Red Letter Revolution | Shane Claiborne & Tony Campolo

On the surface this looks like a book written by the odd couple. On one side you have Tony Campolo, the wizened elder statesman. On the other side you have the iconoclastic young radical, Shane Claiborne. Fortunately for all of us, their theological similarities outweigh their superficial differences!

This is a book about and for Red Letter Christians. These are Christians who feel the title Evangelical is doing them a disservice. Central among the Red Letter Christian beliefs is a renewed emphasis on the teaching of Jesus (thus the Red Letters). The wonderfully sarcastic title sets the tone of the volume: “What if Jesus Really Meant What He Said?”

Throughout the book, Tony and Shane discuss a multitude of topics: Liturgy, Hell, Islam, Pro-Life, Homosexuality, War, and the Resurrection to name just a few. I was slightly surprised at the candor of these two dialogue partners, and heartily agreed with them at many points.

Some of the topics covered in the Red Letter Revolution confused me—not necessarily because I disagreed with the stance but because the Jesus’ red letters don’t really cover the topic. Take environmentalism for example. Jesus says nothing about the it, despite the out-of-context chapter epigraph of Matthew 6:28-29! Throughout that chapter Tony and Shane talk about Genesis, Corinthians, Psalms, Romans, and Isaiah. Despite making many important points, I can’t see how the Red Letter banner covers the topic.

I’m glad I read this book. For a popular Christian work, there’s a surprising amount of depth. If you’re looking for something to challenge and inspire your faith, give the Red Letter Revolution a try.

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One Response to Red Letter Revolution | Shane Claiborne & Tony Campolo

  1. Jeremy Bonham December 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    This was a timely review. I am about to begin this book. After reading Shane’s book “The Irresistable Revolution” my worldview has been changed for the better. Am truly looking forward to reading this latest book and expect to be challenged yet again

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