July 20, 2018

Christianity In America: A Crisis, or, The Evangelical Emperor Has No Clothes (as found on your library shelf)

A few weeks—ok, months—ago I started writing on what I see in general when I look at today’s evangelical church in America. I called the series The Naked Emperor. I have been kept from revisiting this by work and illness and … oh, lots of things. I do plan to finish what I started, but […]

Dissident Discipleship: A Book Overview

Recently I read the book Dissident Discipleship by David Augsburger. He wrote it in 2006, but I think his topic is evergreen: What makes someone a true disciple of Jesus? Augsburger tells it from an Anabaptist perspective. Once we give assent to Christ’s lordship, recognize the necessity for and effectiveness of his shed blood to atone […]

Good News is Just the Beginning

Over the past decade, a cottage industry has grown and and is now flourishing among American Christian leaders and teachers that has focused on defining the Gospel. Many factors account for this. We live in a decidedly non-doctrinaire age, and the “Gospel” discussion has formed in response to that. Through the influence of the church […]

Prepositions Matter

“…the grammarian’s last daughter opened her bag. “Out came the prepositions: of, to, from, with, at, by, in, under, over, and so on. When she’d put them into the bag, they had seemed like hooks or angles. Now, departing in orderly rows, they reminded her of ants. Granted, they were large ants, each one the […]

IM Book Review: Counterfeit Gospels

By Chaplain Mike In my opinion, Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope, by Trevin Wax, represents the best kind of thinking and presentation that evangelicalism has to offer the broader church today at a level that pastors and serious laypeople can appreciate and find useful. It is written in […]

IM Book Review: Home

By Chaplain Mike And now here he is, Glory thought, haggard and probationary, with little of his youth left to him except the wry elusiveness, secretiveness, that he did in fact seem to wear on his skin. He stood propped against the counter with his arms folded and watched his father while his father pondered […]

Two Churches that Closed Down the “Show”

By Chaplain Mike This week, as we’ve been discussing the church, I have read two intriguing stories of megachurches that began and grew explosively using an attractional, seeker-oriented philosophy of ministry, but then decided that approach was contrary to Jesus’ call to discipleship. So they closed down the “show,” re-ordered their priorities, revamped their programs, […]

IM Book Review: The Language Of Science And Faith

Oh, boy. Here we go again, wading into the murky waters of how-we-all-got-here. Strap on your galoshes and let’s hope we don’t get too messy. Frequenters of Internet Monk will already be fluent in the language of the conversation. For the newly initiated: on one side, at its most extreme, we have those who say […]

IM Book Review: Introverts in the Church

By Chaplain Mike I think I may have found my doppelganger. There were times as I was reading through Adam McHugh’s wise and helpful book, Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture, when I thought he was reading my mind, representing my exact thoughts in the very words by which I […]

IM Book Review–The Pastor: A Memoir

By Chaplain Mike “The way is made by walking” (Antonio Machado) Eugene Peterson’s career as a pastor has been a living tortoise and hare fable. In an age of emphasis on church growth, Peterson was “the contemplative pastor.” As the calling of minister morphed into the job of CEO, whose main task is to “run […]