November 30, 2020

iMonk Annual Review – 2015


We will resume Saturday Ramblings next week. The Rambler, as you can see, is in the shop, being made ready to travel far and wide in 2016. I must give a hearty “thank you” to Pastor Dan Jepsen for doing most of the driving last year as we rambled, and I’m looking forward to seeing where our journeys will take us in this coming year.

Today, we’ll focus on our Annual Review of posts here at Internet Monk.

Before we look at some of the favorite and most-discussed posts of 2015, I want to remind everyone of the big site update we made last June. We moved from “Dispatches from the Post-Evangelical Wilderness” to “Conversations in the Great Hall.” Using the imagery of C.S. Lewis’s “Great Hall,” we renewed our purpose as a site that will provide a place of conversation where people from various Christian traditions (and outside those traditions) can meet to talk about the faith. It is our goal to strive to be:

A post-evangelical, ecumenical, pastoral, and contemplative site
devoted to maintaining a legacy of Jesus-shaped Christianity.

With that in mind, here are some of our most-discussed posts from the past year, along with lists of some other favorites.

• • •

Most Discussed Posts in 2015
(not counting Saturday Ramblings or Open Forums)

Chaplain Mike: A Response to Owen Strachan on Cultural Courage (Jan 21)

Chaplain Mike: In the beginning, it’s not about “days” (Feb 13)

Damaris Zehner: Some Thoughts on Artificial Birth Control (Mar 24)

Chaplain Mike: Faith in the system, or faith in Jesus? (Apr 23)

Matthew B. Redmond: Some Thoughts on What Is Happening at Village Church (May 26)

Chaplain Mike: A Moral Continental Divide? (Jun 11)

Miguel Ruiz: New light on the oldest profession (Jul 30)

Rob Grayson: The judgement of the cross (Aug 10)

Pete Enns: No Turning Back (Sep 30)

Chaplain Mike: Swimming against a Tide: Doctrine (part 1) (Oct 12)

Chaplain Mike: Questions about Penal Substitutionary Atonement (Nov 4)

Chaplain Mike: Why Isn’t Rachel Weeping Today? (Dec 3)

• • •

Ten of my favorite posts written by other writers at iMonk in 2015:

  1. Damaris Zehner: The Undeserved Grace of a New Beginning (Jan 19)
  2. Mike Bell: The Most Significant Moment in My Spiritual Journey (Jan 23)
  3. Tokah: On the Sunday of Forgiveness (Feb 26)
  4. Randy Thompson: Religious Virtuosity – The Spiritual Life on Automatic Pilot
  5. Damaris Zehner: The Coup, the Queen, and the Resurrection (Apr 1)
  6. Jeff Dunn: The “Realest” Michael Spencer (Apr 6)
  7. Lisa Dye: Jump! (Jun 2)
  8. Damaris Zehner: My Dysfunctional Relationship with God (Jun 17)
  9. Jon Henry: Already Compromised, Moon Edition (Aug 14)
  10. Jan Richardson: This Luminous Darkness – Searching for Solace in Advent and Christmas (Dec 23)

• • •

Some posts I wrote that meant a lot to me in 2015:

• • •

I couldn’t leave a post like this without saying “Thank you” to all who read Internet Monk, those who participate in the discussions, and those who generously support us with encouragement and financial support.

May 2016 provide a few more oases in the wilderness for all of us as we live in the grace and mercy of Christ.


  1. And want to thank Chaplain Mike for everything. After Michael died, I wondered if this site would make it, but you have found your “voice” and I love your posts. I think the Saturday ramblings had something to do with it 🙂 This is still my favourite blogging waterhole and it helps me to keep my sanity in a world full of opinions and Christian talk. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

  2. Thanks for another great year.

  3. Ditto to what Nestus Venter wrote.

  4. yes, thanks for a great year and all you put into the Great Hall..

  5. Great year, but really? All those links? Thanks for making sure I’ll get nothing done all day ?.

    I recommend this blog frequently to others as it is always thought provoking and almost never goes for the easy answers. Thanks to all of you who keep it going & contribute your thoughts.

  6. Randy Thompson says

    This is a very nice summing up of 2015. Thanks, Chaplain Mike!

  7. I’m curious: was the switch from Jesus-shaped spirituality to Jesus-shaped Christianity intentional?

    • Ah, good catch. I too would like to know.

    • I honestly can’t remember. It could have been as simple as a brain blip on my part or it could have been a choice I made after deliberation. If we had an editor, he/she could probably tell you, but I’m afraid you’re stuck with your humble and erratic chaplain.

      It’s details like that that keep me from ever being a Calvinist.

      • Seen from a slightly different angle, they might move you in the direction of being a thoroughgoing Calvinist.

  8. [em]This is still my favourite blogging waterhole and it helps me to keep my sanity in a world full of opinions and Christian talk.[em/]

    It’s definitely my “favorite blogging waterhole”, too but I don’t know about helping to keep my sanity. In some ways, it would be much easier to just go along with the prevailing thoughts and attitudes of the little corner of evangelicalism that I inhabit, not asking questions and keeping out of areas that make me uncomfortable. But this site has forced me to wrestle with questions that don’t get asked in my world, has forced me to look at myself and my preconceived notions and prejudices and, in many cases, give consideration to answers I would never have done left to my own devices. This site has made me uncomfortable and unsure; it has humbled me and I am the better for it.

    Thank you, Chaplain Mike and all the rest of you for continuing the conversation. I consider the group of people who write for and contribute their comments to this site to be the best teachers I have. Thank you all and may God bless you in this new year.

    • And I will apparently never get WordPress formatting correct!

      • —> “And I will apparently never get WordPress formatting correct!”

        That’s why I don’t even try, instead doing things like this:

        —> “And I will apparently never get WordPress formatting correct!”

        • Ya know, there’s a cheesy sermon illustration in here: “Just like trying to correctly use WordPress and never getting it right, the life of a Christian consists of always trying and never succeeding but having faith enough to try again anyway.”

  9. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    I haven’t seen Tokah on here in awhile. Does anyone know how she is?

    • 2015 turned out to be quite a tough year, a lot of hard truths hit and I’m still recovering my footing. I’m quietly reading along in the meantime, though. I’m sure thoughts of some kind will come out of it.

      Thanks for thinking of me.

  10. I agree entirely with Nestus. You are a treasure, Chaplain Mike, and I particularly love your charity and humility — not to mention the wonderful Ohio-and-Midwestern flavor of your enthusiasms. Cubs in 2016!

  11. Mourning Dove says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…from rural Minnesota.

  12. Aquila Alae says

    Enjoy reading the posts and commentary
    Thanks and Happy New Year.

  13. Thank you, Chaplain Mike, for the excellent work that you do here!

  14. Mike, thanks for all you do here perpetuating Michael’s legacy. A very happy New Year to you.