Archives For theology

fortherecord

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…

bullshit.

mjkimpan  —  March 13, 2015 — 11 Comments

bullshit

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…

what the heck?!?!

mjkimpan  —  February 22, 2015 — 22 Comments

whattheheck

today after we wrapped up our Culture War Curriculum class in chicago, i was to be hopping on a train and heading to Indiana Wesleyan University to speak in their chapel service tomorrow on building bridges between conservatives and LGBTQ students on their campus.

when IWU alumni pete heck, who is billed as a conservative christian commentator on social and political issues on his radio show (The Pete Heck Show) caught wind of The Marin Foundation being represented on the campus of his alma mater, his team reached out to us and asked if i’d provide him with ‘a phone interview.’

so, of course, i did.

the phone interview went well – although pete was a bit more aggressively antagonistic than any previous interview i’ve had with a radio personality – i felt he allowed me to respond to his questions with an explanation of The Marin Foundation’s philosophy, and listened to my biblical reasoning for our posture and position by reflecting on some examples of the life, teachings and actions of the jesus we both claim to follow.

we didn’t agree, at the end. but that’s not the point.

i was looking forward to listening to the interview once it went live on the air – as it does weekly – on the largest talk radio station in indiana. i was told that would be today.

this morning, i saw pete had tweeted ::

Continue Reading…

devil’s advocate.

mjkimpan  —  February 10, 2015 — 2 Comments

obamadevil

<disclaimer :: this isn’t a political blog.>

it doesn’t matter to me if you’re a republican or a democrat – if you believe obama to be the angelic change-agent so many hoped he would be, or if you’re convinced he’s satan’s personalized hand-tool for the demolition of democracy and the destruction of these united states.

you can believe his policies are creating a more kingdom-of-God minded country or that obama nation is, in fact, an abomination in the sight of God.

that’s not the point.

Continue Reading…

movies and meaning.

mjkimpan  —  January 30, 2015 — 4 Comments

americansniper

there’s been much (too much!) talk recently about the film American Sniper.

after michael moore – liberal film director of  Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 - tweeted negative comments about the film claiming it’s inconsistent with the christian faith, Fox News correspondent todd starnes made the claim that,

“Jesus would be telling that God-fearing, red-blooded American sniper, ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant’ for dispatching another godless jihadist to the lake of fire.”

that is repulsive.

Continue Reading…

off the highway.

mjkimpan  —  January 7, 2015 — Leave a comment

offthehighway

my friend tony kriz (who has a new book called Aloof! coming out this tuesday – pre-order it here!) has launched an amazing video blog series called Off the Highway – which already includes some phenomenal individuals and thinkers – folks like the author of The Shack, william paul young; lisa sharon harper from Sojourners; new york times bestselling author frank schaeffer; leroy barber from Word Made Flesh and many more…including yours truly.

Continue Reading…

potandkettle

after initially addressing our culture’s addiction to answers we continued our series on sacred cow tipping last week by addressing the inherent exclusivity of church membership and how our application of this tradition not only hinders our ability to love the Other, but unintentionally creates and facilitates an environment of stigmatization, ostracization and marginalization – eventually leading to the dehumanization and demonization of the Other.

today, we’ll explore the dangerous and innate hypocrisy of the subtle ‘hierarchy of sins’ which surprisingly allows room for ‘process’ on sins to which we’re most likely to succumb, and simultaneously provides reason for an outright rejection of those guilty of ‘sinning’ in ways we deem unlikely temptations for ourselves. Continue Reading…

membersonly

last week, we continued our series on sacred cow tipping by acknowledging our culture’s addiction to answers. today’s post will grapple with the inherent exclusivity of church membership and how our application of this tradition not only hinders our ability to love the Other, but unintentionally creates and facilitates ann environment of stigmatization, ostracization and marginalization – eventually leading to the dehumanization and demonization of the Other.

next, we’ll explore the dangerous and innate hypocrisy of the subtle ‘hierarchy of sins’ which surprisingly allows room for ‘process’ on sins to which we’re most likely to succumb, and simultaneously an outright rejection of those we deem unlikely temptations.

finally, we’ll explore together new ways to invite and participate in community with those with whom we disagree in areas critical to our faith and core to our identity.

so then, the inherent exclusivity of church membership ::

Continue Reading…

answeraddict


this is a long one… bear with me.

as promised in my previous post, we’re exploring some sacred cows in need of tipping – beginning with our culture’s addiction to answers. as this series continues we’ll grapple with the inherent exclusivity of church membership and how our application of this tradition (better reserved for private golf clubs and credit card reward programs than churches) not only hinders our ability to love the Other, but unintentionally creates and facilitates ann environment of stigmatization, ostracization and marginalization – eventually leading to the dehumanization and demonization of the Other. Continue Reading…

cowtipping

prior to coming to The Marin Foundation, i lived for a few short years in central illinois. during that time i became familiar with a practice known as ‘cow-tipping’ – a favorite pastime of rural adolescents, during which they will sneak up on an unsuspecting cow and push it over for entertainment. some say cow-tipping is impossible. others claim to have successfully tipped many-a-cow. the debate rages on.

i kid you not.

while i avoided ever engaging in such an activity (for fear of a response from PETA or being charged by an angry bull, i can’t accurately determine), i suppose in my more gracious moments i can understand the draw. i also can’t imagine cows are easy to tip over…and once you successfully get one to fall, i suspect you’d want to run away – and fast.

Continue Reading…