taking the words of Jesus seriously

Steve Chalke is challenging the Church, and especially its Evangelical community, to face up to questions about the Bible that can no longer be evaded. His paper raises a lot of important questions that if we don’t want to face up to we’re cowards. However, those of us in the Evangelical tradition have to listen to what Steve Chalke has to say and, in the words of Scripture, “We have to have a reason for the faith that lies within us.” In short, we should be responding to the kind of things he brings up in this paper about the Bible because they are the kinds of questions that Red Letter Christians run in to in our communities, schools, and neighborhoods. He is not raising any issues that haven’t already been raised by intelligent students in Ivy league schools. He isn’t saying anything that hasn’t already challenged the Church. What is unique with him is that he is somebody within the Church with a deep commitment to Christ who is raising the questions and stating the issues in the way that he has.

It is hard to know where this conversation will lead me, but I do know that it represents a major transition for the Church and that if I refuse to engage in it I am a coward. Further, the Evangelical community cannot be afraid to read a paper like this or be reluctant to respond to Steve. We need to take him seriously even if we disagree with him.

You can read and engage with Steve’s paper and resources over at his website.

Here is Steve introducing you to his paper, “Restoring Confidence in the Bible“:

Restoring Confidence in the Bible from Oasis UK on Vimeo.

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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