taking the words of Jesus seriously

Our Story

Red Letter Christians began in 2007 as a community of Christian authors and speakers meeting for a time of fellowship and discussion of the pressing issues of the day. Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo gathered together friends who felt strongly that Western Christianity had lost its focus on Jesus and were concerned at the growing misuse of the word “evangelical” to identify a voting bloc. Their desire was a church that looked like Jesus and a recapturing of the term evangelical to mean a people who bring good news to the world.

This group, joined every year by new speakers and authors, continues to meet annually.

In December 2010, Red Letter Christians launched its blog as a home for the RLC network of speakers and authors to promote Red Letter living. On our site, you will find articles that challenge the way we think and live, all with the goal of emulating Jesus’ love, mercy, and countercultural way.

Challenging the popular image of evangelicals is one of the purposes of this movement. As our co-founder, Tony Campolo, says:

 I want it to be known that there are millions of us who espouse an evangelical theology, but who reject being classified as part of the Religious Right. We don’t want to make Jesus into a Republican. On the other hand, we want to say loud and clear that we don’t want to make Jesus into a Democrat either.

Transcending partisan politics, Jesus calls us to make judgments about social issues as best we can when we vote, and to do so in accordance with our best understanding of God’s will. In doing so, we are to avoid partisan politics that lead to unnecessary, unproductive, and even dangerous divisions.

So what are Red Letter Christians?

Red Letter Christians hold to the same theological convictions that define evangelicals. We believe in the doctrines set forth in the Apostles’ Creed, which states the central beliefs the church has held over centuries.

Second, we are Christians with a very high view of scripture. The writers of scripture, we believe, were invaded by the Holy Spirit and were uniquely guided by God as they wrote.

Third — and this is most important — we claim that the historical Jesus can be alive and present to each and every person, and that salvation depends on yielding to Him and inviting Him to be a vital, transforming presence in our lives. The same Son of God described in the Apostles’ Creed will spiritually invade any of us who will receive Him (John 1:12) to initiate in us an ongoing process whereby we are transformed into persons who are increasingly like Him (1 John 3:2).

Today, RLC continues in much the same way it began. We continue to bring together prominent Christian speakers and authors every year for our RLC Speakers’ Gathering and through our Red Letter Revivals. The blog continues to be our main space for hearing from our diverse network. Shane and Tony host a weekly radio show to discuss Red Letter living, which is aired on Christian Premier Radio in the U.K. and transmitted via our podcast. And our daily Wake Up! devotionals provide concrete action steps to live out Jesus’ teachings.

Our hope is that this space can help you find the Way of Jesus in the world today.