At RLC we believe that life that really is life is found in the person of Jesus, and our purpose is to equip followers today to pattern their lives after his. In this, we recognize that all of us need to see the teachings of Jesus modeled in fresh ways by contemporaries who are living out some of his radical teachings:
– Blessed are you who are poor
– For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
– The last will be first, and the first will be last
Toward this end, we want to introduce you to 21st century Red Letter practitioners who are living out the words and witness of Jesus. Our hope is that this series of interviews will encourage, inspire and equip you to live as faithful citizens of the kingdom he ushered in.
Jodina came to Eastern University to become one of Tony Campolo’s students. She had heard that we had young Eastern students daily deployed in various “at risk” neighborhood across Philadelphia, and especially throughout Camden, NJ…
While many white evangelicals have worried that Black Lives Matter is a subversive movement, here at Red Letter Christians we are grateful for members of our network who have been sharing the good news of the Jesus who is not white for years. Onleilove (pronounced Only-love) Alston is one of our great teachers who has helped us see why enfleshing the gospel in movements like Black Lives Matter is good news for all of us. We’re glad to highlight her voice today.
Brian Zahnd is the co-founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a non-denominational Christian congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Brian is known for his focus on embracing the deep and long history of the Church and wholeheartedly participating in God’s mission to redeem and restore His world.
Shane is so excited to do this Red Carpet interview with an organizer in Life Lines, an audio journal of poetry, spoken word, and other creative writing from North Carolina’s Death Row.
Carolyn Custis James is president of the Whitby Forum, a ministry dedicated to addressing the deeper needs that confront both men and women as they work together to extend God’s kingdom in a messy and complicated world. She is also the founder of Synergy Women’s Network, a national organization for women emerging or engaged in ministry leadership.
In recognition of foster care awareness month, this month’s Red Letter Carpet features Aaron and Amy Graham. Aaron and Amy have a career-long history of helping those in need: prior to moving to DC, Aaron started the Quincy Street Missional Church in a low-income neighborhood of Boston where he served for five years, and Amy served as a foster care social worker.
The Reverend Stacy Martin has made a career living out the ELCA tagline: “God’s work. Our hands.” Once the Vice President of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, she is now the National Policy and Advocacy Director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Marco Saavedra is an artist, poet, writer, and sometime-dishwasher at his parents’ restaurant in the Bronx. He’s also an undocumented immigrant and one of nine Dreamers who, in 2013, turned themselves over to border patrol at Nogales, AZ to lift up the plight of two million deported immigrants under the Obama administration. The previous year he had put himself in the hands of Florida immigration agents to infiltrate the Broward Detention Facility and expose the abuses occurring there
Geoffrey Chongo is the Head of Programs at the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR), located in Lusaka, Zambia. JCTR is a church-affiliated civil society organization that conducts evidence-based advocacy on political, social and economic issues.
Alasdair Groves is the Director of Counseling and a member of the faculty at Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF) in New England. He has a passion to foster genuine relationships in the local church, especially through counseling and counseling training, and his hope is for a church-based movement toward providing robust, Biblical pastoral care.
Arthur Ammann, M.D., is a pediatric immunologist and advocate known for his research on HIV transmission in women and children and his role in the development of the first successful vaccine to prevent pneumococcal infection. Dr. Ammann is the founder of Global Strategies and is the author of three books. He’s here today to talk about his latest book, (in)Visible, which is about “how Jesus leads us to discover people who are of value to Him so that they might be transformed as better for having met us.”
Aleah Marsden is a writer, speaker, Bible study leader, wife, and mother of four. You will hear her refer to herself as “just average,” unequipped to teach or lead. And yet, that’s exactly what she does: she brings the word of God to others in ways they can understand and apply to their daily lives. She speaks directly to those who feel they are too “ordinary” for God, equipping and empowering them to serve in extraordinary ways.
How will the church engage today’s race issues—immigration, economic redistribution, presidential birth certificates—in the light of Dr. King’s very Christian message? Guided by King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Ed Gilbreath offers food for thought.
Kim Brown was in the first graduating class of Project Turn—a course, in partnership with Duke Divinity School, offering seminary-style writing classes inside of North Carolina prisons. Today Kim continues to serve ex-offenders and their families in Raleigh.
Bob Lenz, who speaks to thousands of teenagers every year, thinks the pro-life movement has been hijacked, and he begs Christians who call themselves “prolife” to find new ways to be for all life.
Today I’m asking Shayne Moore & Kimberly Yim, authors of Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern Day Slavery, how Christians can respond when human trafficking happens close to home.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, Love Wins Ministries tackles the problems of homelessness by focusing on relationships. Today I ask founder and director Hugh Hollowell about engaging with folks who live outdoors. I learned stuff. I’ll bet you will too.
As a Christian who, for decades, has loved Jesus and loved justice, it struck me as odd that Faith-Rooted Organizing—a new book by Alexia Salvatierra and Peter Heltzel—was my first taste of…well…faith-rooted organizing. I suspect there are others, like me, with so much to learn from these two.
In recognition of this Saturday, January 11, being National Human Trafficking Day, I’m talking to Rachel Goble, President of The SOLD Project, an international organization dedicated to providing education to children at-risk. Keyword: prevention.
Because the incarnational ministry of Word Made Flesh is one worth learning from, I’m chatting today with Leroy Barber, Global Executive Director of this international organization that works among the most vulnerable of the world’s poor.
When Jesus said that those who visit prisoners are actually visiting him, he made no mention of how to get behind bars. Jack Heller, who teaches at Huntington University, has discovered one creative way…
You’re on a mission trip and you want to snap some good pictures for a slideshow at church. Or, if you’re being honest, to post to facebook. But pointing your camera at a human being you don’t know is weird right? It is. Today Nikole Lim — photographer, filmmaker and International Director of Freely in Hope, a faith-based non-profit restoring dignity to survivors of sexual violence—schools me, and you, about the meaning behind the way we use photographs of those often labeled “the least of these.”
Alberto Vega was born and raised in Camden, New Jersey, one of the most dangerous cities in America. Some would call Al’s journey, graduating from Eastern University, a “success story.” Though rare, you can find stories of kids who “make it” and leave the hood. But Al didn’t leave. Instead, he did what Dr. John Perkins says changes communities: he returned to invest in his neighborhood. Today Al works with UrbanPromise Ministries, as the Director of an afterschool and summer camp he attended as a child.
A few weeks ago a friend was raving about the impact the Memphis Teacher Residency was having in Memphis schools by recruiting, training and supporting effective teachers. Wanting to learn more, I’m chatting today with Director David Montague.
National Adoption month comes to a close, I’m chatting with Robert Gelinas. Gelinas is father to six children—five of whom he and his wife welcomed through adoption. The leader of Colorado Community Church in Aurora, Colorado—and founder of Project 1.27, advocating for children in Colorado’s foster care system—is convinced that God has a special heart for these precious ones.
Like many RLC readers, blogger Sarah Bessey believes in the full inclusion of women in the life of the church. Because many women around the globe are not yet fully included as valued leaders, her new book, Jesus Feminist, invites the whole Church to live into God’s redemptive purposes.
Happy National Adoption Month. Katie Davis, twenty-five, moved from her native Tennessee home several years ago and has adopted over a dozen girls in Uganda, where she’s now raising them. I wanted to know what those of us who aren’t called to follow God in this particular way can learn from Katie. Spoiler alert: a lot.
Last week I spoke with Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil — author, speaker, thought leader and founder of Salter McNeil and Associates—about her personal journey into the field of racial, ethnic and gender reconciliation. Today she shares some of the practical nitty gritty steps that set the stage for reconciliation.
When I asked Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil who the first speaker was that she ever heard preach about racial reconciliation, she named Tony Campolo—when she was a Fuller Seminary student in the early 1980s. Today, the name thousands of young adults would give to the same question is Brenda Salter McNeil. Dr. Salter McNeil, president and founder of Salter McNeil and Associates, is an author, speaker and thought-leader with over 25 years of ministry experience in the field of racial, ethnic and gender reconciliation. Today I’m chatting with Dr. Salter McNeil about her own journey and ministry of reconciliation. And next Monday we’ll dig into practical tips for reconcilers.
A lot of Christians—myself included—have, until recently, been sort of…sleepy…about climate change. After traveling to Malawi this year with Evangelical Environmental Network—learning from Africans whose communities have already been irreversibly altered by a changing climate—I wanted to learn more from an American who has woken up to the reality of a changing climate. Tracey Bianchi is a pastor at Christ Church of Oak Brook, Illinois, and the author of Green Mama: The Guilt-Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet.
Jim Wallis, longstanding friend of Red Letter Christians and the president of Sojourners, believes something just as radical as Jesus’ sermon on the mount: that politics in the U.S. can be different than it is right now. After reading his new book On God’s Side we wanted to chat further:
In the war-torn country of Iraq, Jeremy Courtney, his family, and their small team, patterned their lives after Jesus by loving their neighbors the way they loved themselves. Courtney’s recent book, Preemptive Love, tells their story, and today he shares his passion with RLC.
Mimi Haddad, the President of Christians for Biblical Equality, has stirred it up here at RLC with posts about the biblical injunction for women to remain silent in the church and women in leadership. (#opposites) We wanted the back story and today we’re chatting with Haddad about her passion for biblical gender equality.
Bruce Reyes-Chow, the former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA’s 218th General Assembly (#prettybigdeal), is a pastor and writer whose new book, But I Don’t See You as Asian, recently featured in our RLC Book Club, is a gift to the church today. Today we’re chatting with Bruce about race.
Red Letter Christians are convinced that Jesus-like neighbor-love was never meant to be performed once annually, on the church’s summer mission trip. Helen Lee, author of The Missional Mom, has roped her own family into everyday mission near home, and she’s encouraging other families to get on board.
Today we’re chatting with Nancy Ortberg —author, speaker, consultant, wife and mother—about justice, a new generation of Christians and using our spending power to do good.
Last Monday we spoke with John Perkins about reconciliation, inherited dignity and why, at 83 years of age, he doesn’t get a lot of sleep. Today he shares more…
John Perkins is one of the leading evangelical voices to emerge from the civil rights movement and a tireless advocate for justice and reconciliation. He’s the author of numerous books on racial reconciliation and community development including, Let Justice Roll Down and With Justice for All. He’s a living legend and we’re honored to have him on the Red Carpet
Today we’re chatting with 7 ½ year-old Penny Becker and her mom, Amy Julia Becker. In Becker’s memoir, Good and Perfect Gift—selected by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the top 10 religion books of 2011—readers journey with her from the shock of discovering her newborn daughter has Down syndrome into unforeseen joy.
Named one of Christianity Today’s “50 Women to Watch,” Rachel Held Evans—the author of Evolving in Monkey Town and A Year of Biblical Womanhood—is a popular blogger who devoted a year to living out what the Bible has to say to and about women.
He’d been living in Minnesota when, in 2003, Sami Rasouli returned to his homeland of Iraq. Stunned by the destruction he saw there, Rasouli sold his business and returned to help. After encountering Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq—supporting communities struggling with violence—Rasouli requested that CPT train Muslim men and women to be peacemakers. Today Rasouli is the Executive Director of Muslim Peacemaker Teams.
If you’ve got a stereotype of an old-school evangelism “crusade,” prepare to have it dismantled. Under the leadership of Kevin Palau, the Luis Palau Association has produced some of the largest Christian events ever staged, drawing as many as 1 million people. (wait for it) Enter “festival 2.0”…
Isabel is a vibrant young woman who graduated Magna Cum Laude from a reputable east coast university and yet is prohibited from working legally in the country in which she was raised and educated. Today she shares her journey with Margot Starbuck and discusses why she now advocates for countless other residents who do not have legal documentation.