iMonk Radio: Podcast #106

In this episode, Michael plugs The Theology Program from Reclaiming the Mind Ministries. If you are familiar with Credo House Ministries or the Parchment and Pen blog then you will recognize the name C. Michael Patton. He does all those things and more and is not hard to find online. Michael then responds to “Why all the Lutheran stuff?” The short answer has to do with getting the Gospel right. Then a segue into a discussion of The White Horse Inn which leads to the thrust of this podcast episode which is the post-evangelical experience. Is post-evangelicalism focused on individualism? Does post-evangelicalism work in a church based setting or will always look like one vs. the world?

iMonk Radio: Podcast #105

Each podcast will mention a few brief items in the opening minutes then focus on a topic for the bulk of the session. In this episode Michael introduces some new (at the time) music, talks about his daughter moving back to Oneida to teach and discusses the difference between religion and the gospel based on Tim Keller. Then he gets into what to look for in a church if you are on the same post-evangelical journey that he was on. Michael Spencer adored worship, when done correctly, just not worship of the institutions.

Satur-deja Vu

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Last week we speculated on the possibility of having two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. While that historic event did not occur, Hurricane Laura became one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall in the United States. Laura was a strong category 4 hurricane, almost a cat 5. Katrina, for comparison, was only a 3. Pray for everyone that has been and continues to be affected by this storm. It will soon be time to put our differences aside and go be the body of Christ. So far the pandemic has not stopped people from being generous with their time and financial resources. That fact is at least encouraging. Continue reading

Who is Van Til?

Van Til most often appears as the author of Happy Monday. He was introduced in 2014 as the editor of The Master’s Table. HIs bio suggests he is a golden retriever, possibly a blond lab, with a Master’s degree in English. I may or may not have mentioned that Van Til is a figment of my imagination. The reason I bring it up now is that we have started re-posting episodes of the Internet Monk Radio podcast. Sooner or later you may hear Michael Spencer reference Van Til. The idea that Van Til works in my employ is a tribute to my late mentor who referenced a dog named Van Til that served as engineer of his radio program. Before he was a figment of my imagination he was a figment of his imagination. Continue reading

Satur-deja Vu

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Hostess Iced Latte is a real product btw, not a clever parody. They come in Ding Dongs, Twinkies, Honey Bun and sno balls flavors. Brought to you by 2020, the gift that keeps on giving.

Here are some other headlines, memes and true stories you may or may not have seen this week. Welcome to the Satur(day) Deja Vu. Continue reading

Introduction to iMonk Radio Series

I met Michael Spencer in 2003, a few months before Teresa and I moved to Kentucky. I had the opportunity to sit in on his Bible class as part of our campus tour before committing to full time ministry at a private Christian boarding school. I was aware of his blog Internet Monk and looked at the Boar’s Head Tavern every now and then but I did not begin blogging myself until after the launch of Internet Monk Radio. Continue reading

Michael Spencer: Timeless Words of Wisdom

michael spencerAs a new school year began in August of 2009, all of us were feeling the effects of the “Great Recession” after the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008. If you lived and worked at a small private boarding school, which relied on a combination of donations, volunteers and tuition payments to survive, then you had good cause for legitimate concern.

Facebook has a feature (inspired by Time Hop) that reminds users of posts and pictures from previous years on a particular date. On this date in 2009, Michael Spencer sent a note of encouragement to his friends and coworkers. Continue reading

Remembering Internet Monk

Screenshot 2015-04-08 at 7.40.37 PMThe Internet Monk website is alive and well thanks to the efforts of Mike Mercer and some other talented individuals. This week marks 5 years since the passing of the original Internet Monk Michael Spencer. Whether your in the fan club camp or have no idea who I’m talking about, check out this collection of Michael Spencer quotes from the iMonk archives. If you still want some more, check out Internet Monk every Sunday for a series of “Sundays with Michael Spencer.” Continue reading

More Alike Than Different

apostles_creedIf your neighborhood is anything like mine, there is a church on every corner. The population of the county I live in is a little less than 56,000 and I would not be surprised if there were 150 churches. Without getting into church splits and all the baggage that entails, let’s ask this question instead: Are there really that many theological and doctrinal issues that divide us? While there are some real distinctives, such as between Protestants and Catholics, the truth is most Christians are more alike than we are different. To define the differences between Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians we really have to get kind of nit-picky. The basic tenants of the Christian faith – in other words the things that really matter – are shared by all Christians everywhere.

Please read this post from the original Internet Monk. The discussions and debates can be a distraction to those of us inside the church and a stumbling block to those on the outside, but at the end of the day we are more alike than we are different.

What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:12-13

Men’s Morning with God

I met Michael Spencer in 2003 when my wife and I visited the ministry he was a part of.  After joining that ministry, I was introduced to an early morning small group, Men’s Morning with God.  The poster said “bring your Bible and coffee.”  I’m a big fan of both of those things.  We met twice a week at 7 a.m. studying the scripture and praying before work.  I have been involved with other small groups before and since, but I stayed with that particular group for the duration of our ministry in Kentucky.

I thought that particular situation was unique.  There were about 150 people all living within a few miles of each other, ministering together, and all beginning the work day at basically the same time.  Still, our men’s group was never more than 10 or 12 (and sometimes just Michael and I).  I have been blessed to find an early morning men’s group once again.  This morning there were 5 of us.  From different churches, different vocations and with different schedules, this is a group of men that meet at 6 a.m. to read, discuss and pray.  One of those men was a friend of my dad, and one of my teachers back in the day.  Another member of the group went to high school with my brother.  You gotta love small towns.

And I love finding a group of men willing to be up and dressed before they have to be, in order to pray with and for each other.