October 19, 2017

Chaplain Mike Mercer: Evangelicals And The Pastoral Care of the Dying: The IM Interview

Chaplain Mike Mercer is one of the long-time faithful friends of this web site. Many of you will recognize him as a frequent commenter. Mike has gone the extra mile to befriend me and that has been a true gift. I wanted to do this interview because Mike is now involved in pastoral care of […]

iMonk 101: The Christian and Mental Illness (Introductory Questions)

I did a five part series on this topic in November of 2005. I’m going to rerun those 2005 posts over the next few days. Several times a week, I have to read folders containing psychological evaluations of prospective students. They are often quite daunting and detailed. The stories range from ordinary to nightmarish and […]

Sin and Sickness

There was a pear tree close to our own vineyard, heavily laden with fruit, which was not tempting either for its color or for its flavor. Late one night — having prolonged our games in the streets until then, as our bad habit was — a group of young scoundrels, and I among them, went […]

From the Writer’s Worktable: Incarnation

Some of what I’ve been writing today as I start two chapters on essential beliefs about Jesus. This is part of a section on the incarnation: The incarnation may be the greatest stumbling block that Christianity places in the road of faith, but that stumbling block is the cornerstone of everything Christians believe about Jesus. […]

iMonk 101: A God Shaped Void? Maybe Not

This piece from two summers ago- A God Shaped Void? Maybe Not– explores some important questions about evangelism, our assumptions about those we are evangelizing, and especially our dialogue with atheists and young people. It’s the kind of rethinking of evangelicalism I like to do, and it will challenge you, especially if you were raised […]

What Kind of Person Will Be A Disciple?

“Now – here is my secret: I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God – that I am sick and can no longer […]

Can You Study A Book Too Much?

I’m not a literature scholar, but I play one in the classroom several hours a week. That is, when I’m not teaching the Bible to kids from all over America and the world, I teach AP English. Mostly Shakespeare and poetry. The interaction of the two brings some stimulating questions to my mind from time […]

Humiliation, Humanity and the Fifth Commandment: Can We Tell The Truth About Those Whose Sin Affects Us?

Also of interest on this topic: “Does the Story Matter?” (From December of 04) Here’s my original review of Schaeffer’s book, and a later link to an interview with Schaeffer. “My father sexually abused me.” “Both of my parents are in prison on drug charges.” “My dad had another wife and kids in another town, […]

Sexual Freedom, Pullman’s Atheism and Christian Humanism

UPDATE: Stan Gutherie surveys components of the Christian response to Atheism. Some of my thoughts after reading The Atlantic Monthly’s feature story on The Golden Compass. Chataway cover’s the director’s response to the Atlantic Monthly’s article. There is no more important single distinction in theology than the difference between being God-centered and man-centered. After years […]

Can Christians Share in the Joke?

First, a letter from an IM reader, then some thoughts on humor. Greetings. First, let me say I have thoroughly enjoyed the last year or so since I came across your website. It has been a blessing for me. You’re probably thinking I’m setting you up for something. Not really. I do have an issue […]