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.
Ironically, it was a secular Jewish country-and-western disc jockey in Nashville, Tennessee who first suggested that title. During a radio interview with my friend Jim Wallis, that deejay declared, “You’re one of those Red-Letter Christians – you know, the ones who are really into all those New Testament verses that are in red letters!” When Jim said, “That’s right!” he answered for all of us. By calling ourselves Red Letter Christians, we refer to the fact that in many Bibles the words of Jesus are printed in red. What we are asserting, therefore, is that we have committed ourselves first and foremost to doing what Jesus said.
The message of those red-lettered Bible verses is radical, to say the least. If you don’t believe me, just take a few minutes to read Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). In it, Jesus calls us away from the consumerist values that dominate contemporary America. Instead, he calls us to meet the needs of the poor. He also calls us to be merciful, which has strong implications in terms of war and capital punishment. After all, when Jesus tells us to love our enemies, he probably means we shouldn’t kill them.
Gandhi once said that everybody in the world knows what Jesus teaches in those red lettered verses — except Christians. Today, lots of people share that same kind of disappointment with the American church. We want to change that. Applying the teachings of Jesus to our lives in such complicated times is difficult, but that is what Red Letter Christians is all about.
On this blog, I am going to do my best to introduce you to people and ideas that will inspire, encourage, and equip you to better follow Jesus as a Red Letter Christian. The blog is organized around four major silos of interest: Current, Global, Lifestyle, and Theology. Under each silo is a myriad of more specific topics compiled based on my book Red Letter Christians. You can find the silos listed on the top navigation bar and on the homepage. The homepage will always display the most recent articles under each silo and at the very top show the most recent six posts overall. If you’re looking for posts specifically related to The Church, for example, then you’d simply scroll over “Theology” in the top navigation bar and click “The Church” from the drop down list. If you’re not sure which category a post may be under then you can simply search for the post in our search bar, located on the far right side of the navigation bar.
The site has been designed to organize the plethora of information and make it easily accessible. Please, let me know if it helps. And above all…keep the faith!