not every moment is beautiful and good, but there is good and beauty in every moment.

seek it, and you will find it.

then seek it out more.

hijab

 

today, my friend david gushee wrote an interesting and insightful article on the drama happening at Wheaton College – the esteemed evangelical academic institution which is making headlines as they continue the process of firing their first-ever tenured black female professor.

the reason?

first, dr. larycia hawkins wore a hijab – the traditional head covering worn by many muslim women. then, she was accused of violating its doctrinal statement because she wrote a Facebook post quoting pope francis which said that christians and muslims ‘worship the same God.’ hawkins told CNN the school offered her a ‘best case scenario’ to return to the college which ‘included two years of multi-layered, ongoing conversation about the theological implications of [her] Facebook post and [her] actions in wearing the hijab. For those two years, tenure would be revoked and restoration of tenure an open question at the conclusion of that period.’

in my opinion, standing in solidarity with muslims by saying they worship the same God as christians do is more of a historical than a theological statement – and it’s factual. YHVH God is, historically, the God of abraham. different interpretations (or, one could more accurately state evolutions of understanding) of that God are expressed through each of the abrahamic faiths – judaism, christianity… and islam.

for an evangelical academic institution to deny this is to show themselves either intellectually dishonest or intentionally ignorant of the history of our faith.

Continue Reading…

if the grace you extend comes with a ‘but’ at the end, it isn’t grace; it’s condemnation.

top 10 of 2015.

mjkimpan  —  December 31, 2015 — Leave a comment

top102015

 

since the beginning of this blog, i’ve posted an annual ‘best posts of the past year’ which was based on which ones had been shared the most via social media, or had the most comments (here’s the top ten of 2013 and 2014).

seeing as today is the even of a new year, that’s this post; however, instead of linking my most popular posts from 2015, i’ve chosen to link those i believe to be the most important.

so without further ado, here’s my top ten from 2015 (with a bit of a teaser from each of them) ::

Continue Reading…

seek to see and celebrate the beauty of the divine image in every person
you come into contact with.

nationalinsecurity

if you follow my facebook feed, you’ll know that leading up to this holiday season i spent some time defending my counter-cultural suggestion that since the jesus of the gospel narratives is quite clearly against killing people, folks who claim to follow him ought to be as well.

some folks disagreed.

though it’s not the first time an impassioned disagreement has taken place in my world, i was surprised that the most vitriolic – sometimes even violent – responses came not due to my previous suggestions that the gospel is far better news than what we learned in church; or that the family of God expands beyond the walls of religion; or even that accepting syrian refugees and muslim immigrants is a christ-followers’ ethical and moral responsibility; but the assertion that christians shouldn’t kill people.

ever.

i don’t say so lightly. such an assertion flies in the face of the faith and family in which i  was raised – and not just because we used to sing, ‘onward christian soldier, marching off to war…’ during children’s church.

for me, it started on the day i was born.

Continue Reading…

living as jesus lived and loving as he loved brings the kingdom of God here, and now.

blogUCG

the purpose of (un)common good collective is quite simple; we serve as a shared resource organization to provide services and fund the work of communities of faith (and those without), organizations and individuals within our growing circle of those seeking to build a better world.

we seek to develop strong partnerships with friends and partners around the country (and even around the world) who are working toward creating a more fair and equitable, just and generous world by giving our time, treasure and talent in a shared economy of goodness.

in more than two decades of doing non-profit and ministry related work, i’ve found the following to be true –

‘doing good’ is actually quite common.

there are countless people doing good in our world. it’s common. happens every damned day. what is historically uncommon, however, is intentional collaboration and the sharing of resources within these communities of do-gooders. many times perceived competition for donor dollars or platform, combined with a scarcity mindset limits the range and effectiveness of the work – and stifles our imagination of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.

Continue Reading…

to have possessions and to become possessed by them are two very different things.

bastardizing jesus.

mjkimpan  —  December 12, 2015 — Leave a comment

jesuskiller recently, the president of the largest evangelical christian university in the nation called on his students to carry concealed weapons on campus – presumably, to protect themselves from a terrorist attack. like his late father before him, jerry falwell, jr. made national headlines by making comments in the name of christ that are absurd as they are contrary to the teachings of the very jesus he claims to represent.

in the midst of those headlines, a number of my friends and co-conspirators for goodness in our world added their own thoughts to the fray. brian mclaren penned an open letter to jerry falwell, jr., students and faculty of liberty university on huffington post, rightly declaring,

Your message faithfully represents a longstanding (and ugly) stream of American culture and politics. This tradition goes back to those who argued against the equal human rights and dignity of the Native Peoples and African-American slaves, often abusing the Bible to justify white supremacy under its various guises.

shane claiborne spoke up saying,

It’s hard to imagine Jesus enrolling for the concealed weapons class at Liberty University. And it is even harder imagining Jesus approving of the words of Mr. Falwell as he openly threatens Muslims.

but not all my friends agree with one another.

Continue Reading…