Red-Letter Christians

190_vIt was a secular Jewish Country-and-Western disc jockey in Nashville, Tennessee, who during a radio interview he was doing with Jim Wallis happened to say, “So, you’re one of those Red-Letter Christians – you know – who’s really into those verses in the New Testament that are in red letters!”

If you got one of those Gideon New Testaments when you were in grade school you’ll recall that all the words of Jesus–like the sermon on the mount–were in red.

Reading Don Retson’s interview with Tony Campollo gives you an idea of the scope of this "new breed?" of evangelical, or Red-letter Christian, that doesn’t want to be identified as an "Evangelical."

While not always fond of labels, I think I might be able to live with being labeled something like a Red-letter Christian. And even though I would go farther than Campolo et al on some issues, and disagree on others, I get a sense that I wouldn’t be judged for doing so. Maybe even encouraged to explore the direction in which I’m pulled.

There at least seems to be room to breath here.

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  1. have you ever heard of a
    red letter hermeneutic?

    That tends to be how i deal with the old testament nastiness (and even some of the New testament stuff as well).

    Bascically the red letters are the filtre through which all else is seeened and interpreted.

    If we do that, much of the bloody nastiness of the sacrificial system of religion is revealed for what i think it was, namely hard headed people justifying themselves, ala the Mosaic divorce teaching that Jesus corrected in his red letter teachinng.
    When the ugly human stuff is filtred out we get a Gospel that is of love not judgment and sacrificial violence.
    I, for one, enjoy the Jesus stuff much more than the ‘justified genocides’..

  2. or





    required by a simplistic, all is the direct word of God from His mouth to the scibes ear, interpretative model.

  3. has steve put a copyright on the technique yet?

    if he’s got a book out on it already I”ll be able to put my head to rest from thinking about it too much. I’m sure Steve can write about it better than I can think or imagine it.

  4. Steve – haven’t been to your site much lately. Thanks for your comments and directing me to the Campolo interview. Much appreciated and these have really been the lines along which many of us have been thinking lately.

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