November 19, 2018

Discernment and Decision Making in the Call to Ministry

As I make my way through the process of ordination in my denomination, I have been asked to do some reading about vocation and calling in preparation for various meetings. The following is from a small book given to ministerial candidates called, “What Shall I Say? Discerning God’s Call to Ministry.” These paragraphs describe one […]

Sermon: Serving a Generous Master (Matt. 25:14-30)

Today’s Gospel text speaks of a man going on a long journey. The journey that has brought me to this place where I stand today has likewise been long. Picture in your mind a young boy growing up in the Midwest. His family took him to the Methodist church. He loved being in the sanctuary, […]

Wilderness Update

I have had thoughts lately again about vocational matters in my life. A number of different circumstances have come about in which I’ve considered making a few changes — nothing related to my full-time employment at this time, but to things which may determine direction in the future. These kinds of situations come up a […]

Complementarian Gymnastics

By Chaplain Mike UPDATE: This was posted via scheduling before it was finished, and I have more to say. I will be editing and adding over the next hour or so, and then it will be complete. UPDATE 2: Editing and updating now complete. UPDATE 3: Further editing to make point 4 of my comments […]

iMonk Classic: A Theology of Everything

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer Series from Dec, 2004 This is an excerpt from a post Michael wrote in December, 2004. I think it may provide good food for contemplation and discussion at the start of this Labor Day weekend. • • • I have what I call a “Theology of Everything.” I don’t […]

But Then …

This is difficult for me to write because it is both humbling and humiliating. My pride is being shattered to admit on a stage before tens of thousands of readers (our stats show more than 80,000 unique visitors come to the iMonastery every month) what I am going to share. But I suppose it’s not […]

How I Got to “OK”

By Chaplain Mike From the start of my ministry three decades ago, there were aspects of being an evangelical pastor that I simply did not “get.” I would hear other ministers speak and tell about what God was doing at their churches, learn about their approaches and their programs, listen to testimonies from folks in […]

Demythologizing “Radical” Christianity (3)

By Chaplain Mike This is the third post in our series, the one in which the ol’ chaplain may find himself in a position of having to defend the appearance that he is contradicting himself or at least being inconsistent. First, let’s review: We’ve been responding to Skye Jethani’s articles at Out of Ur, redefining […]

Demythologizing “Radical” Christianity (2)

By Chaplain Mike I remember meeting with a friend over lunch one day. We had been in Bible college together. I had gone on into the ministry in a small church in the Vermont mountains. He never was able to find his way into “full-time ministry.” And he felt terrible about it. One of the […]

Let Me Restate That…A Rant Clarified

By Chaplain Mike Yesterday, a spirited discussion ensued regarding my “Rant as a Loser of the Worship Wars.” I think many of the comments missed the point of the post. So I thought I’d post a clarification. I hope this makes the most important aspects of what I was trying to say clear. When I […]