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significant

in an earlier post, i mentioned brian mclaren. i’ve blogged a bit here and there about some of his thoughts, and extensively quoted his work ‘A New Kind of Christianity’ in my series on scripture here at the WayWard Follower. in many ways, that book literally changed my life – and saved my faith.

put bluntly – there is no other author, speaker, pastor or friend who has had a more significant influence on my spiritual development than has brian.

i was first given the opportunity to meet brian face to face as he was touring for his (at the time) most recent book, ‘Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? :: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World and had the privilege of sitting down with him afterwards. our discussion crossed over from inter-faith dialogue to the need for a more generous, gracious, hospitable approach to the church’s conversation with the LGBT community (this was mere months before i came to The Marin Foundation).

it was one of the most meaningful and significant conversations i’ve ever had.

it, in conjunction with spending two days later that same week with rob bell, led to me leaving the faith community i had grown to know and love and start out on a grand adventure. Continue Reading…

hmmm

 

the tweet is from kevin deyoung, a prolific blogger, preacher and author who has about 42,000 more twitter followers than me. he writes for The Gospel Coalition, which was rated one of the top 25 christian blogs for ministry in a recent analysis. his personal blog, DeYoung, Restless and Reformed did even better, landing at #12.

that’s a lot of readers. a lot of influence. a lot of responsibility.

the hashtag referenced in the tweet, #T4G14, stands for ‘Together for the Gospel‘ a well attended biennial conference for pastors and church leaders with big name speakers such as john piper, al mohler, david platt, matt chandler, john macarthur, mark dever (whose talk was quoted in the tweet) and… kevin deyoung.

these guys are professional gospel proclaimers with huge platforms, teaching at a conference all about the proclamation of that same good news.

but…

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prayer?

mjkimpan  —  March 7, 2014 — 1 Comment

prayerbeads

i recently came across this tweet from stephanie drury.

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refusing to refuse.

mjkimpan  —  February 21, 2014 — Leave a comment

footwashing

it was almost time.

three years had passed since jesus first extended the invitation to this rag-tag group of curiously single jewish men.

‘follow me,’ he had said.

they were misfits, all of them. yet they found in their brotherhood a sense of solidarity with one another, in spite of their differences. this, of course, laid the ground work for their eventual understanding of christ’s stand in solidarity with all of humanity. Continue Reading…

just wonder(ing).

mjkimpan  —  January 31, 2014 — Leave a comment

upsidedown

what would it look like if rather than focusing on an us/them mentality, harping on what ‘sins’ exist ‘out there’ we each focused on how we ourselves could better find and follow christ in our every interaction?

what would it look like to celebrate the fingerprint of God – the imago dei – in each person we encounter, regardless of our differences or their perspective?

what would it look like to mirror the solidarity with the Other – the disenfranchised, marginalized and oppressed in our communities that we see evidenced in God’s incarnation?

what if, rather than declaring things seen in others as sinful, i recognized the areas in my own life where i fall short, and was encouraged and inspired by my community to get back up and try again?

i am convinced if this is how we began to approach worship within our faith communities (as well as our liturgy, our structures and systems for membership, service and doctrine, et cetera), we would quite possibly turn things upside down.

and we’d be closer to what christ envisioned for his church than we are right now.

what do you think?

 

friendsandenemies

so, some people actually hate me.

i recently wrote about how i’ve been prepping myself for an onslaught of critique nearly certain to come my way in 2014 – once my thoughts on standing in solidarity are published in book form this fall, the opportunity for others to question my work, thoughts, motivations and even my faith are bound to multiply.

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xmas songs.

mjkimpan  —  December 25, 2013 — 6 Comments

singing

 

‘the best way to spread christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.’ – buddy the elf

over the past several weeks, i’ve had a number of conversations with folks surrounding the idea of creating cultural change within the church – asking questions of how church leaders and change agents can create safe and sacred spaces for all people to explore the richness of the gospel – which is, as the angel proclaimed that firs christmas,  good news of great joy for ALL people.

a recurring theme in that conversation is the power of music and song – and the importance of singing words which create a culture of inclusion rather than exclusion; of love and grace rather than judgment and intolerance; of compassion and solidarity rather than elitism and discrimination.

when we choose what songs we sing in church, we’re literally choosing words to put in the mouths of God’s people.

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are you an evangelical?

mjkimpan  —  October 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

evangelical

recently, i was asked :

do you identify as evangelical?

here was my response ::

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(un)clean.

mjkimpan  —  August 22, 2013 — 3 Comments

unlock

imagine the scene :: jesus had just finished what is now his best known teaching – the sermon on the mount – a practical manifesto for this new Way. the dry heat of the galilean sun beat down on the son of man as he and the disciples descended the mountain. the amazed crowds follow through the dust kicked up by this rogue rabbi who taught differently than the others - this one spoke like he actually knew what he was talking about.

he had just touched on nearly everything, and their heads must have been spinning as they tried to make sense of it all – the benefits of living for an unseen kingdom; how to pray with meaning; turning the law of moses on its head and replacing its rigidity with a law of love.

who was this guy, anyway?!?

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thine, not mine.

mjkimpan  —  June 17, 2013 — 4 Comments

lordsprayer

 

for thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory – forever
amen.

thine, not mine.

perhaps it seems like a minor distinction on the surface – one that could go without saying.

and yet.

in a world and a culture when everything is marketed and branded by an individualism run rampant, this is a distinction that may need to be made.

Continue Reading…