December 15, 2017

Wrestling with Scripture

I was reading Walter Brueggemann’s book, An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible, today, and I came across this quote: ” “I suggest that a Christian reading of the Old Testament requires, in the present time, a recovery of the Jewishness of our ways of reading the text.” He goes on to suggest […]

Wilma’s Story

Note from CM: Earlier this year, I gained a new co-worker, a bright and personable hospice nurse named Wilma. When she told me her story and I read her book, I knew right away I wanted her to share it with our Internet Monk community. Wilma grew up in an Amish community. To many looking […]

Mike Bell: Some Thoughts on Change

Note from CM: Good to hear from our friend from the north country, Mike Bell, today. As remains the case for many of us, the ecclesiastical journey continues for Mike. Here’s his latest update. • • • Seventeen.  That is the number of churches that I have been involved in, each for more than a […]

Another Look: The Wilderness Within

They cannot scare me with their empty places Between stars — on stars where no human race is. I have it in me so much nearer home To scare myself with my own desert places. • Robert Frost, “Desert Places” • • • One temptation is to think the wilderness is without — a place, a […]

Another Look: I can’t get no…

Dallas Willard once wrote: “It is spiritually formative to be dissatisfied and unable to resolve it.” Hmm. Read that again. Slowly. Again. Now let’s talk. My first thought is, I am not sure I have ever been anything other than “dissatisfied.” How about you? For people my age, dissatisfaction, restlessness, and ennui came as natural as breathing. […]

Another Look: A Long Pause from Impermanence

I hope no reader will suppose that “mere” Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions — as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I […]

Such strange grace

April 5 will mark six years since Michael Spencer’s death. We will be devoting next week to some of his most memorable writings, writings that helped many of us survive wilderness journeys akin to his own. Today, I had lunch with a friend who I was encouraging to write for us. She has had a fascinating […]

Church Changes

I have found myself in an interesting position lately. I’ve been preaching at a small, rural Lutheran church about fifteen miles from my home. It is a sweet, traditional congregation, a church that was founded in 1838. For some time now, they have had a semi-retired pastor serving them. They are too small to support […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer: March 14, 2016

How God Ruined Church for Me An edited version of a 2007 post by Michael Spencer You see, it’s supposed to work like this: The world of churches is like a big mall, and there are many different kinds of stores. You choose one store–ONE–and you go there for everything you need. You are LOYAL […]

Sept. 11 Special: Interview with Charles Featherstone

Note from CM: I first met Charles Featherstone over a cup of coffee at Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago a couple of years ago. Even in our brief interaction, I was intrigued by him and the story of his wilderness journey. I learned only a small portion of it then, but now that Charles […]