Archives For theology

life after SCOTUS.

mjkimpan  —  June 28, 2015 — 1 Comment

#lovewins

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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food for thought.

mjkimpan  —  May 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

foodforthought

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…

movement.

mjkimpan  —  April 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

movement

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.

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 ::

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…