Archives For interpretation


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…

not ok.

mjkimpan  —  June 17, 2015 — 2 Comments


even the image is offensive.

the emotions brought to the surface of any level headed person by the above symbol for the nazi party, the swastika, are uncomfortable to say the least. under this banner an estimated 11 million people were murdered during the holocaust (including 1.1 million children).

the post-world war ii german law code actually prohibits its use or display in any form or fashion – even if used sarcastically, including its use as part of an anti-nazi political statement.

outside of conversations surrounding genocide, delusions of racial superiority or totalitarian regimes and ideologies, comparisons to the nazi party, hitler or anything even remotely related to the third reich are out of place. they serve as an attempt to articulate the ultimate expression of evil.  usually, it’s quite a stretch – and pretty unnecessary. more often than not, the individual making the comparison tends to lose their argument along with their credibility as it is interpreted as inappropriate, unwarranted and hyperbolic.

put simply, it’s in bad form. and it’s not ok.

Continue Reading…

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…

proud to be an american?

mjkimpan  —  April 22, 2015 — 2 Comments


should this make you proud to be an american?

the following video came across my newsfeed yesterday, posted by a former ministry partner of mine, with the status ::

so proud to be an american!

take a look ::

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 13, 2015 — 11 Comments


this evening as i awaited my flight out of atlanta, i succumbed to the tantalizing temptation of twitter.

scrolling through my feed, i stumbled upon two tweets from al mohler ::

i immediately clicked the link, and was surprisingly pleased to find the following excerpts from an online letter from the pastoral staff and board at City Church in san francisco :: 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…