December 2, 2020

It’s Here! (Part One)

The day many of us have been waiting for is here: Michael Spencer’s Mere Churchianity is now available as an eBook. Those of you who have eBook readers such as the Amazon Kindle, iPod Touch or iPad, Barnes and Noble Nook or Sony Reader can download Mere Churchianity as of today.

Download it now, get to reading, and let us know what you think!

For those who are still in the dark ages and are waiting for the paper version of the book, it will be available two weeks from today on June 15. However you want to read it, you need to read it. You won’t be disappointed.


  1. David Cornwell says

    Very cool, just got a Nook about 2 weeks ago, and am loving it for most reading. I will be downloading this soon.

  2. Yes I’m trapped in the dark ages. My iPad won’t be delivered for two weeks and my copy of Mere Churchianity won’t arrive for two weeks. So here I sit in the dark desperately waiting for the darkness to lift. Soon it will be light and I can devour Mike’s book. But thanks for rubbing my nose in the fact I can’t read it today. (Just kidding 🙂 ).

    • If you lived in Tulsa, I would let you borrow my iPad…

    • Yes, we dinosaurs still waiting for the paper version will just have to wait that little longer until we can read it. Huddled beside the flickering light of our single tallow candle, no doubt 🙂

  3. Is kindle format the only available format??

  4. Just paid for the book at Fictionwise, but it says it is not available for download at this time because the publisher hasn’t released it yet. 🙁

    • So, is only the Kindle format available right now? I found Fictionwise (owned by B&N, I think) via the publisher’s website, but I still can’t download the book…

    • A quick update: Fictionwise emailed me and said that their “supplier” (Waterbrook?) told them that the book wouldn’t be available ’till June 15 so I guess you can only download now from B&N and Amazon? Anyone downloaded from anywhere else?

  5. David Cornwell says

    It can be read on the Barnes & Noble Nook. It can also be read with a free Barnes & Noble Desktop Reader available from their site. This can be used on laptops or desktop computers. And it works quite well. They also have free readers for iPad, iPhone iPod Touch, Blackberry and Mac. The download link for the PC is

    The PC reader has a nice screen size format. I have problems reading lengthly publications on a PC screen. The Nook isn’t backlit and has excellent readable print. And the AT&T 3G network connect is free. You also can connect by WiFi or sideload from your computer.

    The book is also available in ePub format at B&N.

    And — I’m really not working for B&N!

    • Yes, i tried B&N too, but they only accept US credit card (coz I’m here in the Philippines). Oh well, my sister said she can buy the pc and mobile version of it, which is a bit more expensive.

  6. Bought and read. This book is a true love offering. It’s difficult to say much more, other than that it’s exactly what needs to be said. I want to give this to every youth group kid and young adult I know who has checked out on the church, but knows that Jesus is out there somewhere.

  7. I have never fully resented not having an e-book reader as much as right now. I just can’t afford the ebook version of it anyway since I already bought the stone age format and it will be here in 2 weeks. Besides, that money will be better spent on “hard copies” for all my friends. 😛 Can hardly wait! (Jason you read fast)

  8. The book is, of course, vintage Michael Spencer. Much of it is applicable to the church in Europe, as well (we’re usually just a little way behind North America).

    I have just two beefs with it:

    1. Michael’s definition of Evangelicalism is overly broad, which is why he called himself a “post-evangelical.” My own definition of Evangelicalism doesn’t embrace the likes of the Houston motivational speaker or the health and wealth crowd on TBN, which instantly frees my Evangelicalism from a lot of the problems Michael adresses.

    2. Michael is a typical Evangelical in re-defining “religion” in purely negative terms and placing it over against “relationship”. In reality, “religion” is a neutral term referring to all of humankind’s ways of relating to the divine. For this reason, the Bible can speak of “true religion” and consider it something positive, and of course there’s a lot of “false religion”, “toxic religion”, “dead religion” as well. The irony is that Michael appreciated liturgy, and those who first coined the “religion vs relationship” ploy considered liturgy to be the ultimate expression of “religion”. To put it bluntly, this is like saying, “I don’t drink beer, I drink Bud,” or “I don’t drive a car, I drive a Porsche.”

    • Good assessment of Michael’s book–as we have come to know your comments will be. On point one, I would love to jetisen these motivational speakers from my definition of evangelicalism as well, but they are part of our e-landscape here in the States, like it or not. Thus, Michael’s inclusion of them in his use of the term.

      As for your second point, I can agree with you there. Religion should be seen as a neutral term. And, yes, many who deride the term point to liturgical churches as all religion and no relationship. Yet again, here in the States “religion,” whether we like it or not, is not a neutral term. But neither is it clearly definable.

      This is the difficulty of writing in our “the world is flat” era. What works for the States does not always translate well for readers in other parts of the globe.

      Thanks, Wolf Paul, for your insights. I would love to hear more of your impressions of the book.

    • David Cornwell says

      It seems to me the use of the term “evangelical” has evolved over a period of time. Back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the term mostly referred to the theologians who started writing about conservative theology in a different way. They were in fact separating themselves from Fundamentalism. It was represented by scholars such as Carl Henry and schools like Fuller and Wheaton. “Christianity Today” was the periodical voice of the movement. Schools like Bob Jones looked at the movement with disdain. “Christianity Today,” if I remember correctly was ad free in those days and on not the best paper. The movement was a minority in many ways but was seen as a new voice to be reckoned with.

      Then as time moved forward, the culture wars began in earnest. About the time of the Carter presidency evangelicals began to feel that they were gaining in political clout. And the media started calling fundamentalists “Evangelicals.” Thus, over time, the term included more groups, churches, schools, and preachers (regardless of their education or lack thereof). In other words the term became diluted and over time lost much of its positive meaning. Personalities and churches wedded themselves to a certain a political outlook so long as the politicians subscribed to the jargon.

      This, of course, is just my condensed subjective opinion, explaining mostly to myself what happened.

      I purchased the book yesterday eve and have read the introduction so far. I have another book I need to finish before reading this one in earnest.

    • D. G. Hart has rightly, IMO, critiqued/criticized the term “Evangelicalism” (and hence “Evangelical”) in his book Deconstructing Evangelicalism:

      Read the Readers’ reviews to get an idea of Hart’s argument/thesis.

  9. Clay Knick says

    I’m on chapter four, reading from my Kindle. Sure makes me miss Michael and makes me appreciate him all the more.

  10. Savannah says

    I was very pleasantly surprised this morning, as I finished the last chapter of Bill Bryson’s “In A Sunburned Country” on my Kindle2, flipped back to my home page, and there was Michael’s book downloaded and waiting for me (I had pre-ordered it some weeks ago)! I only had time to get through the Diary Queen situation and a few pages after that, but I see that it is going to be challenging and thought-provoking, and will speak to post-evangelicals like me who have largely left “organized evangelicalism”, not because I wanted to, but because the choices locally are so limited.

    It also made me very sad for a moment or two, as the writing is quintessential Michael and reminded me of how much I miss him.

  11. Jonathan M says

    I am on chapter 4 right now and I am so far both inspired and pushed in ways I did not think I would be. Michael Spencer did a great job on showing his reader’s what he needed to show them. This book is a must read. I have even read parts of it to my son (3) and he is enjoying it almost as much as me. I am glad I recently got out of the Stone Age.

  12. I was contemplating buying the ebook version so I don’t have to wait 2 weeks for my paperbacks, but when I clicked the link, the ebooks cost more than the hard copy? Anyone know why that is? I think I’ll just wait for the pre-ordered copies then. I ordered 3, so I’ll read them at the same time (reading at triple speed to make up for waiting two weeks!).

  13. I’m on the Amtrak Southwestern Chief somewhere in northern New Mexico, thrilled that I can finally start reading Michael’s book! I’ve just started Part III and it’s a fascinating read so far – not to mention quite challenging. No matter where you are as a Christian (and even if you’re not one at all) you will find a lot of food for thought here.

  14. Great so far—I’m about 40% through it. Just the introduction alone was very powerful and I could relate bigtime. I had not been around here at IM long enough to fully gather what was meant by “Jesus-shaped spirituality” (it’s a somewhat vague term in and of itself), so I’m very glad that the book starts getting into the details.

    • Have now finished. It was definitely worth the time reading. I plan to either order some more copies to give as gifts or at least pass on links to amazon to some people I know that would likely find it meaningful.

  15. I am about to start reading the book tonight (in paperback). I will post a review on The Master’s Table when I’ve finished. Definitely looking forward to it.

  16. Kenny Johnson says

    Just got my shipping notice from I should see my paperback soon. 🙂

  17. Just got mine in the mail today! One of the many things that impressed me about Michael is that, despite his huge readership, he personally responded to my E-mail. Although I never met him, I miss him. I am really looking forward to digging into the book.