Archives For creativity


mjkimpan  —  November 13, 2015 — 2 Comments


remember when i announced that i had a book dealthat was pretty exciting…and i worked diligently to produce a manuscript i hoped would accomplish a number of things.

the purpose of the book was to serve as a guide for pastors of conservative to moderate american evangelical churches – helping them navigate better the cultural conversations and practical implications in responding to questions at the intersection of faith, gender and sexuality. the publisher wanted pragmatic advice and ‘an expert opinion’ on ways in which churches could reduce the stigmatization of LGBTQ people in their rhetoric and practice while maintaining the ‘traditional view’ of marriage – a cultural construct to be sure, yet one which is held as sacred within many religious groups – that God’s intent for sex and marriage is between one man and one woman, for life.
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food for thought.

mjkimpan  —  May 21, 2015 — Leave a comment


on days that i can’t take the time to write a proper blog post (whatever that means), i’ll often ‘cheat’ and simply post a quote – but unfortunately, the ‘quote’ feature of a published post on WordPress (which i use on the backend of this site) doesn’t permit either comments or sharing as a feature.

so today, i’m cheating on both fronts – sharing a quote i suspect may be a thought-provoking conversation surrounding tribalism, exclusivity and the sacred – and the inherent limitations on the way we think about these things :: Continue Reading…


mjkimpan  —  April 28, 2015 — Leave a comment


some exciting changes taking place…

as most of my readers are aware, the past two years have enabled me to participate in some wonderful work as the executive director at The Marin Foundation. over that time i’ve been able to work with political leaders, pastors and culturally competent individuals to actively encourage and facilitate peaceful and productive dialogue at the intersection of faith, gender and sexuality. it has been a great honor to work toward reconciliation in spaces that are too often defined by polarized, back-and-forth, win/lose rhetoric.

while i still wholeheartedly support both the work and mission of The Marin Foundation – as well as its staff here in chicago – it has become apparent in recent months that it is time for me to move on and continue to expand that great work elsewhere, in addition to pursuing my passion surrounding inter-faith dialogue and the ever-unfolding story of God’s good news for all people.

in coming weeks i’ll be making official announcements regarding the new opportunities to promote a just and generous expression of the faith within various spaces, and i’m genuinely excited to do so. one organization i will be partnering with is Convergence and their efforts to work with progressive evangelicals – which you can learn more about here.

i will also be partnering with a number of other friends and organizations that are doing similar work, ranging from hyper-local community activism to global initiatives collaborating for the common good as we address concerns in the areas of peace, poverty and our planet. stay tuned here on my blog for more in coming weeks.

i’m grateful for the tremendous support my readers given to me and this important work, and for your continued friendship and engagement in thoughtful conversation with the purpose of inspiring intentional movement toward the Other. each of these ingredients are essential for the flourishing of what i believe to be the future of christianity – an expression of imitating the life, examples and teachings of the jesus we claim to follow.


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…

movies and meaning.

mjkimpan  —  January 30, 2015 — 4 Comments


there’s been much (too much!) talk recently about the film American Sniper.

after michael moore – liberal film director of  Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 – tweeted negative comments about the film claiming it’s inconsistent with the christian faith, Fox News correspondent todd starnes made the claim that,

“Jesus would be telling that God-fearing, red-blooded American sniper, ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant’ for dispatching another godless jihadist to the lake of fire.”

that is repulsive.

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last week, we continued our series on sacred cow tipping by acknowledging our culture’s addiction to answers. today’s post will grapple with the inherent exclusivity of church membership and how our application of this tradition not only hinders our ability to love the Other, but unintentionally creates and facilitates ann environment of stigmatization, ostracization and marginalization – eventually leading to the dehumanization and demonization of the Other.

next, we’ll explore the dangerous and innate hypocrisy of the subtle ‘hierarchy of sins’ which surprisingly allows room for ‘process’ on sins to which we’re most likely to succumb, and simultaneously an outright rejection of those we deem unlikely temptations.

finally, we’ll explore together new ways to invite and participate in community with those with whom we disagree in areas critical to our faith and core to our identity.

so then, the inherent exclusivity of church membership ::

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a continuation of the gospel according to dave matthews

preface :: in this series, i’m heavily relying upon the intuitiveness of our readers to shape the conversation; though i’ve got some (perhaps many?) thoughts and opinions about dave and his lyrics – and have been continually impressed over the years at the spiritual under/overtones of the band’s music – i’d prefer to allow folks to come to their own conclusions, and to drive the discussion.

so again, some questions to consider in each of the posts of this series :: Continue Reading…


critical to the history of christianity is the narrative of the birth of the christ-child, jesus of nazareth.

in an intellectually honest analysis, the life of jesus brings about a tremendous juxtaposition and even an apparent paradox between the way in which YHVH was understood by the writers of the hebrew scriptures and the authors of the christian new testament (and perhaps more critically, our interpretation of that understanding in its application for us as followers of the Way today)- most readily evident in the very person of jesus (his life, teachings and example), who consistently broke both cultural and religious boundaries in an effort to stand in solidarity with the Other.

no wonder the religious leaders of ‘the chosen people’ took issue with him.

by the very nature of calling what had been seen previously as ‘unclean’ clean, this rebellious rabbi opened the door to all new sorts of possibilities for his followers to pursue in the practice of their abrahamic faith.

it is in the personification of God incarnate – the God-man, jesus, – we see a more clear picture of divine perfection coming to release humanity from the shackles of sin – overcoming a culture of death and inviting each of us to participate in a more abundant life.

yet sin still remains in our world, even within and amongst those who claim to follow christ…another possible paradox?

enter the christmas song.

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