by Tony Campolo
Regal Books February 1, 2008
Regal Books February 1, 2008
Red Letter Christians with Tony Campolo
Redefines Faith and Politics
Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—For most secular Americans, the word “evangelical”
brings a certain image to mind: a Christian who is anti-gay, anti-feminist,
anti-environmentalist, anti-gun control, pro-war, and, above all, a registered
Republican. In recent years, a growing number of evangelicals have become
fed up with this characterization, resenting both the myopic emphasis on
abortion and gay rights, to the exclusion of all other issues, by the Religious
Right and the tactics the group uses to accomplish their political objectives.
In his new book, Red Letter Christians (February 1, 2008, Regal), author
Tony Campolo presents a different political roadmap for the evangelical
community, one he says is based directly on the radical vision contained in the words of Christ,
traditionally denoted in red letters in several previous versions of the Bible.
Campolo is a prolific author, ordained Baptist minister, and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at
Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania. He is a regular media commentator on
religious, social, and political matters, having appeared on television programs like The Colbert
Report, Nightline, Crossfire, Politically Incorrect, The Charlie Rose Show, Larry King Live,
CNN Dayside, CNN News, and MSNBC News. For the past several decades, he has become
famous (and, in some circles, infamous) for exposing the American church’s failure to pursue
justice for suffering people—both in this country and around the world.
“Some leading evangelical spokespersons focus almost all their attention on preventing gay
marriages and overturning past Supreme Court rulings on abortion. While these are biblically
important issues, there are more than 2,000 verses of Scripture that call us to express love and
justice for those who are poor and oppressed,” Campolo states. Red Letter Christians, while
recognizing the great importance of the “hot-button issues,” embrace a broad range of social
concerns, giving special attention to legislation that alleviates poverty and injustice and provides
hope for the oppressed. We promote legislation that turns biblical imperatives into social
In Red Letter Christians, readers will discover:
• Why Jesus is neither a Republican nor a Democrat
• A Red Letter Christian’s voting guide
• Why Christians should avoid being tied to a political party
• The problem of partisan politics
• The importance of being politically active
Proponents of the Red Letter Movement comprise a denominationally and racially diverse group.
Campolo collaborated with other noted progressive evangelicals, like Brian McClaren, a leader
in the emerging church movement; Richard Rohr, the well-known Catholic writer and speaker;
Cheryl Sanders, a prominent African-American pastor; Noel Castellanos, a strong voice in the
Latino community; and Jim Wallis and Duane Shank, two key leaders of the Sojourners
Community and the Call to Renewal Movement, to offer a viable biblical alternative to the
prevailing “Jesus as Republican” philosophy held by the Religious Right.
Red Letter Christians offers a progressive Christian perspective on a list of topics ranging from
abortion and gay rights to Palestine, immigration, the environment, gun control, and the national
debt. Any reader, Christian or otherwise, would stand to gain from considering Campolo’s
innovative, controversial suggestions. The book’s release is sure to promote some long-overdue
debates in the evangelical community concerning these important issues before the 2008
elections. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, Red Letter Christians will make
you think and pray and act.
Biography of Tony Campolo, Ph.D.
Author of Red Letter Christians
For the past several decades, Dr. Tony Campolo has been a resounding voice of dissent in the evangelical culture, urging the church to transcend its myopic emphasis on moral correction and begin actively demonstrating the compassion of Christ to those in need. “I think that Christianity has two
emphases,” he states. “One is a social emphasis to impart the values of the kingdom of God in society—to relieve the sufferings of the poor, to stand up for the oppressed, to be a voice for those who have no voice. The other emphasis is to bring people into a personal, transforming relationship with
Christ, where they feel the joy and the love of God in their lives.”
As founder and president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), he has worked to create, nurture, and support programs for “at-risk” children in cities across North America and has helped establish schools and universities in several developing countries. More recently, he collaborated with other progressive thinkers in the evangelical community to promote the Red Letter Christian movement, an alternative to the stereotypical alliance of evangelical Christianity and right-wing politics.
Dr. Campolo is a regular media commentator on religious, social, and political matters, having guested on television programs like The Colbert Report, Nightline, Crossfire, Politically Incorrect, The Charlie Rose Show, Larry King Live, CNN Dayside, CNN News, and MSNBC News. He co-hosted his own television series, Hashing It Out, on the Odyssey Network, and presently hosts Across the Pond, a weekly program on the Premier Christian Radio Network in England. He is also a highly respected and sought after guest on radio stations across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
Dr. Campolo is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania. He previously served for ten years on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Eastern College and earned a Ph.D. from Temple University.
He is the author of 34 books, with the latest releases in July 2007, The God of Intimacy and Action, and November 2006, Letters to a Young Evangelical (Basic Books). His other recent titles are Speaking My Mind, Which Jesus (W Publishing Group), Everybody Wants to Change the World: Practical Ideas for Social Justice (Co-authored by Gordon Aeschliman, Regal), Adventures in Missing the Point (Coauthored by Brian McLaren, Zondervan), The Church Enslaved (Co-authored by Michael Battle, Fortress Press), Let Me Tell You a Story: Life Lessons from Unexpected Places and Unlikely People (W Publishing Group), The Survival Guide for Christians on Campus (Co-authored by Will Willimon, Howard), Revolutions and Renewal (Westminster John Knox Press), Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God (W Publishing Group), just to name a few.
Dr. Campolo is an ordained minister, has served American Baptist Churches in New Jersey and
Pennsylvania, and is presently recognized as an associate pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia. He and his wife, Peggy, live in the Philadelphia area and have two grown children and four grandchildren
What People Are Saying about Tony Campolo and Red Letter Christians…For a chance to win a copy of this book please leave a comment by midnight May15 australian time. This giveaway is open for all readers.
“This book not only knocks your socks off, it puts your feet in sandals and helps you follow Jesus. Red Letter Christians is full of fascinating facts and insights, and we are all once again reminded that practical acts of loving our neighbor transform us into personal expressions of the Christ we worship.”
─Joel Hunter, Pastor, Author of A New Kind of Conservative
“In his latest book, Tony Campolo can be seen as a gun-slinger, rebel-rouser, and a divisive figure in the Christian community—or as a fearless seeker, a passionate evangelical, and authentic disciple. I favor the latter.”
─Brennan Manning, Author of The Ragamuffin Gospel
“With “Campolian” passion and insight, Red Letter Christians prods, challenges, questions, invites, and instructs us to be people who love and live the words of Jesus.”
─Brian McLaren, Author (brianmclaren.net)
“Tony writes this book with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, reminding us that our faith must affect how we live in this world. This book is not just about how to vote in November . . . it is about how we vote every single day.”
Urban Monastic, Activist, Red Letter Christian, and Author of Jesus for President
“If American Christians are going to continue to say that they are following Jesus, then they better let somebody talk honestly with them about what Jesus actually said and stood for. Tony Campolo might just be that somebody!”
─Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M.
Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico
“Tony Campolo has been a powerful voice for biblical justice for decades. One need not agree with every word to recognize Red Letter Christians as another important call to action.”
─Ronald J. Sider
President of Evangelicals for Social Action; Author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger
“Evangelical Christianity has always been an essentially activist faith, and it loses its way when it forgets this activist edge. In Red Letter Christians, Tony Campolo challenges all of us to recover the active nature of our faith, and to let it infiltrate all aspects of our lives. He continues to have a prophetic voice.”
Author of The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier
National Coordinator of Emergent Village (www.emergentvillage.com)