December 16, 2017

Michael Spencer’s Next Book

Update: The email address is now working again and we have received your emails! We have had over 30 offers of support. Thank you so very much! I will be starting to send out instructions and MP3 files. You should receive your first MP3 by Monday night (June 4th). If you haven’t heard by then, feel free to send me another email.

When Michael Spencer passed away in the spring of 2010, there was a consensus among the many readers of Internet Monk that he was just hitting his stride as a writer.  Many of you have asked if we are planning to publish an anthology or anthologies of the articles that he had written here.  Jeff Dunn has hinted that this is in fact in the works.

Well, this is the first response to those calls.  Michael’s life’s desire was to know Jesus better.  The tool that he used more than any other to accomplish that task was his study of the Gospel of Mark.  He decided back in 1982 that Mark would be a major life project.  Here is what he had to say on the topic:

In my ministry, this turned into something I love to do: Cover the entire Gospel of Mark in the setting of a retreat or 3 sessions. A large part of this is asking everyone to read Mark and then, working with a group, graphically present the Gospel of Mark.  I’ve now led studies of the Gospel of Mark dozens and dozens of times. I go through the book 3-4 times a year with my students, and have done so for 15 years. I’ve concentrated on Mark in my preaching and teaching.  I can be annoying about my interest in Mark, but I hope it’s been helpful to my students and congregations.

So, rather than repackaging material that Michael had already published at Internet Monk, we are taking it one step further.  Through scouring Internet archive sources, and through the assistance of his wife, Denise, we have been able to find the following source material originally composed by Michael Spencer on the topic of the Gospel of Mark:

  • Thirty five written Bible studies
  • Twenty seven hours of audio Bible studies
  • Five sermons
  • Fifty blog posts

This represents about 800 pages of source material! It is tremendously varied, ranging from folksy sermons, to in-depth Bible studies, to the Internet Monk rants we have all grown to love.  I have been busy organizing and collating this material, and my challenge is to bring it together into one cohesive commentary on Mark.

We don’t have a title yet.  We are not sure who will be publishing it.  What we do know is that this is going to be one amazing look at the life of Jesus through the eyes of Michael Spencer and the Gospel of Mark.

We do need some assistance, and we would like to throw open the opportunity to help to the wider Internet Monk community.  The audio Bible studies (54 in total), and the five sermons need to be transcribed.  If you would like to contribute to this book by taking on one or more transcriptions then send me an email to michaelspencersnewbook [at] gmail [dot] com with what you would like to do and I will send you an audio Bible study to transcribe along with further instructions.

I am really excited by this project, and I am really looking forward to help bring Michael’s life project of the study of Mark to a fitting conclusion.

Comments

  1. Preeeeaaaacccchhhhhh!!!!!

  2. David Cornwell says:

    This is a wonderful project and tribute to his ministry.

  3. JoanieD says:

    Wow, what a lot of studying and teaching Michael did on the Gospel of Mark! This is a major undertaking, Michael Bell. Very exciting news!

  4. Nestus Venter says:

    Cannot wait. Thanks everybody for doing this.

  5. Sounds fantastic – can’t wait!

  6. I’m really looking forward to this. God Bless you guys as you help Michael’s work find new ways to reach people.

  7. I’m looking forward to it as well.
    Technical question: is it possible to run the audio through some dictation software, and see if you can get most of the way there, leaving only some formatting and garbled words to be edited?

    • Tried that.

      The problem is you have to train the softwhere to understand your voice. In the case of Michael Spencer, that can’t happen.

      I am not at all worried about formatting and garbled words, because the audio bible studies need to go through heavy editing anyway to get them into a readable book format. Unfortunately I was not even able to get them to the garbled word stage.

      • Got a great suggestion from the “dragon naturally speaking” website. They suggested training the software with my voice and then while listening to the audio, just repeat it in my voice. I am going to try that this evening.

  8. Steve in Toronto says:

    I think Michael’s old podcast “Coffee Cup Apologetics” would also make a fine little book.

  9. For anyone who wishes to help, I can provide free software to help with the process. I currently have one person helping me, but really need several more. If you are a fairly decent typist, transcribing one bible study takes about 2-3 hours. Formatting and spelling is not important to me as the audio studies will undergo significant editing.

    Anyone who helps will get a thankyou in the book as well.

    • The good news: it’s free software.
      The bad news: it’s WordPress. And instead of indenting in outline form, you have to nest replies to make it indent.
      🙂

  10. bigbluedog says:

    Very exciting news, and I look forward to the resulting book.

  11. Wow, could this be the first Bible commentary to ever be compiled and published posthumously? I’m looking forward to reading it!

    • I must say figuring out the footnotes is a pain. When Michael cites someone, I have to figure out what work he is citing from, and where in that work it is found. If Michael was around I could simply ask!

  12. I’ve already sent you an e-mail regarding this project.

    • Hi Tina (and any others who may have sent me emails,)

      The email that I had originally specified to contact me does not seem to work. Please use the updated one above. My apologies to anyone who may have tried to contact me and not gotten a response.