I've been typing and deleting and retyping and redeleting and rephrasing and dephrasing and unphrasing and rephrasing all over again for the past hour.
So I'm settling on something simple.
I admired Michael Spencer. Not for his message or his writing, though there's much good to say about both.
What I admired were his unsung achievements. He spent his ministry teaching English and pastoring young people in a private Christian school in Clay County, Kentucky, one of the poorest counties in the USA. By all accounts he worked for peanuts. By the end of his life, he no longer even had health insurance. He devoted his life to an impoverished community that offered very little materially in return - but then the dividends of a life in the service of others are far greater.
I first met Michael through Internet Monk, the online home of his writings. For a while (way back when) I was a member of the Boar's Head Tavern, the group blog he founded.
We parted ways theologically, and even had some personal clashes, but I never ceased to admire his character.
Michael had become increasingly sick from cancer over the past four months. He passed away on Monday, April 5, at the age of 53. He leaves behind his wife Denise, daughter Noel, 24, and son Clay, 21.
Read his full obituary here.