Archives For solidarity

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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mjkimpan  —  September 17, 2016 — Leave a comment


are you constantly watching and reading the news? i can’t stop.

i must admit i’ve always been a bit of a news junkie… just one of many vices i’ve learned to live with over the years.

i keep most of them in check, most of the time. really. you’d be surprised.

yet despite my most valiant efforts, i’ve not been able to ignore the recent saturation of political coverage following the GOP and DNC conventions, nor the steady decline in the emotional and intellectual integrity of much of our political discourse this election cycle.

what we’re witnessing has never before been seen in the history of american presidential politics.

this to be seems true not just on mainstream media, but in our online conversations as well. a markedly divided america is gearing up for the november election, and the contrast between the two candidates of the country’s major political parties and their vastly different visions for the future have created an environment of unprecedented agitation and aggression amongst their supporters.

there is an unusual frenzy around the upcoming presidential debates  – it’s expected they’ll bring the largest international television viewing audience in history.

i know i’ll be watching.

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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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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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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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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.
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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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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.
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do not miss this.

mjkimpan  —  June 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

if you didn’t catch this brilliant, unscripted social commentary from ‘comedian’ (read: cultural critic) jon stewart, here’s your chance. take 5 minutes.


what do you think?

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…