1,000 words.

mjkimpan  —  September 13, 2012 — 33 Comments


a picture is worth a thousand words.

so rather than write a bunch, i’d like to paint a picture, loaning words that are not mine, but certainly could be ::

I’m deep into this thing we call Christianity. I also hope in the process that I’ve grown deeper into the simple way of Jesus, knowing that the two (Christianity and the way of Jesus) may or may not go together.

Continue Reading…

basics :: essentials.

mjkimpan  —  September 12, 2012 — 165 Comments


in the past several days, we’ve introduced our basics series at the WayWard follower. the stated purpose has been to articulate for my readers where i stand on certain theological tenet, declaring a ‘water-line’ of sorts for future conversations.

in the last two posts, we’ve paved the way for better understanding our history as 21st century christians, specified here and here.

and now we’re getting into the good stuff.

Continue Reading…

basics :: some (more) history.

mjkimpan  —  September 11, 2012 — 24 Comments

today’s post is a follow up to this one, and part of our basics series. the purpose is to articulate for my readers where i stand on certain theological tenants, declaring a sort of ‘water-line’ for future conversations here at the WayWard follower.

it’s nearly time to explore some theological non-negotiables, but before doing so we need to understand how we got here in the first place. as we saw yesterday,

every theological statement is a response
to a perceived theological threat.

in the first part of this post, i concluded that as a result of the adoption of nicene christianity as the official religion of the roman empire in the 4th century, religious responsibility became synonymous with political power as the lines between building God’s kingdom of a new way and expanding power and influence of the roman empire muddied.

additionally, worship in the church began to be increasingly influenced by imperial protocol. Continue Reading…

basics :: some history.

mjkimpan  —  September 10, 2012 — 24 Comments


this post is a continuation of our basics series in which i seek to articulate for my readers where i stand on some of the more basic theological tenants. as stated in the introduction, my intent is to develop a sort of ‘water-line’ for future conversations here the WayWard follower, particularly as it relates to my current understanding of the orthodox tenants of my christian faith. after laying out some core commitments and convictions in this conversation, it’s nearly time to explore some theological non-negotiables.

but how i got here is important. history is important.

every theological statement is a response
to a perceived theological threat.

Continue Reading…

basics :: some commitments.

mjkimpan  —  September 7, 2012 — 35 Comments


this post is a continuation of our basics series in which i seek to articulate for my readers where i stand on some of the more basic theological tenants. as stated in my post yesterday, my intent is to develop a sort of ‘water-line’ for future conversations here the WayWard follower, particularly as it relates to my current understanding of the orthodox tenants of my christian faith.

but before i put myself in the theological hot seat, i want to share three fundamental commitments which have helped shape my doctrinal perspective. although i recognize the importance of theology and doctrine, i am increasingly made more acutely aware of the importance of certain commitments and convictions in how i view the world and my role in it as an ambassador of reconciliation.

for that purpose, and in the spirit of the apostle paul’s discourse on the primary position of love combined with my core conviction that without a commitment to others our faith is just a noisy imitation and its value is reduced to nothing, i begin with the following commitments of a way of being, informed by scripture and the combined wisdom of more mature believers than myself :: Continue Reading…

basics :: an introduction.

mjkimpan  —  September 6, 2012 — 17 Comments


the term ‘water-line’ refers to the line where the hull of a ship meets the sea. on any sea going vessel, messing with something below the water-line – drilling holes beneath the surface – will sink the ship when it’s submerged.  anything above that surface is fair game.

so where’s my personal, theological water-line?

in the past i’ve labeled myself a bit of a biblical heretic.

i’ve more recently encouraged some theologically ‘edgy’ conversations :: from challenging a traditional notion of the gospel to asking controversial questions about hot topics like hell. i’ve re-told tired gospel stories from a fresh perspective and encouraged the reading of some controversial books. i’ve quoted left-leaning thinkers like chris seay, tony jones and brian mclaren, and have allowed many of their thoughts to shape my own in my quest for a more incarnational christianity.

i’m even (quite happily) spending two days with evangelical black sheep rob bell next month.

i’ve written a great deal about homosexuality in an effort to bridge the gap between gays and the church and am desperate to move my dear conservative friends to engage in that dialogue with a more moderate posture and tone.

but lest i be labeled a flaming liberal, i thought it important to let my readers know where i stand on some of the more basic theological tenants.

thus this new series of blog posts, entitled :: basics.

my intent is to develop a sort of ‘water-line’ for future conversations here at the WayWard follower, particularly as it relates to my current understanding of the orthodox tenants of my christian faith.

my desire is to be honest, authentic and self-critical – not presenting myself as one with ‘all the answers,’ but rather as a WayWard follower or pilgrim, seeking after truth in the midst of discussions seasoned with diverse views and perspectives. Continue Reading…

coexist.

mjkimpan  —  September 5, 2012 — 26 Comments


i picked up a book with the intent of reading it weeks from now – but after cracking it open a day ago, i can’t seem to put it down.

the ever controversial, often misunderstood and always intriguing brian mclaren brings what could possibly be his most important work to the table of inter-faith dialogue, exposing and challenging the religious hostility that is so often present in today’s christianity and yet unwanted by an increasing number within that faith community.

why did jesus, moses, the buddha, and mohammed cross the road? :: christian identity in a multi-faith world
by brian d. mclaren

imagine four of history’s greatest religious leaders…not fighting, not arguing, not damning and condemning one another, not launching crusades or jihads, but walking together, moving together, leading together. quite a sight in our mind’s eye.

mclaren courageously asks the questions that have been at the forefront of many of my own conversations in the context of inter-faith dialogue – noticing how our religion has, over its first two thousand years of existence, ‘spent too little energy making peace and too much erecting and perfecting walls of separation, suspicion and hostility.

in the bible we read much about love, but in the various christian subcultures in which i’ve both participated and observed, i continually encounter fear, superiority and hostility of the Other – ‘other’ defined, by mclaren, as anyone who is considered to be an outsider, ‘not one of us,’ belonging to a differing group, gender, orientation, party, community, religion, race, culture or creed. Continue Reading…

imago dei.

mjkimpan  —  September 4, 2012 — 34 Comments

the Man and the Woman carried the imago dei.

the poetic imagery in the genesis narrative brings out their attributes – characteristics not only of the creation but of their Creator.

relational. beautiful. unafraid and unashamed. unhindered. unstained. uncovered.

the pair was complete and lived in harmony with all creation, strolling at an unhurried pace in the cool of the day with their Maker, a reflection of his image. naked.

arumin, in hebrew.

but then, the serpent. Continue Reading…

gay TV

mjkimpan  —  August 31, 2012 — 51 Comments


a few weeks ago, a story broke on dailykos.com that captured my attention and wouldn’t let go. like a mental bear trap. or a pitbull. or an alligator.

something dangerous.

apparently, louis sheldon of the ‘Traditional Values Coalition’ has written a post entitled, The Plan for a Gay (Domi) Nation which lamented that young evangelical christians have become more open to gay rights (which is documented in recent polls here here and here as well as elsewhere).

he further said that the ‘gaying of the united states‘ is evidenced by tv shows that are designed to ‘desensitze americans to the genuine risks of the homosexual agenda‘ by portraying gay people as ‘witty, clever, lovable and just a little quirky.’

read that last sentence again.

so – portraying gay people as lovable is actually a secret gay conspiracy controlling hollywood? some sort of ‘homosexual agenda’ meant for the domination of our beloved once-christian-but-now-the-gays-are-taking-over country?

Continue Reading…

mercy.

mjkimpan  —  August 30, 2012 — 22 Comments


dave matthews and his band came out with another winner.

as i watched the music video and listened to the lyrics, the question occurred to me ::

what would it look like if the church lived like this? Continue Reading…