Archives For movement

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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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this one might catch some flack…

as i’ve expressed in previous posts, i’ve been recently again inspired by the wisdom and posture of my friend brian mclaren. in the midst of recent bad news, brian has determined to share only good news specifically through the medium of poetry – daily providing content which is uplifting, inspiring and encouraging – though not absent of a subversive challenge toward (re)thinking the systemic problems inherent within the status quo.

enter dave matthews.

toward that end, we’ve engaged in a series here at the WayWard follower entitled ‘the gospel according to dave matthews’ – aimed at inspiring thoughtful conversation and intentional movement – and we’ve used dave’s lyrics as fodder in those discussions.

today’s post embodies some subtle tensions many within the church may be uncomfortable with – seeing God as a bartender, drink as absolution, sin as an inescapable and even excusable reality of the human experience, prayer as a (sometimes?) futile endeavor, and depicts even true followers as merely more than hope-filled doubters – yet these lyrics encompass, i think, the opportunity for us to honestly grapple with an understanding of God as One who can handle even our most honest and most vulnerable thoughts.

if only our faith communities reflected that reality.

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happy day of labor.

we continue our series on the gospel through the lyrics of DMB with a song popularized by the ‘dave and tim’ LIVE performance at luther college.

without further adieu…  Continue Reading…

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as i mentioned in the first post of this series :: earlier this month, i’ve been inspired by the daily sharing of poetry from a friend in the midst of the recent increase of violence and ‘bad news’ in the news – and find myself comforted, encouraged and challenged by the poetic musings of my own favorite musician, dave matthews.

and sharing is caring.

this is what he’s said about the song featured in today’s post on the gospel according to dave matthews, ‘drunken soldier’ which he wrote for his children:: Continue Reading…

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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. Continue Reading…

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earlier this month, my friend brian mclaren shared the following status update via social media ::

 

i must admit i’ve (once again) been inspired by his wisdom.

between what has been taking place in the news (gaza, the global ebola crisis, michael brown’s murder and the subsequent rioting [as well as ignorant and insensitive commentary from a number of folks on the escalating situation in Ferguson], ISIS in iraq and syria) and even drama in my personal life, it’s been difficult to carve out space to create blog content that is uplifting, inspiring or encouraging.

enter dave matthews.

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halfstack.

mjkimpan  —  June 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

halfstack

it was our team’s honor to be featured in HalfStack Magazine’s Summer 2014 Issue on Empowerment.

previous to the photoshoot shown above by alluring chicago and the magazine staff, i personally had the opportunity to do an extensive interview with the magazine’s editor, jennifer lezan.

below are some highlights from that interview and the article :: Continue Reading…

papal payroll?

mjkimpan  —  May 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

abrahamicthis blog was originally featured on The Marin Foundation’s patheos blog.

in recent posts on my personal blog, i’ve explored the ways in which provocative questions surrounding peaceful and productive interfaith dialogue can help lead christians toward acting like (i.e., following) jesus in new and exciting ways, rather than perpetuating the disturbing competition with and condemnation of those who follow other faith traditions. monumental in helping formulate any articulation of the importance of standing in solidarity with the so-called ‘Other’ is the work of brian mclaren – particularly his book Why Did Jesus, Mosess, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World and the subsequent significant conversations he and i shared in the aftermath of its release.

it seems to me that the trans-cultural and trans-generational principles adopted by The Marin Foundation in our work of building bridges between the LGBT and conservative communities parallel in many ways – and can perhaps even inform our moving forward in – many other conflicts between opposing worldviews. this may be particularly true in those areas in which faith and politics intersect.

one such area – and one with great need of peacemakers and bridge builders – is the Middle East.

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conviction.

mjkimpan  —  May 5, 2014 — 6 Comments

conviction

there is a difference between things that are painful, and things that are destructive.

embrace the former, and reject the latter.

i am convinced we are in the midst of a seismic shift – a massive, historic reformation of the way we define what it means to follow jesus. how we understand the bible, the gospel, heaven and hell are being challenged and poked and prodded and picked up and looked at from the underside before being placed back on the shelf of ‘religion’ – and in many cases, the spot the good book is placed in on the shelf has moved dramatically from where it had initially been picked up.

many have found that in the midst of this shift, some voices – ones who may have helped forge their faith in the past – are no longer able to help them grow; in fact, they may even hinder their growth…holding them back from what they feel called forward to.

how can this be?

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GAGC

it’s no surprise that as humans we have an inherent propensity to gravitate toward individuals and ways of thinking which reflect our own personal convictions and biases. our ‘comfort zones’ are made up of the familiar – things which reinforce the world as we already interpret it.

this familiarity provides for us the comfort of the similar – we often surround ourselves with like-minded people – reflecting our belief systems, behaviors and preferred philosophies and perspectives.

this ‘sameness’ is indeed part of the human experience; and yet, left unchecked, it can also lend itself toward the sort of dangerous Groupishness i’ve discussed at length here on the blog in the past. creating a cultural norm of us/them || in/out and refusing to generously engage the Other can, in fact, lead us backwards to a sort of tribalism which is inherently inhospitable and ungracious.

striking that balance is an important part of creating space for civil dialogue and disagreement.

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