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Letters to a Young Evangelical: The Art of Mentoring

Overview


Named by Christianity Today as one of the most influential preachers of the last fifty years, best-selling author Tony Campolo has spent decades calling on readers and audiences around the world to live their faith through committed activism. In Letters to a Young Evangelical, Campolo enjoins evangelicals young and old to resist the intimidating rhetoric of the Religious Right and think for themselves. With his trademark candor and wit, he offers sage advice to seekers who are trying to live their faith in a ...
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Letters To A Young Evangelical

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Overview


Named by Christianity Today as one of the most influential preachers of the last fifty years, best-selling author Tony Campolo has spent decades calling on readers and audiences around the world to live their faith through committed activism. In Letters to a Young Evangelical, Campolo enjoins evangelicals young and old to resist the intimidating rhetoric of the Religious Right and think for themselves. With his trademark candor and wit, he offers sage advice to seekers who are trying to live their faith in a modern world that is politically polarized and predominantly secular. He is unafraid to touch on hot-button topics including abortion, gay marriage, the war in Iraq, women in the ministry, and relations between Christianity and Islam. An activist, a visionary, and a man of deep faith, Tony Campolo offers guidance not only for young evangelicals, but also for seekers of all ages and faiths.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Campolo offers a strong enough addition to Basic's Letters to a Young... series that even older readers will learn a thing or two. In letters to two fictional young evangelicals, Campolo endeavors to challenge and encourage young Christians in much the same way Paul did in his epistles. In keeping with this Pauline theme, Campolo addresses his letters to Timothy, but, in keeping with his strong belief that women and men are equally fit for church leadership, also addresses them to Junia, a spiritual leader to whom Paul refers in the book of Romans. As Campolo covers such topics as the religious right, fundamentalism, dispensationalism, homosexuality, abortion and Christian-Muslim relations, he admirably steers clear of telling his readers what to think. Rather, he explains his position on the issue at hand, explains the positions of his detractors and leaves his readers to decide for themselves. Campolo calls himself a "Red Letter Christian," which signifies identification with neither the Right nor the Left, but with Jesus, whose words are rendered in red letters in many editions of the Bible. For Campolo, Red Letter Christianity is about following the radical teachings of Jesus, particularly identification with the poor, compassion for the suffering and the courage to stand against injustice. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this exceptionally positive book, popular evangelist and social activist Campolo (sociology, emeritus, Eastern Univ.) deals with sensitive contemporary topics that usually divide our political and religious worlds. Wedge issues of abortion, gay marriage, war, capital punishment, the environment, and the role of women in conservative Christian circles are pastorally addressed in a nonjudgmental style. Each of the so-called letters, which together cover about 20 chapters, are addressed to fictitious young people called Timothy and Junia, names usually associated with St. Paul in his many letters to the churches in ancient times. Campolo uses these names in order to include both young women and men, thus breaking with a predominantly male-orientated ecclesiology. This work is critical of the American Evangelical movement, as it partners with the political Right, while essentially positing a positive, pastoral, and prophetic Christianity inclusive of all men and women of goodwill. The letters are refreshingly open-minded, fully grounded, and committed to traditional religious principles. Recommended for public libraries collecting inspirational materials.
—John-Leonard Berg
Kirkus Reviews
Exploration of evangelicalism from a politically progressive perspective. Campolo (Sociology/Eastern Univ.) is a rare breed-a politically liberal, evangelical Christian. Here, he pens letters to a young pair of imaginary evangelicals, designed to provide them with guidance and counsel. The result is an intriguing look into the evangelical movement. Campolo displays deep concern for how evangelicals are viewed by society and takes great pains to disassociate fundamentalists from evangelicals. The attention to public perception is understandable, since Campolo states that, "Evangelicals regard winning souls to Christ as a moral obligation of the highest order." That many people stereotype evangelicals as literalists, fundamentalists, or worse, as misogynists and bigots, stymies such a mission. Many of Campolo's theological views are seemingly conservative: He sees the Bible as the inspired word of God, disagrees with homosexuality, is pro-life and believes Jesus is the only true path to salvation. Nevertheless, his letters also display a liberal political viewpoint: He supports civil rights for homosexuals, argues for the United Nations, warns against excessive patriotism and opposes the war in Iraq. Much of his work is pointed at the current political climate, and he especially repudiates evangelical ties to the Republican Party, decrying "the recent Evangelical marriage to conservative politics." The author provides an interesting historical perspective on the evangelical movement throughout the book, and draws upon the writings of a wide array of theologians. The book is not for everyone, and non-evangelicals of every political stripe will find its content puzzling at times. To some,Campolo's message will seem hopelessly trapped in contradictions. But it does present a good introduction to the rifts which affect some Christian churches and denominations. Liberal viewpoints from an overwhelmingly conservative movement.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465003549
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 3/31/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,235,491
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Campolo is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University in St. David's, Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. from Temple University and previously served for ten years on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), which nurtures and supports programs for "at-risk" children in cities across the United States and Canada, and has helped establish schools and universities in several developing countries. Campolo is an ordained minister, has served American Baptist Churches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and presently serves as associate pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia. He appears regularly on CNN as a commentator on religious issues and was a frequent guest on "Politically Incorrect" with Bill Maher. He has also appeared on "The Colbert Report." The author of over twenty books, he also writes for publications, including the Huffington Post and Sojourners Magazine, and a monthly column on Beliefnet. He has over 400 speaking engagements every year around the world. He lives with his wife Peggy in St. David's, Pennsylvania.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction: Why These Letters     1
Welcome!     9
The Gospel According to Us     20
Becoming Actualized Christians     28
Why We Witness     42
How We Witness     55
Why the Church Is Important     67
Getting High on Jesus     80
History with a Happy Ending     99
Being Rescued from Fundamentalism     119
Transcending Partisan Politics     135
Abortion as a Defining Issue     147
Being Straight but Not Narrow     158
Loving Muslims in a Fear-Filled World     174
Becoming Blessed Peacemakers     182
Women and the Church     193
Creation Care     201
Living in Secular America     212
Escaping the American Babylon     225
A Work Ethic for Evangelical Radicals     242
Living Out the Great Commission     253
The Need for Feedback from the Twilight Zone     274
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 11, 2011

    Not a Fan

    I expected better of this book and was slightly disappointed. As a Presbyterian I try to understand the evangelical drive to "witness," but I don't support it as a theologically sound doctrine and am surprised somewhat that it played such a prominent part in this book. While Tony took aim at conservatives for trying to hide the female apostle in translations of the Bible, he was quick to cite text that support the drive to witness that was also not present in early versions of the gospel. Having said this, I think he missed the opportunity to make it clear that as the body of Christ (as Christians) our best "witness" has less to do with an alter call and much more to do with how we should stive to live our lives following Christ's example.

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    Posted July 26, 2011

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    Posted January 11, 2011

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