August 20, 2018

Monday with Michael Spencer: Grace is as dangerous as ever

“Neither do I condemn you. Now go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11) When the quality of God’s mercy in the Gospel no longer amazes you, you will begin to justify the dilution of amazing grace into religious grace, or moral grace, or grace in response to something. Real grace is simply inexplicable, inappropriate, out […]

Breviary on the Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-12, Kingdom NT When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the hillside and sat down. His disciples came to him. He took a deep breath, and began his teaching: “Blessings on the poor in spirit! The kingdom of heaven is yours. “Blessings on the mourners! You’re going to be comforted. “Blessings on the […]

To be lifted up carefully and carried out of confinement

✑ When I woke up this morning, before I’d gotten out of bed, I was looking around to see what was going on in my room. Not much was going on, I’m happy to say. But there was a cricket on the glazed stone floor. He didn’t belong in the room. Crickets don’t belong in […]

Poetry Week: Midday Four – Chaplain Mike

What if I…? by Michael Mercer What if I… When dark and deep prevailed Breathed out an order And light broke through, awakening the world? And what if I… When heinous violence ruled Tapped a lone man’s shoulder And bid him build a lifeboat to preserve the world? And what if I… When self-reliant hubris […]

Jesus blesses all the wrong people, even pastors

Note from CM: I had the privilege of going downtown to hear Nadia Bolz-Weber speak tonight. She did a couple of readings, took questions and answers, oversaw her signature “ham raffle,” and signed books and took pictures with folks afterwards. I found her humble, funny, and thoughtful. Yes, she used some words we don’t normally […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer: August 22, 2016

Religion #1: God is mean, angry and easily provoked. From day 1, we’ve all been a disappointment, and God is–justly–planning to punish us forever. At the last minute, thanks to Jesus stepping in to calm him down, he decides to be gracious. But don’t do anything to mess that up. Peace is fragile around here. […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer: August 15, 2016

WHO HAS A PROBLEM WITH GRACE? Glad you asked. Christians who feel responsible for the “growth” of other Christians. When I was a youth minister charged with turning the rug rats into good little Southern Baptists, my “Grace to Works” ratio was about 10/90, i.e. I talked about grace about ten percent of the time, […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer: August 8, 2016

Note from CM: One of the chief characteristics of Michael Spencer’s life, ministry, and writing was his emphasis on grace. On Mondays for a season, we are drawing from his writings on the subject. • • • For me, the Gospel itself is “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). The Bible is incomprehensible apart […]

Can this really be the gospel of “superabundant grace”?

But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer: August 1, 2016

Note from CM: One of the chief characteristics of Michael Spencer’s life, ministry, and writing was his emphasis on grace. Over the next season here on IM, we will draw from his writings on the subject and re-present it on Mondays. • • • Lots of times, there’s something I want to write about, but it’s […]