October 14, 2019

About Chaplain Mike

Chaplain Mike works with a hospice organization in central Indiana. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1978, serving in churches in Maryland, Vermont, Illinois, and Indiana before moving into chaplaincy work. He is married to a wonderful gifted wife, Gail, and they have four children and three grandchildren. He thinks baseball is the greatest game ever invented, suffers annually as a Chicago Cubs fan, and is looking forward to putting on a cap again this spring to coach his grandson's Little League team. He loves a wide variety of music, spends way too much money on books, is happy to live in a place where there are four seasons, and is a "true believer" in Apple computers, having used them since 1988. Luther is his favorite theologian, Bach his favorite composer, James Taylor his favorite singer-songwriter, Chicago his favorite city, and hiking his favorite form of exercise. He would love to do more with photography and dreams of having a place in the mountains of Arizona some day. His heart has been captured by the grace of God in Jesus Christ and considers himself a post-evangelical disciple seeking a Jesus-shaped life and hoping to help the church do the same. He is forever grateful to his friend, Michael Spencer, for giving him an opportunity to write for Internet Monk.

Dispatch — Homeward Bound: October 13, 2019

Dispatch — Homeward Bound: October 13, 2019 I am not one of those Christians who feels skittish about using the words “lucky” or “fortunate.” Some people I know feel compelled to say they are “blessed” when something good happens in their lives, and that’s okay I guess. However, it tends to raise questions of theodicy […]

Dispatch from Tuscany: October 6, 2019

Dispatch from Tuscany: October 6, 2019 To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, […]

Dispatch from the Bernese-Oberland: October 2, 2019

Dispatch from the Bernese-Oberland: October 2, 2019 I hadn’t anticipated crying. But when our small train pulled out and headed toward Mürren, the stupefying vista that opened up in front of us literally took my breath so that I could not speak. The tears welled up and I was rendered incapable of expression. We had […]

Dispatch from Lausanne: September 29, 2019

Dispatch from Lausanne: September 29, 2019 UPDATE: Some pics from Christ Church, Lausanne. • We have been almost a week in Europe; a couple of days in Zurich and then down to Lausanne on Lake Geneva (Lac Lemon). Here are a few notes on churches we’ve seen and will attend. As a Christian who practices […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: On Changing the Subject

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann On Changing the Subject The test and norm is the reality of Jesus. Look at Jesus, because Jesus confronts all the throne talk of the world. You want to know about joy, and well-being, and truth, and goodness. Look at Jesus. Not being served, but serving. I have no doubt that […]

Nous sommes en route!

Well, iMonk family, Gail and I are soon off on our dream trip of a lifetime. Monday, we will fly out of Chicago to Munich, Germany, take the train to Switzerland, and then spend the next couple of weeks around Lake Geneva and in the high Alps. We’ll then journey over to Italy, where a […]

Let’s Discuss: A Job Description for a “Senior Pastor”

Note from CM: Thanks to RDavid, who commented yesterday and brought our attention to Scot McKnight’s post about the job description set forth at Willow Creek Community Church for their new Senior Pastor. Here’s the link: Willow Creek, What’s a Pastor? As most of you know, I consider Scot a mentor and friend, and I […]

Another Funeral Rant

Another Funeral Rant I’ll never get it as long as I live. Maybe it’s as simple as a difference in personalities, but I still can’t quite fathom it. Why is it so hard for some pastors to express sympathy and break out of their ministerial routines when they officiate funeral services? I attended a service […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: An Artistic Rendering of Life

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann An Artistic Rendering of Life For the work of teachers, preachers, and interpreters, an artistic rendering of life is now an urgent responsibility, not only because of the character of the text but because of our social-cultural-moral circumstance. The community gathered around this text (in church, in synagogue, in religion department) […]

Wendell Berry: If we have become…

Wendell Berry If we have become… If we have become a people incapable of thought, then the brute-thought of mere power and mere greed will think for us. If we have become incapable of denying ourselves anything, then all that we have will be taken from us. If we have no compassion, we will suffer […]