Archives For questions

on syrian refugees.

mjkimpan  —  November 20, 2015 — Leave a comment


in the aftermath of the ISIS attacks in paris and elsewhere last week, much has been written regarding immigration, national security and refugees – in particular syrian refugees fleeing their war-torn country – and not all of it has been terribly encouraging.

just yesterday, the republican-led house of representatives passed a bill – despite promises of a veto by president obama – to suspend the admission of some 10,000 syrian refugees and then making additional stipulations for screening that have been called both ‘impractical and impossible’.

apart from the new legislation, every single republican candidate for president has come out against accepting syrian refugees. GOP presidential front runner donald trump upped the ante, making remarks reminiscent of the uprising of nazi germany by suggesting that he supports an effort to force american muslims to register themselves in a tracking database. ben carson compared syrian immigrants to ‘rabid dogs‘ and mike huckabee compared them to spoiled milk from chipotle, while fellow candidates ted cruz and jeb bush suggested that national immigration services accept ‘only christians‘ from syria and iraq – but not muslims.

but how would we know who the christians are?

Continue Reading…


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.
Continue Reading…


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.

Continue Reading…


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…

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.

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…


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…


barronelle stutzman is stirring up headlines. the 70-year-old grandmother is the owner of Arlene’s Flower Shop in washington state, and identifies as a devout christian. she’s also opposed to gay marriage – so much so that she refused to provide flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding.

this week a washington judge ruled that refusal was precisely what it sounds like – discrimination – and therefore, illegal according to the state’s consumer protection and anti-discrimination law.

washington state attorney general bob ferguson has made the decision to seek legal fees and penalties not only against the flower shop, but also against stutzman herself.

the law allows for penalties of $2,000 per violation, which means that for every gay or lesbian couple stutzman refuses to serve she could receive the hefty fine. according to stutzman’s lawyer, these fines, in addition to her attorneys’ fees and court costs for the pending appeal could reach well into seven figures.

still, the soon-to-be bankrupt granny is sticking to her guns by refusing to serve gay and lesbian couples. she’s digging in her heels – in her own words, ‘because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.’ Continue Reading…