Named by Christianity Today as one of the twentyfive most influential preachers of the last fifty years, best-selling author Tony Campolo has spent decades calling on readers and audiences around the world to live their faith through committed activism. A tireless crusader for human rights and the eradication of world poverty, Campolo is a "Red Letter" Christian--he reminds us that when Jesus spoke, he spoke of social justice. But the Religious Right and social conservatives have hijacked His message in the name of Republican politics. They have corrupted the faith by ignoring the true message of Christ and focusing instead on narrow "wedge" issues to win political campaigns. In Letters to a Young Evangelical, Campolo calls on evangelicals of all ages to reject the false pieties of the Religious Right. With his trademark candor and wit, he offers sage advice to seekers who are trying to live their faith in a modern world that is politically polarized and predominantly secular. He is unafraid to touch on the hot-button topics that divide believers in America and around the world: abortion, gay rights, war, capital punishment, feminism, and the environment. An activist, a visionary, and a man of deep faith, Tony Campolo offers guidance not only for young evangelicals, but for seekers of all ages and faiths.read more
I decided to pick up a copy of one of Campolo's books to see if in context he was as bad as he sounds out of context.I can't believe what I read. Maybe my expectations were way off base. I was expecting to read a man writing in a very polite, considerate, grandfatherly manner. What I have found is what appears to be a bitter man.I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt so I'm only making notes on what I perceive to be some of his most obnoxious comments.Regarding women as leaders in the church, on pages 2-3 he writes: "It always amazes me to see the lengths to which some of my Evangelical brothers and sisters are willing to go in concealing the fact that women held prominent leadership roles in the early church. They even seem ready to change the Bible...When certain Evangelicals produced their own translation of Scriptures (NIV)...I think it was an attempt to restructure the Bible to legitimate their own chauvinist ideas about who should be eligible to lead the church."Writing on page 4 about the differences between Evangelicals on the right and left of the political spectrum he states "Those on the right tend to put their trust in the private sector...whereas those on the left believe that the government must play a major role in solving social problems."Notice "the right put(s) their trust in the private sector" but the left does NOT put their trust in the government.On page 21 he contrasts "extreme Calvinists" with "Wesleyan Arminianism."Addressing inerrancy of scripture he writes on page 23 "Personally, I think the question of the inerrancy of the original manuscripts is irrelevant because the originals are not available to us."And so it went. It sure was an eye opener. I certainly don't look at him as a nice old grandpa with some liberal tendencies. He may not be a bitter old man but he certainly isn't charitable towards those with whom he disagrees.read more
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Campolo offers a strong enough addition to Basic's Letters to a Young... series that even older readers will learn a thing or two. In letters to two fictional young evangelicals, Campolo endeavors to challenge and encourage young Christians in much the same way Paul did in his epistles. In keeping with this Pauline theme, Campolo addresses his letters to Timothy, but, in keeping with his strong belief that women and men are equally fit for church leadership, also addresses them to Junia, a spiritual leader to whom Paul refers in the book of Romans. As Campolo covers such topics as the religious right, fundamentalism, dispensationalism, homosexuality, abortion and Christian-Muslim relations, he admirably steers clear of telling his readers what to think. Rather, he explains his position on the issue at hand, explains the positions of his detractors and leaves his readers to decide for themselves. Campolo calls himself a "Red Letter Christian," which signifies identification with neither the Right nor the Left, but with Jesus, whose words are rendered in red letters in many editions of the Bible. For Campolo, Red Letter Christianity is about following the radical teachings of Jesus, particularly identification with the poor, compassion for the suffering and the courage to stand against injustice. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved