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.

Another Look: Fear Not, Little Flock

Another Look: Fear Not, Little Flock From 2011 • • • Last Sunday, my wife and I entered the side door of the old church building. The small entryway had a few steps that led up to two vintage oak doors. The one on the left led to the back corner of the sanctuary. Next […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: We are not self-invented folks

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann We are not self-invented folks There is a mistaken notion that we are self-starters, individuals who “possess” capacity and worth. And we can make do and can do, if we try harder. Such a view belongs to American notions of success and progress. But it really doesn’t work. We cannot make […]

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: August 10, 2019 — Lament Edition

• Sorry to emphasize such down notes today, but, as the CNN story says, “What a horrible week for America.” This has been an objectively awful week. Far from a sleepy end to the summer, the country is reeling from mass shootings that claimed 31 lives in Texas and Ohio, not paying enough attention to […]

Romans 1-4: An Argument with the Weak (2)

These chapters are far from abstract theology and are instead pastoral theology for the church at Rome. The questions Paul both asks and addresses are questions Paul has heard time and again in his mission, and the questions are those either of Jewish opponents or more likely of fellow Jewish converts to Jesus. The questions […]

The Priority of the Gospels

An ancient Syriac document, allegedly recounting the instruction of the Apostles, enjoins: “The apostles further appointed: At the conclusion of all the Scriptures let the Gospels be read, as being the seal of all the Scriptures and let the people listen to it standing upon their feet: because it is the Gospel of the redemption […]

Elissa Bjeletich: Contemplating the Incarnation

As we think this week about the incarnate Christ, here is a thought-provoking excerpt from an article by Elissa Bjeletich: Contemplating the Incarnation: Pilgrimage and Sunday of Orthodoxy • • • This is where it happened. When I thought of the Incarnation, I have always thought about how God took on flesh. He could not […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: On Telling Jesus Stories

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann On Telling Jesus Stories The church must endlessly tell its Jesus stories, because in these Jesus stories, we behold the glory of the Father, full of grace and truth. The imposition of holiness does not happen in large, grand, religious, magnificent ways. It happens where a son is welcomed home, where […]

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: August 3, 2019

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: August 3, 2019 • • • Three years away…on my “want” list now • • • Joshua Harris, post-Christian From CNN: A former pastor who wrote a bestselling book on traditional relationships has confirmed the end of his marriage, apologized for opposing LGBTQ rights and announced he is no longer […]

Romans 1-4: An Argument with the Weak (1)

Paul’s polemic in Romans 1-4 with the Judge/Weak arises only because the Weak believe the path to moral transformation for the Strong can be achieved only by adopting and observing the Torah. Romans 1-8 occur then in two blocks: the argument against Torah observance as the path to moral transformation, and an argument in favor […]

Bruggemann: Our life with God — characteristically open and unsettled

Ah, when I need something to really chew on, Walter Bruggemann is always a good go-to. I have testified here at IM to a journey of having learned something much different than what I was taught in my evangelical background. That is, that God and his people, particularly as portrayed in the Hebrew Bible, share […]