Skip to comments.Campolo seeks to distance evangelicals from religious right [Campbellite/Restorationist]
Posted on 06/27/2007 12:00:07 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
With the first few presidential primaries and caucuses only months away, Christians considering the relationship of faith, politics, patriotism and nationalism may find Campolos new book instructive.
Many members of Churches of Christ have aligned with the religious right followers of Falwell, Robertson and Dobson on faith-related issues and conservative politics. Yet, our people have rarely joined them in evangelistic or benevolent efforts for fear of fellowshipping error or being yoked with unbelievers. Historically, we have eschewed even being grouped with Protestants, fundamentalists or evangelicals.
Of further irony is that libraries of our preachers and churches would be sparse, indeed, were it not for publications from other faith groups from lexicons to commentaries to guides for spiritual formation. Likely to be absent from most of these collections, however, would be books, videos or CDs by Campolo, a well-traveled and powerful evangelist, popular speaker and author of more than 30 books.
In part, this may be explained by a life and career spent far from the Bible Belt as a sociology professor in the liberal Northeast (Philadelphia area) at the University of Pennsylvania and at Eastern University, formerly Eastern Baptist College. Campolo earned a doctorate from Temple University and is ordained in the American Baptist Church.
He is very well known by conservative Christians, but considers himself a socially progressive evangelical thus in a minority among them. He disavows Falwell & Co. as a fundamentalist wing that appropriated the word evangelical for its own purposes.
Campolo has joined a group of writers and speakers who enthusiastically decided to call themselves red-letter Christians. They express an intense desire to be faithful to the words of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament.
It is not enough, Campolo claims, to line up on the defining issues, opposing abortion and same-sex marriage. The teachings of Jesus are radical, running contrary to many current policies, lifestyles and beliefs.
After all, he writes, they didnt put Jesus on a cross for saying nice things that people in the ruling religious, political and economic establishment wanted to hear. He further asserts, The red letters challenge Americans justifications for accumulating wealth, support of capital punishment, ready endorsement of war, rampant consumerism, rebellion against sexual prohibitions that have sustained purity and modesty for generations, and arrogant use of economic power to fulfill national self-interests to the detriment of other nations.
In affirming why red-letter Christians are so important, Campolo writes, We are evangelicals who want to change the world, but not through political coercion. Our methodology is loving persuasion. We dont want power; we just want to speak truth to power. Frankly, we evangelicals are troubled by the political power that fundamentalists are wielding these days.
Each chapter is a letter to young evangelicals named Junia and Timothy, written in a straightforward style for young adults of the post-modern, post-Christian generation. But it was not at all too basic for this sixtysomething reviewer. Campolo succeeds in encouraging, inspiring and, most of all, informing his readers who aspire to serve God biblically in this age.
Many topics of counsel (worship wars, for example) are applicable to applying our faith in and through Churches of Christ.
Useful knowledge is conveyed about the evangelical world, such as his explanation of the differences between speaking in tongues and praying in tongues. He describes the origin and the dangers of rapture theology and evangelical Zionism. His contrast of contemporary fundamentalists and evangelicals is surprising and useful.
Campolo unambiguously defends his own biblically based opposition to abortion and homosexuality. Yet, he provides clear explanations, often overlooked or ignored, of positions on these and other issues held by some men and women of faith inside and outside evangelicalism. He represents others views fairly and well.
His training and professional experience as a sociologist permit him to objectively contribute factual information to the discussions that is sometimes demythologizing. For example, Scientific studies have shown that children raised by homosexual couples are no more inclined to adopt a homosexual lifestyle than are children in the general population.
Other topics addressed by Campolo in these letters include Pentecostalism, the end times, attitudes toward Muslims, war and peace, women and the church, creation and the Great Commission.
The final letter poses insightful questions about the future of evangelicalism that are equally applicable to our own fellowship.
Many church members, including ministers and elders, will resonate with and may even identify with Campolos views.
All can benefit from considering the perspectives and challenges that this dedicated evangelist and teacher offers in his very readable Letters To A Young Evangelical.
J. Wayne Newland is a member of the Greater Portland Church of Christ in South Portland, Maine.
Campolo is not an evangelical
'nuff said. Not likely to read anything by that reviewer or Compolo.
I remember Campolo cozening up to BJ Clinton during the Impeachment hearings.
27 "You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. 31 "It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.Or Matthew 15:18
18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' " The "evangelical left" is undoubtably thinking about the story of the adulturess. But the point of that story is that we are supposed to forgive sinners, not that adultury is not a sin.
This will come as a great surprise to most of the leftists which consider themselves "red letter Christians."
Doh! My mistake, I did not notice the word “rebellion” in the article. It looks like the red letter Christians are upholding Christian morality.
Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow. Yesterday's Gone, Yesterday's Gone.
The first few times you go into the Oval Office, you're awestruck. You know, you kind of brace yourself and say, I'm not going to be impressed by this. When you get there, you are impressed. During my time, I had to constantly ask myself that: Am I being used?
Yes, you were.
Yes, you were.
So. As the young people might put it, I'm a real tool.
Yes. The young people might say that.
“...we need to understand Open Theism so we can call it for what it is. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina some of the adherents to this doctrine have stepped forward to espouse such false teaching. Perhaps the most blatant attack on the traditional, biblical view of God has been launched by Tony Campolo, a man who has been teaching dangerous doctrine for many years now. To see that he believes in Open Theism we need look no further than the title of his article: “Katrina: Not God’s Wrath—or His Will.” Here are a few quotes:
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad answers. One such answer is that somehow all suffering is a part of God’s great plan. In the midst of agonies, someone is likely to quote from the Bible, telling us that if we would just be patient, we eventually would see “all things work together for the good, for those who love God, and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28)”
“Perhaps we would do well to listen to the likes of Rabbi Harold Kushner, who contends that God is not really as powerful as we have claimed. Nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures does it say that God is omnipotent. Kushner points out that omnipotence is a Greek philosophical concept, but it is not in his Bible. Instead, the Hebrew Bible contends that God is mighty. That means that God is a greater force in the universe than all the other forces combined.”
He concludes by saying, “Instead of looking for God in the earthquake or the tsunami, in the roaring forest fires blazing in the western states, or in the mighty winds of Katrina, it would be best to seek out a quiet place and heed the promptings of God’s still small voice. That voice will inspire us to bring some of God’s goodness to bear in the lives of those who suffer.”
This it outright, blatant heresy. It is unbiblical and dangerous. Avoid this man and his teaching!
You can read the complete article here. http://www.beliefnet.com/story/174/story_17423.html
Katrina: Not God’s Wrath—or His Will
The Hebrew Bible doesn’t say God is omnipotent. When disaster strikes, he cries with the rest of us.
By Dr. Tony Campolo
Whenever there is a catastrophe, some religious people inevitably ask, “Why didnt God do something? Where was God when all those people died?” Among the answers we might consider is the one that Martin Luther gave as his wife asked a similar question upon the death of their infant son. Luther answered, “The same place he was when His son died!”
Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad answers. One such answer is that somehow all suffering is a part of Gods great plan. In the midst of agonies, someone is likely to quote from the Bible, telling us that if we would just be patient, we eventually would see “all things work together for the good, for those who love God, and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28)
I dont doubt that God can bring good out of tragedies, but the Bible is clear that God is not the author of evil! (James 1:15) Statements like that dishonor God, and are responsible for driving more people away from Christianity than all the arguments that atheistic philosophers could ever muster. When the floods swept into the Gulf Coast, God was the first one who wept.
There are still other religionists who take the opportunity to tell us that God is punishing America for its many sins. Undoubtedly, there are some al-Qaeda fanatics who right now are saying that Katrina is the hand of God, striking America for what we have done to the people of Iraq and to the Palestinians. Furthermore, there are Christians who, in the weeks to come, can be counted on to thunder from their pulpits that Katrina is Gods wrath against the immorality of this nation, pointing out that New Orleans is the epitome of our national degradation and debauchery. To all of this I say, “Wrong.”
The God revealed in Jesus did not come into the world “to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17) There can be no arguments over the claim that, for a variety of reasons, our nation deserves punishment. But when the Bible tells us about the grace of God, it is giving us the good news that our loving God does not give us what we truly deserve. Certainly, God would not create suffering for innocent people, who were—for the most part—Katrinas victims.
Perhaps we would do well to listen to the likes of Rabbi Harold Kushner, who contends that God is not really as powerful as we have claimed. Nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures does it say that God is omnipotent. Kushner points out that omnipotence is a Greek philosophical concept, but it is not in his Bible. Instead, the Hebrew Bible contends that God is mighty. That means that God is a greater force in the universe than all the other forces combined.
In scripture we get the picture of a cosmic struggle going on between the forces of darkness and the forces of light. The good news is that, in the end, God will be victorious. That is why we can sing in the Hallelujah Chorus, “the kingdoms of this world [will] become the Kingdom of our Lord.”
Personally, I contend that the best thing for us to do in the aftermath of Katrina is to remain silent, and not try to explain this tragedy. Instead of asking “Why?” we should be asking, “What does God want us to do now?” The loving God calls all believers in the face of Katrinas devastation to seek ways to express love in concrete ways towards those who have lost friends and family members; and to those who have lost homes along with most of their earthly belongings.
In the Bible, we read this passage: “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (I Kings 19:11-12)
Instead of looking for God in the earthquake or the tsunami, in the roaring forest fires blazing in the western states, or in the mighty winds of Katrina, it would be best to seek out a quiet place and heed the promptings of Gods still small voice. That voice will inspire us to bring some of Gods goodness to bear in the lives of those who suffer.
Dr. Tony Campolo is an ordained minister and the founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education. Professor emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, he is the author of 28 books, including ‘Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God.’
Click my screen name and see: “The Religious Left - Who They Are and What They Believe” bttt
Conveniently you and your ilk ignore all the inner-city churches, missions works (here and abroad), relief efforts, etc., that evangelicals support. Tell me, would you classify the influence of black Christians on civil rights legislation as "political coercion"?
Hmmm...I just perused Job 38...v.4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?...
"Omnipotent" seems about right to me.
“Mr. Campolo, you are a doofus (I say this with the utmost Christian charity). You’re spewing the same ol’ claptrap as Obama, Clinton, and Edwards...” ~ opus86
Tony “baloney” Campolo tells people they should thank God for Karl Marx.
“...Isnt Gods message to sinful humanity that He sees in each of us a divine nature of such worth that He sacrificed His own Son so that our divine potentialities might be realized? ... The hymn writer who taught us to sing Amazing Grace was all too ready to call himself a wretch ... Forgetting our divinity and over-identifying with our [Freudian] anal humanity... Erich Fromm, one of the most popular psychoanalysts of our time, recognized the diabolical social consequences that can come about when a person loses sight of his/her own divinity ... -Tony Campolo “Partly Right” 1995
What I am trying to say is that Jesus who incarnated God 2,000 years ago is mystically present and waiting to be discovered in EVERY person you and I encounter -Tony Campolo “A Reasonable Faith” 1983 page 171
There is a feminine side of God. I always knew this ... It is this feminine side of God I find in Jesus that makes me want to sing duets with Him ... Not only do I love the feminine is Jesus, but the more I know Jesus, the more I realize that Jesus loves the feminine in me. Until I accept the feminine in my humanness, there will be a part of me that cannot receive the Lord’s love. ... There is that feminine side of me that must be recovered and strengthened if I am to be like Christ ... And until I feel the feminine in Jesus, there is a part of Him which I cannot identify. -Tony Campolo “Carpe Diem: Seize the Day”, 1994, pages 85-88
“I’m not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians.” -Tony Campolo Charlie Rose show on January 24, 1997
Campolo falls into the common tendency of liberalism - enter into you understanding of God based on human preconceptions of “good” and then define your God to fit those preconceptions.
Liberal preconception - it is unjust that “innocent” people should die and God cannot be responsible for their deaths. The only explanation is that it must have been out of God’s control.
No wonder demoncrats think that Christians are foolish and illogical - cause all the “Christians” they hang out with are exactly that!!
Match-PI:”Until I accept the feminine in my humanness, there will be a part of me that cannot receive the Lords love.”
Yes, I think Tony has certainly come to grips with his feminine side - the feminine blonde side, that is...
What a raving lunatic!
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