Matt & The Gospel Side

Blog readers often want to know “who are you…what is that blog name about…and why are you writing a blog anyway?” Here is maybe more than you want to know…

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The Gospel Side is the bloviating of a post-Young Life Episcopal priest whose desire is to help people walk with the triune God. I post rants, resources, and things that make me smile on a variety of topics: Young adults, youth ministry, culture, and the Church in its relevant, multi-ethnic, and ancient/liturgical forms.

I am married to Kari. We have two children, Ellie and Luke. I like the Phoenix Suns and sailing. My paying gig is Associate Rector at St. John the Divine in Houston, Texas. Prior to that I was Canon for Youth and Young Adults for the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and led the multi-ethnic church planting team at St. Jude’s in Phoenix.

“The Gospel side,” for my non-liturgical friends, was the side of a traditional 2-pulpit church from which the Gospel was read, as opposed to “the Epistle side.” Currently the Gospel is proclaimed from the center of the church, among the people. In his brief years on earth Jesus brought the presence of God into the midst of the people, rather than off to the sides or hidden away in sanctuaries. The implication is that every “side,” ancient or modern, conservative or progressive, sacred or secular, are Jesus’ business.

Where am I coming from theologically? I am an unrepentant ecumenical kyriarchist. Ecumenical: I think Christians should work together across boundaries and major on the majors so that we can reach a lost and hurting world with the Good News of Jesus. And kyriarchist, a term from feminist theology with negative connotations – sort of catch-all term for power inequities. It is a combination of the Greek words: “Kyrios” (Lord) and “archy” (rule), literally the “rule of the Lord.” The first creed among the followers of Jesus was, “Jesus is Lord.” It was a response to the cry “Caesar is Lord,” mandated to be shouted by the crowds as Roman rulers passed through a town, and a statement the early Christians were forced to sign during persecutions. To say, “Jesus is Lord” was to defy all illegitimate human authority and power systems for another, higher obedience. I reclaim the term “kyriarchy” for myself as one seeking to place my life under the gracious leadership of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and invite others to join me in knowing the freedom of the reign of God in their lives. For me, faith in Jesus is about the process of being changed into the image of Jesus.

Matt Marino+  June 2017

*Yes, Matt is available, on occasion, to speak at camps, retreats and conferences on issues of the church, youth ministry, and, of course, Jesus.

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15 thoughts on “Matt & The Gospel Side

  1. Found my way over from Lee’s blog, Matt – we seem to have a shared tendency to “go long” in our writing. My cardinal rule on that? So long as you don’t bore me, I’ll keep reading 🙂

  2. An old Christian friend posted your article on FB. I found myself (Ev. Presbyterian) at home in your thoughts. I have felt for years that my church was “selling out” to the secularly compatible church culture. During ministry time prayers by clergy and elders with individuals coming to the altar could not be heard between the two of them for the amped sound of “praise and worship” music. I at heart am a worshipper. I don’t consider myself to have worshipped at church any longer when I go. I have heard a good word preached and have fellowshipped somewhat in coming and going. We have thrown the baby out with the bath water with regard to honoring exciting music expressing joy in worship AND have lost the tender, holy and worshipful moments of corporate worship in the “family”.

  3. An old Christian friend posted you
    r “Uncool abt Cool” article on FB. I found myself (Ev. Presbyterian) at home in your thoughts. I have felt for years that my church was “selling out” to the secularly compatible church culture. During ministry time prayers by clergy and elders with individuals coming to the altar could not be heard between the two of them for the amped sound of “praise and worship” music. I at heart am a worshipper. I don’t consider myself to have worshipped at church any longer when I go. I have heard a good word preached and have fellowshipped somewhat in coming and going. We have thrown the baby out with the bath water with regard to honoring exciting music expressing joy in worship AND have lost the tender, holy and worshipful moments of corporate worship in the “family”.

  4. A friend shared your uncool about cool message on Facebook. I really liked it. Thought you might want to know (which you may already) that at the end of it there is a Smirnoff video ad (the same as on this page). I clicked on it thinking it was part of your article. Lol! Very clever placement of Smirnoff, eh?

    • O how weird. Yeah, I am hoping that by allowing ads at the bottom of pages it will pay for the annual fee for my domain name. We shall see. If you keep clicking on the ads it will help. 🙂

      Sorry about that. I am not really trying to pitch Vodka to folks.

  5. I posted this in another thread (Do you seriously…) and them found that it would be better posted here:

    I am a Bible Teacher in a predominately conservative venue. Specifically Bible History is my thing and I do a lot of writing and teaching com that corner…

    I am new to your blog, and though we would probably have many lively conversations about our respective church backgrounds, we agree on many things too! As a teacher I often get myself in a position where my mouth runs on ahead of my mind…and I wanted to say that I really appreciate your tone here, and the thoughtful and loving manner you handle the various responses. I am learning from you.

    Maybe someday we can enjoy a coke and a “lively conversation”!

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