December 18, 2018

Monday with Michael Spencer: Letters from Santa

Monday with Michael Spencer Letters from Santa (from 2006) Several years ago, we began another tradition that has proven to be one of the highlights of Christmas for us: the reading of the unedited, uncorrected “Letters to Santa” printed in our local newspaper. The authors are local 2nd graders, and these letters, read dramatically, are […]

Transaction or Sacrament?

Tuesday with Michael Spencer from 2007 Debates about “transactionalism” have often been debates about the atonement. The Bible places the death of Jesus as the apex of a scriptural thread of sacrificial theology. Sacrifice is plainly transactional. No one can deny that, and I wouldn’t try. But is the death of Jesus a transaction, or […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: The Mood of Advent

Monday with Michael Spencer The Mood of Advent I have several friends who are doing Advent in their Baptist churches for the first time, and they have lots of questions about candles and logistics. I wish there were more questions about Advent itself. For example, the mood of Advent is dark and serious. It’s not […]

Tuesday with Michael Spencer: Jesus Makes Things Complicated for Us

Tuesday with Michael Spencer Jesus Makes Things Complicated for Us Jesus makes things very complicated for American Christians. If you simply follow him around in the Gospels, you are going to get into trouble. Why? Because he isn’t just talking evangelism. He’s talking about a whole life of Kingdom-dominated, life-transforming discipleship. Let me use an […]

Wednesday with Michael Spencer

Wednesday with Michael Spencer From Standing on My Own Trap Door (2007) 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 sentences, turned […]

Tuesday with Michael Spencer: Letting Some of the Air Out of the Reformation Day Balloon

Note from CM: Here’s another post from Michael Spencer today on the Reformation, while I work on a piece for tomorrow that is timely — about the antisemitism in Europe during the Reformation, and Martin Luther’s complex and ultimately abhorrent perspective on the Jewish people. • • • Tuesday with Michael Spencer Letting Some of […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: Luther and Today’s Evangelicals

Note from CM: We get back to some posts about the Reformation, which were interrupted by tributes to Eugene Peterson last week. Today, Michael Spencer reminds us of one of contemporary evangelicalism’s genuine flaws — its inability to grasp accurate and complex views of history. Case in point: their simplistic view of Martin Luther. • […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: Where’s Jesus?

Monday with Michael Spencer From Where’s Jesus?: Thoughts on a Localized Christ Answering the question “Where can you get your Jesus?” is very important. Many of the divisions among Christians are actually a commentary on the relationship of the person of Jesus to various means of “accessing” or “localizing” Jesus. In other words, the question […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: Dumb up, brother!

Monday with Michael Spencer Dumb up, brother! I live in a part of the county where ignorance of every sort is widespread. The dropout rate is almost 30%. Running any kind of school here is a battle. And most of the ministers and Christians in this area are untaught, or at the most, self-taught. Comparatively […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: How to Talk (and Not to Talk) to Evangelicals on a Journey

Monday with Michael Spencer How to Talk (and Not to Talk) to Evangelicals on a Journey From 2009 Dear Well-Meaning Non-Evangelical Friend, Please sit down, have a cup of tea or coffee…and listen. I see that you’ve responded to some of us who are pilgrims in the evangelical community and who are on a journey […]