December 11, 2019

Thoughts on “Ministry”

Monday, Scot McKnight had a post reflecting on Graham Buxton’s book on pastoral theology, Dancing in the Dark: The Privilege of Participating in the Ministry of Christ. I haven’t read the book, but Scot’s post made me want to; and in the meantime, I like Buxton’s definition of “ministry” alot: “Christian ministry is fundamentally about […]

“Normal” Is Not Enough?

Update: several have noted  the plane crash last Friday, in which Ron Luce’s daughter was seriously injured. Out of respect for the Teen Mania family, please stick to the concept we’re discussing and do not direct your comments at this specific ministry. Note: This post is NOT a specific critique of the ministry cited. Please don’t […]

Discernment and Decision Making in the Call to Ministry

As I make my way through the process of ordination in my denomination, I have been asked to do some reading about vocation and calling in preparation for various meetings. The following is from a small book given to ministerial candidates called, “What Shall I Say? Discerning God’s Call to Ministry.” These paragraphs describe one […]

Sermon: Serving a Generous Master (Matt. 25:14-30)

Today’s Gospel text speaks of a man going on a long journey. The journey that has brought me to this place where I stand today has likewise been long. Picture in your mind a young boy growing up in the Midwest. His family took him to the Methodist church. He loved being in the sanctuary, […]

Wilderness Update

I have had thoughts lately again about vocational matters in my life. A number of different circumstances have come about in which I’ve considered making a few changes — nothing related to my full-time employment at this time, but to things which may determine direction in the future. These kinds of situations come up a […]

Complementarian Gymnastics

By Chaplain Mike UPDATE: This was posted via scheduling before it was finished, and I have more to say. I will be editing and adding over the next hour or so, and then it will be complete. UPDATE 2: Editing and updating now complete. UPDATE 3: Further editing to make point 4 of my comments […]

iMonk Classic: A Theology of Everything

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer Series from Dec, 2004 This is an excerpt from a post Michael wrote in December, 2004. I think it may provide good food for contemplation and discussion at the start of this Labor Day weekend. • • • I have what I call a “Theology of Everything.” I don’t […]

But Then …

This is difficult for me to write because it is both humbling and humiliating. My pride is being shattered to admit on a stage before tens of thousands of readers (our stats show more than 80,000 unique visitors come to the iMonastery every month) what I am going to share. But I suppose it’s not […]

How I Got to “OK”

By Chaplain Mike From the start of my ministry three decades ago, there were aspects of being an evangelical pastor that I simply did not “get.” I would hear other ministers speak and tell about what God was doing at their churches, learn about their approaches and their programs, listen to testimonies from folks in […]

Demythologizing “Radical” Christianity (3)

By Chaplain Mike This is the third post in our series, the one in which the ol’ chaplain may find himself in a position of having to defend the appearance that he is contradicting himself or at least being inconsistent. First, let’s review: We’ve been responding to Skye Jethani’s articles at Out of Ur, redefining […]