We just received the very sad news that our friend and inspiration Michael Spencer, also known as The Internet Monk, died yesterday at his home in Oneida, KY. Please say a prayer for his family.

As a writer and thinker, Michael pioneered the Gospel-centered ecumenism that we shamelessly try to imitate/emulate here. His site remains the model for anyone interested in an ‘online witness’ – perhaps the first (and certainly the greatest) example of a religious forum that managed to express a genuine point of view without succumbing to the stone-throwing and endless insider/outsider parsing of terminology that characterizes so much of the blogosphere. One that was/is utterly accessible, deeply insightful, always engaging and never patronizing or condescending about other perspectives. He brought Christians together in the most positive way, and provided a bridge for those who would no longer consider themselves such. Michael understood the Gospel as Good News, and it was infectious. Even when he went on the occasional rant, he exuded warmth and brilliance. And when he graciously conducted an interview with me last year, it was a serious encouragement, both professionally and personally. This is a major loss. I only wish I had gotten to meet him face to face.

To (re-)read his seminal piece on the future of Evangelicalism that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor last year, click here.

We encourage you to pre-order his long-awaited book, Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back To Jesus-Shaped Spirituality. We also encourage you to post links in the comments section to your favorite articles of his.