Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Michael Spencer, aka Internet Monk, 1956-2010

Michael Spencer, aka the Internet Monk, has passed away. I'm over a day late in hearing the news as yesterday was a busy day with no internet surfing. I never met Michael, though he's one for whom I would have made the attempt if I were travelling to or near Kentucky. Michael had one of the top read Christian sites on the internet. He was brutally honest about his ideas and feelings about many topics, and wasn't hesitant in the least about stirring the pot that contained the evangelical status quo. He was always an advocate for the marginalized within Christianity; the misunderstood, the neglected, the smoldering wick, the bruised reed.

My journey with him started several years ago as I stumbled across his blog. He was linked to by a few others that I read. At first, I only checked him out occasionally, and often didn't know how to think about him. Some things resonated with me, others were a turn off. Somehow, my connections to his blog from others' links increased, and I became a regular reader.

Not too long afterward, I started commenting on his blog. His comment sections were alive with a cross section of views and opinions. Much sparring and many threads started, Michael often being the one who stirred the comment pot. What I noticed about my comments is that they were rarely replied to by others, and almost never by Michael himself. I felt like a "comment failure" there.

But then one day about a year ago, completely out of the blue, I received an email from Michael. He said he had been reading my work for a while and was a fan of mine. He invited me to submit, if I wished, occasionally to his blog, and he would publish it. He wanted me to have a wider audience, thought I was a good writer, and thought we were on the same page about much of evangelicalism. I created an intro post which he published, but personal issues kept me from putting the finishing touches on a second one. A few months later, Michael was diagnosed with cancer. Then only a few [much too] short months later, he was gone.

Sympathies and prayers to his wife Denise, and his family. I'm hoping in the future to glean from his blog's archives, and I'm certainly planning on getting Michael's soon to be released book, Mere Churchianity. Getting his book would also include reading it and blogging about it. May God rest Michael's soul.


  1. I was saddened by the news - I had only started reading him like a month ago.

    Is his book out yet?

  2. Now I remember where the link to you site was found, Monk being an oasis I have visited for about 8 years. Your remark in the guest post about comments seemingly ignored by others "hit home" with me, but I have learned along the way that if one's talk leans, in any manner, toward Pentecostal views, people seem to lump you in there with either all the charismatic nonsense that has blown in along the way or the legalism that was there in the beginning. I take no offense. As in all things, it takes God to accomplish anything. Michael's death saddens me greatly. He will be missed. I also intend to purchase the book, but it looks like the site will survive and his legacy continue. I'm thankful for the meal it provides and the table I've found spread here.