Ode to Michael Spencer

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This article of mine originally appeared on Internet Monk last week.

It was the summer of 2008. I was winding down my ministry work in the U.S., all in preparation for our move to Brussels, Belgium, to pastor a small, international church. It was also at this point that I took up the practice of blogging. I’ve always wanted to be a writer of some sort, and blogging seemed to be the thing for the 21st century. So I started my own meager blog and, subsequently, went looking for other blogs that I could enjoy and with which I could interact.

Not too long into my exploration of the blogosphere, I came across the site of this preacher guy known as the Internet Monk. His name was Michael Spencer and his contributions began to pique my interest. At the time, I was somewhat of a reformed-Calvinist, charismatic who viewed the arena of systematics as the highest level of theological engagement. And while some of the other blogs I frequented fell into the precise and tidy parameters of Grudem-esque systematic theology (especially that of the reformed-Calvinist camp), this Internet Monk guy was a bit different. He wasn’t so nice and orderly. He was like John the Baptist making that well-known call of: Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. I also began noting the sub-heading of his blog: Dispatches from the Post-Evangelical Wilderness.

Intriguing, to say the least. But I was regularly drawn in. Continue reading

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Reconsider Jesus

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Just a reminder that we continue to post weekly excerpts from the book that Michael Bell and myself are editing. We have compiled about 1000 pages of writings, teachings, sermons and studies from the iMonk, Michael Spencer, who unfortunately passed away in April 2010 due to cancer. This will be Spencer’s second book and the working title is Reconsider Jesus: A fresh look at Jesus through the Gospel of Mark. These excerpts are posted every Friday at Internet Monk. Continue reading

Reconsider Jesus: A Fresh Look at Jesus from the Gospel of Mark

michaelspencer

A team of us are currently working on a forthcoming book entitled, Reconsider Jesus: A Fresh Look at Jesus from the Gospel of Mark. It’s pulling together the myriad of written and audio teachings of the Internet Monk, Michael Spencer. Unfortunately, Michael passed away in April 2010 due to cancer. His passing came right before the release of his first book, Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality. For a taster, you can check out my review.

As a shepherd-teacher, one of Michael Spencer’s passions and life-projects consisted of in-depth teaching on the life of Jesus as seen through the Gospel of Mark.

And, so, this current team – Mike Bell, Denise Spencer (wife of Michael), Jeff Dunn (part of the team now heading up Internet Monk), the Internet Monk community, and myself – have pulled together Michael’s Bible studies, sermons, teachings, and blog posts (and maybe even little scribbles on napkins) to produce a devotional commentary on the Gospel of Mark. We’ve got about 1000 pages of material to work through.

Over at the Internet Monk blog, we will be giving a weekly ‘sneak peak’ of some excerpts from the book. The first of such went live today – check it out the full post here.

But here is a short taster: Continue reading