Michael Spencer, 1956-2010

I’m not exactly sure when I discovered the Internet Monk, aka Michael Spencer. I think it might’ve been back in 2007 with this piece concerning Joel Osteen’s appearance on 60 Minutes. In any case, I quickly became impressed by Spencer’s passion for God, the Church, and Christianity.

Sometimes, that meant he said some very hard things in a very direct manner (especially when it came to the “Prosperity Gospel”). But his writings were also thoughtful, gracious, and compassionate, and he encouraged discussion with ideas and people that many Christians might find challenging and troubling. And in an age, and a medium, where snarkiness and vitriol all too often pass for good argument, his writings were a relief… and a conviction.

There have been times where I’ve rewritten, or simply deleted altogether, an entry because it was becoming too snarky for its own good, or for the good of anyone who might read it. And some of that is, no doubt, the result of Spencer’s influence.

Sadly, Spencer was diagnosed with cancer last year, and though he underwent surgery to fight it, Spencer’s wife announced in early March that it was too late: his cancer was too advanced to be treated successfully. Michael Spencer died earlier tonight, surrounded by family. He will be sorely missed and the entire blogosphere is much poorer with his passing.

May God welcome him home with open arms and may He grant peace and comfort to his friends and family.

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