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Red Letter Revolution

What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?
Format: Hardcover

Availability: In stock

Quick Overview:

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.


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 book, by a young and an elderly Christian, will help you decide how we Christians could change the world if we took the ‘red letter’ words of Jesus literally and seriously.” —President Jimmy Carter

“In Red Letter Revolution the uncompromised truth of Jesus' teachings are given voice by two modern-day Christian leaders who do more than preach this Good News. They walk the talk and lead the way.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“I started reading this book and couldn't stop. . . . Thank you, Tony and Shane. Thank you for this book. May the movement spread around the world.” —Abuna Elias Chacour,
Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Galilee

“Red Letter Revolution is an adrenaline-producing conversation with prophetic bite.” —Eugene H. Peterson, author of The Message Bible

“I cannot over-emphasize or exaggerate the richness of this book.” —Phyllis Tickle, author of Emergence Christianity

“In this courageous and well crafted book, we have a return to the core message of the Gospel from two Christians who first tried to live it themselves—and only then spoke." —Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation

“Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo are two of the most significant prophetic voices in the Christian world.” —Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine (

“This is a must-read book for anyone who is seeking to take Jesus’ call on their lives seriously.” —Jim Wallis, founder and editor of Sojourners magazine

“If you ever wished you could eavesdrop on a conversation with two of the world's most interesting and inspiring Christians, just turn to page one.” —Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker (

Contributor(s) Shane Claiborne , Tony Campolo
About the Contributor(s) Shane Claiborne

Shane Claiborne is an activist, author of Jesus for President, coauthor of Common Prayer, and is a founder of The Simple Way, a community in inner-city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world.

Tony Campolo

Tony Campolo (Ph.D., Temple University) is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University in suburban Philadelphia, a media commentator on religious, social, and political matters, and the author of a dozen books, including Revolution and Renewal, Let me Tell You a Story, and 20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid to touch.

ISBN-10 1400204186
ISBN-13 9781400204182
Release Date Oct 9, 2012
Weight (lbs) 0.8600
Height 8.63
Width 5.75
Length 288
Length Unit Pages
Publisher Thomas Nelson
Price $22.99
Format Hardcover
Language English

Customer Reviews

Review by Jennifer
Overall Rating
Red Letter Revolution is written as an ongoing dialogue between two Christian activists of different generations coming from two very different backgrounds.
The basis of the book is to offer what it might mean to only live according to the "red words" of the Bible - which are thought to be Jesus' actual statements.

At first this book intrigued me.
As a follower of Christ, I like to constantly be challenged in new ways to grow closer to Him and learn how I might better live out His will for my life and I had hoped that this book would serve as an inspiration to me.
However, instead of being encouraged, I found that I was at odds with the authors and their interpretations of the Scriptures, which sometimes stray away from what the correlating 'black' text of the Bible supports and is by the authors, often ignored and even disrespected.
According to their own words:
"Not only do we say that the red letters are superior to the black letters of the Bible, but Jesus said they were! Jesus over and over again in the Sermon on the Mount, declared that some of the things that Moses taught about such things as divorce, adultery, killing, getting even with those who hurt you and the use of money had to be transcended by a higher morality."

As the title of this book suggests, their only focus is on the "Red Letters" and at times the authors show a blatant disregard for the remainder of the Bible in order to justify their positions on civil rights and social issues, many of which go against Biblical principles.

I am all for a movement that places Christ back at the center of our lives, but when you encourage others to look 'beyond what the black text implies' and come up with your own take on what Jesus might have meant if the black text were NOT in the Bible, you travel a dangerous road, indeed.
This book felt more like a 'just let everyone be who they want to be and all will be happy' text instead of a Christian publication.
Jesus called us to be radical, but not at the expense of our relationship with Him.

My rating for this book is a 1 out of 5 stars. (Posted on 11/21/2012)

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