Monday with Michael Spencer: On evangelicals and Dr. King

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2020 This is from a piece Michael Spencer wrote in 2007, in which he complained that the day was not being celebrated well. One of his issues had to do with the attitude of the (white) evangelical church toward Dr. King. • • • I don’t like the ambiguity ofContinue reading “Monday with Michael Spencer: On evangelicals and Dr. King”

Monday with Michael Spencer: Letting Some Air Out of the Reformation Day Balloon

Note from CM: Should be an interesting week. We just got back from Italy and I’ve been immersing myself in Franciscan ways. This Sunday, Reformation Sunday, will be my first week back in the pulpit at my ELCA Lutheran congregation for the rest of the fall, winter, and spring until Easter. We have invited CatholicContinue reading “Monday with Michael Spencer: Letting Some Air Out of the Reformation Day Balloon”

Another Look: Chasing Francis

Another Look: Chasing Francis Francis was a Catholic, an evangelical street preacher, a radical social activist, a contemplative who devoted hours to prayer, a mystic who had direct encounters with God, and someone who worshiped with all the enthusiasm and spontaneity of a Pentecostal. He was a wonderful integration of all the theological streams weContinue reading “Another Look: Chasing Francis”

Monday with Michael Spencer: How We Sound to Those Who Don’t Believe

Note from CM: This is a really old Michael Spencer reflection, but one with which I identify more and more each day. It talks about the kind of craziness that is simply taken for granted in religious subcultures (in this case, the world of Christian evangelicalism/fundamentalism). Many have lived in this bubble for so longContinue reading “Monday with Michael Spencer: How We Sound to Those Who Don’t Believe”

Wednesday with Michael Spencer: What’s Growing in the Shadow of Anger?

Wednesday with Michael Spencer What’s Growing in the Shadow of Anger? Sometimes someone else’s sins become the light of seeing our own. Several years ago I was working with a particularly difficult young church staff member. His pattern was to do everything his way, and when negative consequences arrived, to be completely defensive. Insight intoContinue reading “Wednesday with Michael Spencer: What’s Growing in the Shadow of Anger?”

Wednesday with Michael Spencer: Thoughts on Weekly Communion

Wednesday with Michael Spencer Thoughts on Weekly Communion (2008) In June of last year, I began taking the Lord’s Supper weekly. I’d like to write about what this has meant to me, and to the community of worshiping Christians that I lead. My Southern Baptist tradition has been de-emphasizing the Lord’s Supper for a goodContinue reading “Wednesday with Michael Spencer: Thoughts on Weekly Communion”

Wednesday with Michael Spencer: Shopping the Whole Mall

Wednesday with Michael Spencer Shopping the Whole Mall (2007) It started innocently enough. His name was Tim, and he was a Christian at my high school. There weren’t many of us, and we made friends despite those denominational differences that were supposed to matter so much. Tim invited me to a charismatic prayer meeting atContinue reading “Wednesday with Michael Spencer: Shopping the Whole Mall”

Wednesday with Michael Spencer: My Problem with Prayer

Wednesday with Michael Spencer My Problem with Prayer Ok. I have this problem with prayer. I’m not sure it’s a problem with prayer as much as it’s a problem with prayer as it is practiced in the revivalistic tradition that dominates much of my side of evangelicalism. How can I describe that tradition? It’s aContinue reading “Wednesday with Michael Spencer: My Problem with Prayer”

Monday with Michael Spencer: Letters from Santa

Monday with Michael Spencer Letters from Santa (from 2006) Several years ago, we began another tradition that has proven to be one of the highlights of Christmas for us: the reading of the unedited, uncorrected “Letters to Santa” printed in our local newspaper. The authors are local 2nd graders, and these letters, read dramatically, areContinue reading “Monday with Michael Spencer: Letters from Santa”

Monday with Michael Spencer: Where’s Jesus?

Monday with Michael Spencer From Where’s Jesus?: Thoughts on a Localized Christ Answering the question “Where can you get your Jesus?” is very important. Many of the divisions among Christians are actually a commentary on the relationship of the person of Jesus to various means of “accessing” or “localizing” Jesus. In other words, the questionContinue reading “Monday with Michael Spencer: Where’s Jesus?”