Red Letter Christians

About 20 years ago Paul and I attended a conference in Boise, Idaho and one of the speakers was a man named Tony Compolo.  At the time, Compolo was known for a sermon and book he gave called, "It's Friday, But Sunday's Coming", about Jesus being crucified on the cross, then rising on Sunday.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I purchased a book called "Red Letter Christians: A Citizen's Guide To Faith and Politics".  This was my first exposure to Red Letter Christians.

After I read the book, and agreed with almost 100 percent what it said, I started to explore more about Red Letter Christians.  This is what is says about them on their website:

The goal of Red Letter Christians is simple: To take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount.

Two years ago, Compolo and a man named Shane Clairborne wrote another book called: "Red Letter Revolution:  What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?"

Here is a description of what the book is about:

For all the Christians facing conflict between Jesus’ words and their own lives, for all the non-Christians who feel they rarely see Jesus’ commands reflected in the choices of his followers, Red Letter Revolution is a blueprint for a new kind of Christianity, one consciously centered on the words of Jesus, the Bible’s “red letters.”
Framed as a captivating dialogue between Shane Claiborne, a progressive young evangelical, and Tony Campolo, a seasoned pastor and professor of sociology, Red Letter Revolution is a life-altering manifesto for skeptics and Christians alike. It is a call to a lifestyle that considers first and foremost Jesus’ explicit, liberating message of sacrificial love.
Shane and Tony candidly bring the words of Jesus to bear on contemporary issues of violence, community, Islam, hell, sexuality, civil disobedience, and twenty other critical topics for people of faith and conscience today. The resulting conversations reveal the striking truth that Christians guided unequivocally by the words of Jesus will frequently reach conclusions utterly contrary to those of mainstream evangelical Christianity.
If the Jesus who speaks to you through the Gospels is at odds with the Christian culture you know, if you have ever wanted to stand up and say, “I love Jesus, but that’s not me,” Red Letter Revolution will prove that you are not alone—you may have been a Red Letter Christian all along.
This last November, Paul and I attended a "Simply Jesus" gathering in Denver and Compolo was one of the speakers.  I was again reminded why I like what he says and writes about, and how I was challenged by his books, and the "red letters" in the Bible.  
And living the words Jesus spoke are not easy.  Sometimes I ask myself, how can this be done?  But I don't do it alone.  Jesus' words in the Bible point me in the right directions, and His spirit gives me the ability to step out and live the words He spoke.  Oh, but it is hard!!  But the results of living the life Jesus spoke of is what I am suppose to be doing.
If you want to be challenged in your faith, I recommend these two books.  See what you think.  See if these books challenge you to live as a "Red Letter Christian".

No comments: