Archives For bible

beast mode.

mjkimpan  —  September 25, 2016 — Leave a comment


i love it when brian mclaren gets like this – he’s in total beast mode – most recently laying down his top 10 reasons he’s had to part company with what he dubs the Conservative Evangelical Project (if that doesn’t your interest, then what if i told you they include donald trump and katy perry – interested now?).

upon the release of his new book The Great Spiritual Migration, his national book tour is making national news – again, and again, and even received commendation from malcom gladwell.

welcome back from sabbatical, brian.

Continue Reading…

good news.

mjkimpan  —  September 7, 2016 — 2 Comments


good news, everybody!

the good news is… you’re good.

and it gets even better – despite what you may have heard – rumors; word on the street; popular belief; folklore…whatever ::

God is for us. all of us.

it seems as we approach Scripture withIn our own faith traditions and narratives, we far too often fall into the trap of staying stuck in a primitive and archaic understanding of who God is.

we build our beliefs on the backs of the beliefs of our tribal ancestors, rather than allowing the bigness and goodness of God to grow and mature and expand within (and even beyond) the story of the man jesus – who in the incarnation gave us an example of what God would act like if he were to appear in the flesh… and then told us we could do better.  Continue Reading…


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.


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.

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mjkimpan  —  July 15, 2015 — 4 Comments


this one is a little link happy.

over the past weekend i was honored to attend and participate in the Wild Goose Festival along with a number of my friends. as is tradition, there were multiple conversations had and relationships established with folks i’d previously not had the privilege of meeting.

a number of these conversations began with simple questions and quickly evolved into more sophisticated discussions. most of these revolved around the life, teachings and example of jesus – and how those of us whom identify as christ-followers can best take our cues from the gospel narratives and apply a christ-centered response in our current culture.

i found myself repeating stories from the scriptures on which i’ve taught or spoken or written – causing me to consider a type of FAQ format for conversations – particularly those on the interpretation of what is so often called ‘good news.’ Continue Reading…

life after SCOTUS.

mjkimpan  —  June 28, 2015 — 6 Comments


leading up to – and in the immediate wake of – the SCOTUS decision in support of marriage equality in all 50 states, a number of religious and faith community leaders contacted me asking, ‘how should we respond?’ the majority of these requests came from pastors and churches who are currently unable to support same sex relationships, based on their conservative biblical interpretation and theological perspective – yet almost all recognize that their religious communities have historically not been very welcoming to the LGBTQ community.

they also realize, along with many others, that the journey of faith is a matter of being willing and open to having a relationship with God – and that each and every person is welcome under the banner of the unconditional love and radical hospitality of jesus christ.

this tension in which many religious folks live is a real one – and  has been heightened by the culture war rhetoric reaching an almost fever pitch in the anticipation and aftermath of this weekend’s ruling.
Continue Reading…


it’s been a long while since i’ve heard a ‘church song’ that deeply resonates with the just and generous version of my faith i’m growing into.

as a former music pastor, i’m all too familiar with the lack of depth in our praise choruses, as well as astutely aware of the sometimes harmful theological themes undergirding much of today’s (and yesterday’s!) popular christian worship music. even some of the great hymns hold onto a systematic form of the faith, creating formulas of if/then that fell apart under the weight of the reality of living life.

ideas like the prosperity gospel or the primary place of penal substitutionary theory of atonement; battle-cries of us/them mixed with a strong dose of in/out dynamics; each underpinned with our seeming unworthiness before God expressed with an intensified repetition mirroring the self-deprecating speech practiced by the prodigal son prior to being gently corrected by his father in luke 15; the insistence on crafting a simplistic version of the gospel story and indeed, the story of humanity in a theology that could be summarized on a napkin.

but then last week, i heard a few songs written and performed by a new friend, david lunsford from eastlake community church. Continue Reading…


mjkimpan  —  March 17, 2015 — Leave a comment


this week, i’ve got the tremendous opportunity to plot and conspire goodness with some old and new friends at an event in marco island, florida – hosted by grace and brian mclaren.

the purpose of our gathering is for a group of initiators of a movement to gather together connecting people and organizations to solve great problems and participate in new opportunities – especially to heal the human spirit, to foster abundant life in community, to seek the common good, and to promote responsible living with the earth.

we readily acknowledge that growing numbers of christian leaders from many traditions – traditional protestant, progressive catholic, progressive evangelicals, and others – are coming to shared convictions that are both radical and exciting ::

• the future of the church will not simply be a replication of the past, and
• it is time for vital, new expressions of just and generous christian faith to emerge

many have often felt marginalized and alone in these convictions; yet when we voice them, we all too quickly discover that we are not alone. many others resonate with the restlessness we feel, and speak of… Continue Reading…


mjkimpan  —  March 2, 2015 — 6 Comments



over the past few days, i’ve been in pasadena participating in the Level Ground film festival with friends and colleagues who desire to create safe and sacred spaces in conversations surrounding faith, gender and sexuality across a variety of theological perspectives.

the mission statement of Level Ground is similar to that of The Marin Foundation, with a specific focus on art and film ::

Level Ground uses art to create safe space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality. Our hope is to cultivate a better way of speaking with one another across our differences and disagreements. Level Ground is becoming a national innovator in film festival programming, art curation, and dialogue.

the name Level Ground comes from a prophecy in the book of isaiah. the name embodies a space where we descend from our mountains and climb out of the valleys to meet one another on sacred – though likely uncomfortable – level ground.

one person doing similar work in her specific context is my canadian friend wendy gritter. she and i spent some good time together this week, discussing both the rewards and challenges of being leaders in these spaces. as we ‘talked shop,’ our  tête-à-tête drifted into some of the less-than-flattering names we’ve each been called – and how we each have at times had a tendency to preemptively label ourselves as heretics in an effort of self-protection. Continue Reading…

top ten in 2014.

mjkimpan  —  February 25, 2015 — Leave a comment


each year on the blog, i’ve published a list of the previous years’ most popular posts. this year, however – the opportunity to do so escaped my attention.

until now.

better late than never, i guess… so here’s a list of the top ten posts at the WayWard follower from 2014 :: Continue Reading…

what the heck?!?!

mjkimpan  —  February 22, 2015 — 22 Comments


today after we wrapped up our Culture War Curriculum class in chicago, i was to be hopping on a train and heading to Indiana Wesleyan University to speak in their chapel service tomorrow on building bridges between conservatives and LGBTQ students on their campus.

when IWU alumni pete heck, who is billed as a conservative christian commentator on social and political issues on his radio show (The Pete Heck Show) caught wind of The Marin Foundation being represented on the campus of his alma mater, his team reached out to us and asked if i’d provide him with ‘a phone interview.’

so, of course, i did.

the phone interview went well – although pete was a bit more aggressively antagonistic than any previous interview i’ve had with a radio personality – i felt he allowed me to respond to his questions with an explanation of The Marin Foundation’s philosophy, and listened to my biblical reasoning for our posture and position by reflecting on some examples of the life, teachings and actions of the jesus we both claim to follow.

we didn’t agree, at the end. but that’s not the point.

i was looking forward to listening to the interview once it went live on the air – as it does weekly – on the largest talk radio station in indiana. i was told that would be today.

this morning, i saw pete had tweeted ::

Continue Reading…