the Question of God” series that now […]

How Pervasive Is “Biblicism”?

By Chaplain Mike For this “Bible Week” on IM, I am reading some books I’ve not had a chance to look at before about how Christians relate to and deal with the Scriptures. Tonight I finished Christian Smith’s brand new book, The Bible Made Impossible, The: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of […]