Red Lettered Tony Campolo and the Religous Right

tony.gifWho is Tony Campolo?

EDMONTON – Tony Campolo is a very busy man. A Baptist minister and bestselling author, Campolo makes more than 300 personal appearances a year. Christianity Today calls the 71-year-old American one of the most influential preachers of the last 50 years. 

Campolo and some others prefer to call themselves “red-letter Christians,” meaning people who try to live by the words of Jesus (often printed in red in Bibles).

What about the Religious Right:

The religious right has created the image that evangelism is by defintion anti-gay, anti women, anti-environment, pro-war, pro-captial punishment. So the minute I walk onto a university campus and announce myself as an evangelical, the red flags go up. So a group of us here in the United States who are fairly prominent on the speaking circuit … got together and said: ‘We are evangelical in our theology, but we do not want to be categorized as evangelicals because of the connotations that go with that.’

(Red-letter Christians) believe in the doctrine of the Apostles Creed; we believe that the Bible was inspired by the spirit of God in such a way as to keep the authors from making errors; we believe that Jesus is God incarnate and living among us today, having resurrected from the grave. These are the three things that incorporate evangelism ….

There is a group of us who hold to those beliefs, but we do not want to be wedded to a reactionary politics that does not communicate the kind of call for compassionate justice.


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