The Internet Monk Archives

The Internet Monk Archives

For twenty years, Michael Spencer, Chaplain Mike and a number of other writers described and discussed the post-evangelical life, seeking a Jesus-shaped spirituality.

Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer was the founder and primary writer of Internet Monk and author of Mere Churchianity. The title “Internet Monk” comes from his appreciation for Trappist monk and writer Thomas Merton.

He taught at an international Christian boarding school in southeastern Kentucky. He was a leading voice critiquing American evangelicalism, culminating in his articles “The Coming Evangelical Collapse.” His dream was to move to a little church near a pub with a minor league baseball park nearby, work with university students, and cook Italian food for the mob.

Michael died on April 5, 2010 after a brief battle with cancer.

Chaplain Mike

Chaplain Mike (CM) is a hospice chaplain in Indianapolis. A pastor since 1978, he served churches in Maryland, Vermont, Illinois, and Indiana before becoming a chaplain to those in the final season of life.

He was a reader/commenter on Internet Monk when Michael Spencer contacted him with concerns about how Christians deal with death and dying. When Michael himself became ill, he asked CM to take over as lead writer for IM after he died.

For ten years, CM and other gifted writers sought to keep the Internet Monk legacy of Jesus-shaped spirituality alive.

Essential IM posts for understanding the post-evangelical wilderness journey

  • Defining evangelicalism and post-evangelicalism
  • The coming evangelical collapse, part 1/part 2/part 3
  • The evangelical dilemma
  • Welcome to the mess
  • The church of what’s happenin’ now
  • It’s not you, it’s me
  • It’s the culture
  • What I saw at the revolution: Trading a heritage of worship music for a lukewarm bowl of CCM
  • How CCM sanitizes the wilderness
  • There is no narrow, pure stream
  • Why I’m not a culture-warrior
  • The great methodological heresy
  • Boot camp blather
  • Outside the camp
  • Square peg syndrome
  • Why I won’t be going to church Sunday
  • A shepherd’s ambiguous apologetic
  • A long pause from impermanence
  • My so-called evangelical life
  • The Second Turning: or how JT, a field of dreams, a marble tomb, and learning to do nothing saved my life
  • I know it’s not for everyone, but I’ve found an oasis in a mainline church
  • What Michael continues to teach me about the one holy, catholic, and apostolic church
  • Looking for an exit from the journey with Jesus

Best of Michael Spencer

  • The coming evangelical collapse I
  • The coming evangelical collapse II
  • The coming evangelical collapse III
  • Our problem with grace
  • The face of the gracious God
  • When I am weak: Why we must embrace our brokenness and never be good Christians
  • Wretched urgency: The grace of God or hamsters on a wheel?
  • On faith’s crumbling edge: Restoring the uprooted assurance of the ordinary Christian
  • The monk who wouldn’t go away
  • Thoughts on Merton’s “Walnut St. Epiphany”
  • The boat in the backyard: a father’s depression and a boy who finally understands
  • The boy at the beach and how I killed him
  • I have my doubts: The many reasons I don’t believe
  • Letters to Santa
  • Looking for an exit from the journey with Jesus
  • A conversation in God’s kitchen: How I’ve learned to understand the Bible
  • Magic books, grocery lists and silent messiahs: How rightly approaching the Bible shapes the entire Christian life
  • We thought he was such a nice boy—and then we found out he didn’t believe in inerrancy!
  • Answers not in Genesis
  • To be or not to be: Why I am not a young-earth creationist
  • Talk hard: the role of the critic in Christianity
  • On being too God-centered
  • A slow drive over the edge: An analysis of fanaticism among evangelical Christians
  • Dancing at the fundamentalist ball
  • On Christ-less preaching
  • I hate theology
  • My theology can beat up your theology
  • Letting some air out of the Reformation balloon
  • Why do they hate us?
  • I’m not a conservative Christian
  • The IM Annual Halloween Rant
  • The Great Pumpkin proposes a toast
  • What I saw at the revolution: Trading a heritage of worship music for a lukewarm bowl of CCM
  • The church of what’s happenin’ now
  • The Pope needs a business meeting
  • Who and what are forming you?
  • How my wife’s Catholicism has changed me for the better
  • Running wounded
  • Death: The road that must be traveled
  • There’s always a day before

Best of Chaplain Mike

  • Evangelicals and the pastoral care of the dying
  • Make the way by walking
  • George, Mildred, and the thin places
  • The font and the tiny casket
  • A journey…to wonder
  • The 2nd Turning: or how JT, a field of dreams, a marble tomb, and learning to do nothing saved my life
  • “I Am” and “I Practice” — An important distinction
  • How the Lutheran tradition answers many post-evangelical concerns
  • Church Year spirituality
  • The order of Christian worship
  • What I like about Lutheran baptism
  • It’s OK…to just be a Christian
  • The life God is in
  • No super-Christians
  • Wisdom and the fog
  • God hidden in a wondrous web
  • The contexts of faith
  • Paul’s disappointing approach to the Christian life
  • Life is the farm
  • The evangelical myth of “transformation”
  • I can’t get no…
  • If you are not afraid, you are not human
  • Depression, the Bible, and the perils of being too spiritual
  • Limping to the pulpit
  • Fear not, little flock
  • The business and the work
  • Our life and witness: Local, quiet, pastoral
  • Supernaturally natural
  • Drawn to the religionless
  • My view of Scripture (at this point)
  • Let them eat cake!
  • The purpose of the First Testament
  • It’s a wonderful gospel
  • Breviary on the Beatitudes
  • The NT Haustafeln (House-Tables)
  • More like fruit that grows than fire that falls
  • Time to leave behind the rapture
  • Why I am an “egalitarian”
  • The Disney-ization of faith
  • Sacramental from the beginning
  • Surd Evil, Serpents, and the Cosmic Battle
  • Fundamental mistakes in reading Genesis 1-2
  • Jesus as the new Adam
  • Adam & Eve: A failure of vocation
  • Why we need Holy Saturday
  • God’s scandalous patience
  • The Triduan shape of history
  • Our terrestrial hope