November 30, 2020

iMonk Classic: Evangelical Ecumenism and A Jesus-Shaped Guest List

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer November 6, 2009 POINT: Evangelicalism contains within itself some almost irresistible itches from its fundamentalist DNA. From time to time, the urge to scratch is almost overwhelming. These itches would include: “Must say that Catholics are not Christians….” “Must say that all things ecumenical are bad unless it’s guys […]

iMonk Classic: Those Magnificent Young Men in Their Pastoring Machines (4)

Part Four (conclusion) of a series on pastoral ministry, featuring a classic Michael Spencer post. I’ve Got A Question Are pastors called to be church growth “entrepreneurs?” The contemporary pastorate seems to be all about church growth, not Christian growth. Evangelism has even been eclipsed by church growth. Worship is now about church growth. The […]

iMonk Classic: Those Magnificent Young Men in Their Pastoring Machines (3)

Part Three of a series on pastoral ministry, featuring a classic Michael Spencer post. What’s Not to Like? As I have met and listened to these young pastors, I have been occaisonally impressed, but mostly distressed. With the surprisingly wide reach of some Internet Monk articles, I am sure that some young pastors believe I […]

iMonk Classic: Those Magnificent Young Men in Their Pastoring Machines (2)

Part two of a series on pastoral ministry, featuring a classic post by Michael Spencer Those Who Can’t, Teach My own seminary training was an example. I came from a church where the pastor was the preacher. His primary task was to pray, prepare and preach. Beyond that, pastoral care of the flock was expected, […]

iMonk Classic: Those Magnificent Young Men In Their Pastoring Machines (1)

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer Undated Note: This week, in an effort to give special focus on pastoral ministry in the local church, we will be running Michael Spencer’s seminal post on the the subject, originally published in the first year of Internet Monk. This is a long article, so we will be spreading […]

iMonk Classic: The “Real” Prosperity Gospel

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer From Sept 16, 2008 A reader sent me a very nice note yesterday, talking about a bit of the scope and direction of my writing on this blog over the years. He mentioned something I want to share with you. Hear his idea and initial direction; then I want […]

iMonk Classic: “I Forgive Myself” — The Hardest Word?

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer From Feb 19, 2008 One of the things I really don’t like about run-of-the-mill evangelical spirituality is the assumption that we’re all basically clones of each other. Cheerful clones. Mentally healthy clones. Good family clones. Conservative political clones. Happy at church clones. Like the same music clones. Clones who […]

The Monk Who Wouldn’t Go Away

Today is Thomas Merton’s birthday. Merton played a big role in Michael Spencer’s spiritual development. In one of my conversations with Michael, I asked where I should start in reading Merton. He said I had to read The Seven Storey Mountain first in order to really understand Thomas Merton. I have since enjoyed many a […]

iMonk Classic: Believing the Bible: A Place To Start or Stop?

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer From Feb 5, 2009 Let’s say you’re sitting around talking with a group of friends, some of whom are Christians and some aren’t. A subject comes up; for example, marriage. People share their stories, their thoughts, their accumulated wisdom. After a moment, one of the Christians present begins to […]

iMonk Classic: Jesus — The Glory of the Christian Journey

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer From May 4, 2009 I can’t speak for anyone else, just for me. When I became a Christian in 1974, I was immediately taught to define myself three ways. First, did I believe that I was a sinner and that Jesus died for my sins so I could go […]