Archives For gospel

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.

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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…



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.

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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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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 churches, organizations and individuals within our growing circle of friends. 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 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 quite common.

there are countless people doing good in our world. it’s common. 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 combined with a scarcity mindset limits the range and effectiveness of the work – and stifles our vision of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.

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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.

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ancient wisdom.

mjkimpan  —  December 8, 2015 — 12 Comments


our present circumstances are often confusing.

we could use some ancient wisdom.

yesterday, i shared on social media this post – a HuffPo piece written by a friend and colleague concerning the coming (some might suggest present) evangelical schism. the author proposes that the jesus being taught by a number of self-identified evangelicals isn’t quite the same as the jesus invoked by some others of us who similarly claim to proclaim good news.

from my perspective, the primitively conceived, angry and wrathful (even violent) God of some self-proclaimed christians stands in stark contrast to the benevolent being believed by myself and others who claim to be compelled by the life, teachings and example of jesus.

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i admittedly read articles and blogs shared by those that espouse a much more conservative viewpoint than my own. often times it’s due to my desire to understand those with different perspectives. other times, it’s admittedly closer to ‘enemy surveillance’.

this past week was a bit of a both/and.

i read an article shared by a staunchly conservative, republican-supporting friend of mine in which the author claimed the GOP race has come down to the ‘final four’ – but in its march toward madness it ignores the candidate whom has been the front runner in every republican poll thus far – donald trump – but not for the reasons you might think.

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earlier this week, i outed myself as an evangelical – though progressive i may be.

and while i’m quite comfortable donning the label, there are admittedly more than just a few things i’d like to see change in existing communities of faith that also identify as followers of jesus.

but some traditions run deep within the subculture of christianity.

i’ve skirted around the edges of tipping over some of our sacred cows before – namely, questioning the primary place of the sermon in community gatherings which feeds our addiction to answers and the inherent exclusivity and elitism found in the current expression of church membership – but don’t worry…it’s nothing that crazy.

i just want to mess with communion a little bit.

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yes, i’m an evangelical.

mjkimpan  —  November 9, 2015 — 3 Comments



some who know me well may consider that claim inconceivable.

though i’ve previously outlined my rather vanilla set of ‘orthodox’ beliefs, the way i talk when i talk about God and the bible and jesus and the cosmos and just about everything else leads most folks to assume i’m not really an Evangelical Christian at all.
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