October 29, 2020

“I Am” and “I Practice” — An Important Distinction

If we want to practice what some, including Michael Spencer, have called a “generous orthodoxy” – a commitment to the creedal Christian faith that recognizes “one holy catholic and apostolic Church” – then we must learn to speak about our own personal faith identities and commitments precisely. Here is the way I have learned to […]

Gospel Week: Let’s discuss some definitions

By Chaplain Mike This week our focus will be on The Gospel. You might think Christians would have this one nailed down, but many conversations continue in the church today about the definition and nature of the biblical Gospel. For example, I am looking forward to reading Scot McKnight’s upcoming book, The King Jesus Gospel: […]


As a follow-up to the post on Purgatory, and to fulfill the promise therein where I said we would speak of indulgences, here we treat of that most vexed topic. Before we begin, an acknowledgement: Yes, there was Tetzel and the sale of indulgences for the dead and yes, Tetzel was in the wrong.  You […]

Who Are You?

One of the most powerful things a culture does is to form people’s view of who they are. It passes on assumptions about the obvious elements of identity — nationality, gender, age, and class, for example, and what these mean and how people are to act given them.  But people absorb from culture something even more […]

What Makes A Christian?

A story in this past Saturday’s Ramblings talked about President Barak Obama’s confession of faith in Jesus. He called himself a “Christian by choice.” Yet some of this community refuse to believe he is a true believer. Some think that he has not made a good, complete confession. My point today is not decide if […]

The Myth Of Autonomy

There’s been some discussion here at iMonk recently about the value of personal autonomy. Many Americans believe that autonomy is achievable and that it’s the most honorable lifestyle there is.  They believe that people are autonomous individuals.  Even if I’m not as autonomous as I should be, because I lack courage or will, those people […]

What’s In A Name?

I hate name tags. I really do. On the “hate” scale, I hate them more than I hate tomatoes, but not quite as much as I hate the Michigan Wolverines. About once a quarter or so, someone at church will decide that it is “Name Tag Sunday” and everyone will be greeted at the door […]

Defining Terms: Evangelical and Post-Evangelical

“Dispatches from the Post-Evangelical Wilderness” is the byline of this website. In recent days I have received a number of questions from readers, emailers, and Facebook friends asking me to define “post-evangelical” for them. Here’s a review of how I, Chaplain Mike, use this designation. Michael Spencer called himself “post-evangelical,” and to clarify that he […]