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Red Letter Christianity: Living the Words of Jesus No Matter the Cost Paperback – 13 Sep 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Paperback, 13 Sep 2012
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444745387
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444745382
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.1 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'a clarion call to rethink the meaning of church, conversion and Christianity; no reader will go away unshaken' (for Shane Claiborne's The Irresistible Revolution) (Publishers Weekly)

'This book's blend of kindly spiritual insights and practical wisdom may well appeal to those beyond the target Christian audience' (for Tony Campolo's Connecting Like Jesus) (Publishers Weekly)

Book Description

What does it mean to take Jesus' words seriously, and how do they affect the 'hot' issues facing us at the beginning of the 21st century?

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This book gives the reader the privilege of listening in on a conversation between Tony Campolo (veteran international evangelist and author of Let me tell you a story and many other books)and Shane Claiborne (a young christian activist and author of the best selling Irresistible Revolution). They share their experiences, stories and wisdom on a wide range of current hot topics from pro-life to the environment, from homosexuality to immigration, to theology to world affairs.

The "red letters" in the title refers to the words of Jesus that are printed in some older bibles in red. The sub-title of the book is "living the words of Jesus no matter the cost" and that probably sums up what the book is about.

IRRESISTIBLE REVOLUTION: Living as an Ordinary RadicalLet Me Tell You A Story Life Lessons From Unexpected Places And Unlikely People
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If you don't want to be challenged in how you are living out your faith then don't read this book. Claiborne and Campolo take the words of Jesus in the Bible (the Red letters of the title) seriously, and aim to live by them. This book is an easy read, there is no deep and complex theology, and split nicely into chapters on topics that mean it could be easily dipped into when wanting some thoughts and ideas on a topic or real life issue you are facing.
It is written as a conversation between the two authors, and at times this is a little contrived and it is also focused on the problems in the US. But it doesn't take much thinking to link to similar issues that are faced in churches around the world today, and each chapter is filled with practical stories that Claiborne and Campolo share about how they, or people they know are actually trying to live out the words of Christ in their life. You may not agree with all their theology or their suggestions, but you can't fault their desire to serve Christ and make him known.
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I found it easy to read, not using technical or complicated words. Important Christian subjects were covered in a systematic way. Subjects covered explained some issues which I struggle with. Only on a few opinions do I still have questions ( am not sure I agree with opinions made)
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I you're looking for an alternative to right wing guns and gays Christianity, then you can't do much better than Claiborne and Campolo. In this book they take a serious look at some serious questions and offer some answers other than the knee jerk spot it and stop it that has become the modern caricature of the church.
The only downside is the style of presentation, The book is written as a conversation between Shane and Tony. Although everything they write is clear and well thought out, the linking between their individual paragraphs feels a little false. Apart from that though it's a good book.
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Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne give real and honest reflections on a number of controversial topics relating to Christianity. I loved the simple way both authors discuss subjects that have caused people to view Christians in a certain way. Although i don't agree with all their theological views I found myself appreciating their practical approach to Christianity and found this refreshing and encouraging. I would recommend this book to people from all religions and backgrounds and to dive in and reflect on the words of Jesus and to consider what these words meant for everyone who would be willing to listen.
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Format: Paperback
“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” (Charles Spurgeon).

This quote could sum up this book. Many of the issues appear right, some even are, but many fall short.

The book starts with an explanation on why the authors use the term Red Letter Christians. The reason is the author believes that the red letters of the Bible are superior to the black letters (p. 5). This in itself is an error and much has been written to debunk this by other authors. One author refers to this as being similar to the “I follow Christ” situation in 1 Corinthians 1. Another author reminds us that the gospel writers who wrote the red letters also wrote the black letters; both are inspired AND important.

Just two pages later (p. 7) there is brief mention on the tragedy on Judges 19. The author mentions how confusing this is. Andy Stanley (Right in the eye – Stranger than fiction) offers a good explanation for this. I find it odd that the authors of this book aren’t aware of explanations like this. Straight after this discussion the authors mention the Old Testament. To them, the God of the Old Testament is a completely different God. This issue resurfaces again (p. 215) where God who is revealed in Jesus is not the same God in the Old Testament who issued commands to take the Promised Land. This misconception is bad. In the OT God’s wrath is more visible in temporal categories such as famine or war while in the NT it is in the afterlife. Don Carson (The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, pp. 80-84) deals with this misconception well.

The chapter on hell is very disconcerting.
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