July 11, 2020

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Monday with Michael Spencer: My Favorite Piece of Christmas Liturgy

My favorite piece of liturgy in the world is a sentence in the opening section of the Traditional Service of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast round the world on the BBC. Why is it so moving? Because it is beautiful and true. Each year, as more and more of those I know join the saints […]

Tuesday with Michael Spencer: We’re Still Waiting

Michael and the Boar’s Head Tavern folks once upon a time had an Advent site. Here is a sample from it — one of Michael’s observant reflections about evangelical churchianity in the Christmas season. • • • We’re still waiting Watched a children’s Christmas program in Northern Ky today. It was familiar to me because […]

iMonk Classic: “Lo, How a Rose” — Experiencing the Power of Beauty

Note from CM: This is one of the first posts by Michael Spencer that I remember commenting on, back in 2008. He touched an area of my life that has always been precious: the profound joy of choral music, especially during the Advent and Christmas seasons. In my comment, I wrote, “There is a combination […]

iMonk Classic Series: Christians and Mental Illness (3)

Is there mental illness in the Bible? This question seeks to move us toward the question of mental illness and the Gospel. Throughout the Bible- Job’s speeches, Jonah’s self pity, the depression of the Psalmist, the cynical death wish of Kohelleth- we see the kinds of emotions that make up much of common mental illnesses. […]

iMonk Classic Series: Christians and Mental Illness (2)

iMonk Classic Series: Christians and Mental Illness (2) The following is excerpted from part 2 of Michael’s original series. Because the Bible is authoritative in Christianity, it is often difficult to come to terms with forms of knowledge that ignore the Bible, and especially difficult to deal with systems of knowledge that threaten to transcend […]

iMonk Classic Series: Christians and Mental Illness (1)

Note from CM: Ten years ago, Michael re-ran a series about Christians and mental illness that he originally wrote in 2005. For the next few days this week, I will re-post edited versions of those pieces. Today, we read Michael’s introduction and some of the questions he will raise. • • • Several times a […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: Standing on My Own Trap Door?

Monday with Michael Spencer Standing on My Own Trap Door? (excerpt from Nov 2008) I can’t recall the author but I once read someone who portrayed evangelical Christians as people using all their abilities to get other people to agree to evangelistic sentences. The sentences mattered very much; more than almost anything else. Correctly worded […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: What’s in a Name?

Monday with Michael Spencer What’s in a Name? (2007) Here in Kentucky, most of the Baptist Churches of a certain age have a particular approach to their names. Most choose to go the geographic route, so we have Three Forks of the Elkhorn, Muddy Gap, First Baptist Every-town-you-can-think-of, a couple of thousand “creeks” of various […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: Trusting the Father?

  Monday with Michael Spencer: October 14, 2019 Trusting the Father? Yesterday, I experienced the great part of being a teacher; one of those experiences that make all the others worth it. It was in my advanced placement English IV class. Our brightest seniors. I’m fortunate to be able to work with them. A few […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: Silence in Worship

  Monday with Michael Spencer: October 7, 2019 Silence in Worship Silence has been banished from most contemporary worship as if it were an outright evil, yet what modern worship consumer is not likely to come back from a monastic retreat saying “I loved the silence?” The Protestant liturgy has no tradition of silence, but […]