Friday, October 5, 2012

Red Letter Revolution by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo

Whenever you have a book written by Claiborne or Campolo, you know you're in for some against-the-grain feelings. Just imagine if these two man combined forces for a book?

This book is a conversation between the two authors and how they relate to a fairly new movement within Christianity called Red Letter Christians. Claiborne and Campolo go back and forth concerning a multitude of topics and we get to read the conversation as if we're reading their journal or their instant messages.

This book is divided into three parts. Each part is grouped around "Red Letter" - for example: part 1 is Red Letter Theology.

Here Claiborne and Campolo discuss how they interpret Jesus' words when it comes to community, church, how to use liturgy, the saints, if there is a hell, on Islam and economics. With all the hullabaloo around Rob Bell's Love Wins, I'm sure readers will want to skip ahead to the chapter on hell.

That's something nice about this book - you can skip around the chapters. You don't have to read straight through if you don't want to. You won't miss out some important point if you skip a chapter.

Part 2 is Red Letter Living. This is a conversation on family, being pro-life (that includes being anti-death penalty and anti-war), on women and racism, on homosexuality, immigration, and giving. I'm sure this chapter will upset a few Republicans who have been part of the Religious Right.

Just a side note, if you've read Claiborne's Jesus for President you will know the position these men take on political issues. On the surface, you may see some of their views as Liberal or Democrat. So you may agree or disagree initially because of that assumption. But my recommendation is to read through everything and see if they are arguing anything that is contrary to Jesus' words.

Part 3 is Red Letter World. This is where they talk about Empire and how The United States is our generation's Babylon. Again, this may rub people the wrong way until you actually read what they're saying. They discuss politics, war and violence, debt, the Middle East, reconciliation, resurrection and so much more.

There is so much dialogue that happens in this book. It would make for a great small group discussion guide. They do a wonderful job explaining what Red Letter Christians are and why they came to exist.

After reading this book, and I'll admit that I didn't agree with everything Campolo wrote..., you'll be wise to wrestle with how you view Scripture and attempt to answer their question: What if Jesus really meant what he said?

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Thomas Nelson Publishing.

I review for BookSneeze®

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