Tony Campolo

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Tony Campolo
Campolo.jpg
Campolo speaking in Newfoundland on behalf of World Vision in 2009.
Born(1935-02-25) February 25, 1935 (age 79) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
EducationB.A., Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary at Eastern College
PhD, Temple University (Sociology)
Years active1957–present
ChurchBaptist
Congregations served
Currently Associate Pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia
Website
tonycampolo.org
 
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Tony Campolo
Campolo.jpg
Campolo speaking in Newfoundland on behalf of World Vision in 2009.
Born(1935-02-25) February 25, 1935 (age 79) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
EducationB.A., Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary at Eastern College
PhD, Temple University (Sociology)
Years active1957–present
ChurchBaptist
Congregations served
Currently Associate Pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia
Website
tonycampolo.org

Anthony "Tony" Campolo (born February 25, 1935) is an American sociologist, pastor, author, public speaker and former spiritual advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton.[1] Campolo is known as one of the most influential leaders in the Evangelical left and has been a major proponent of progressive thought and reform within the evangelical community. He has also become a leader of the Red-Letter Christian movement, which aims to put emphasis on the teachings of Jesus.[2][3] Campolo is a popular commentator on religious, political, and social issues, and has been a guest on programs such as The Colbert Report, The Charlie Rose Show, Larry King Live, Nightline, Crossfire, Politically Incorrect and The Hour.[4]

Career[edit]

Campolo is an alumnus and professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University in St. David's, Pennsylvania. He is a 1956 graduate of Eastern College, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary) and earned a PhD from Temple University. He is an ordained Baptist minister and evangelist, presently serving as an associate pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia, which is affiliated with both the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and the American Baptist Churches USA.[5] For ten years, he was a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Campolo founded the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), which works to help "at-risk" youth in the U.S. and Canada, and has helped to establish several schools and universities. His best known work is a sermon entitled It's Friday, But Sunday's Coming!, recordings of which have been widely circulated in evangelical circles, and which is based on a sermon by a black minister at Mount Carmel Baptist Church. He is a frequent speaker at Christian conferences. He was also one of several spiritual advisers to President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal where he met with president Clinton at the White House.

Although he has associated himself with the Democratic Party and several "left wing" groups and causes, he has publicly stated his opposition to abortion and to same-sex marriage. Many of his views are in keeping with Ron Sider's "completely pro-life" stance, standing in opposition to any human situation that leads to the termination of life. He is also opposed to warfare, poverty/starvation (as caused by extreme wealth inequalities), capital punishment, and euthanasia.[citation needed]

Starting in the late 1980s, his left-leaning political beliefs began to put leaders of the Christian right, such as Gary Bauer and Jerry Falwell,[6][7] at odds with Campolo.

Despite his criticisms of the politically conservative evangelical community, Campolo has also criticized the more liberal mainline Christian denominations because "they fail to emphasize a personal, transforming relationship with Jesus Christ."

Campolo was the subject of an informal heresy hearing in 1985 brought about by several assertions in his 1983 book A Reasonable Faith, particularly his claim that, "Jesus is actually present in each other person". The book became a hot button issue, and the controversy caused Campus Crusade for Christ and Youth for Christ to block a planned speaking engagement by Campolo. The Christian Legal Society empowered a "reconciliation panel", led by noted theologian J. I. Packer, to examine the issue and resolve the controversy. The panel examined the book and questioned Campolo. The panel issued a statement saying that although it found Campolo's statements "methodologically naïve and verbally incautious", it did not find them to be heretical.[8][9][10][11]

On January 14, 2014, Campolo announced his plans to retire from leading the EAPE and to close that ministry. The extra money in the ministry will be distributed to offshoot ministries started by EAPE; however, he plans to continue writing and speaking.[12]

TV show[edit]

Beginning in March 2011, Tony began hosting the TV show Red Letter Christians, aired on JC-TV. This weekly half-hour talk show features interviews with leaders in the Red-Letter Christian movement.

LGBT sexuality debates[edit]

Tony Campolo and his wife Peggy have participated in very public debates and discussions about the place of lesbians and gays within church and society. Tony Campolo contends that homosexuality is a sin in practice, though not in orientation. His wife, Peggy Campolo, disagrees, holding that committed, monogamous homosexual practice is not a sin; she supports full equality for homosexual, bisexual and transsexual persons.[13] Regarding marriage, Tony Campolo states that all couples should have the right to a civil union with all the legal rights that are associated with such a contract.

I propose that the government should get out of the business of marrying people and, instead, only give legal status to civil unions. The government should do this for both gay couples and straight couples and, leave marriage in the hands of the Church and other religious entities.[14]

Published works[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "An interview with Tony Campolo". Charlie Rose. January 24, 1997. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ Price, Irie; Campolo, Tony (February 21, 2011). "Campolo talks about social justice [interview of Tony Campolo by Irie Price]". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas). pp. B1, B8. Retrieved February 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ Campolo, Tony (November 5, 2010). "What's a 'Red-Letter Christian'? by Tony Campolo-religion right left politics Bush Jesus Christ church Bible". Beliefnet.com. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ "American Baptist International Ministries". Internationalministries.org. November 18, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ MTCarmel-bc.org[dead link]
  6. ^ "Falwell rejects Campolo TV plea". Christianity Today 39 (3): 54. 1995. 
  7. ^ "Meet Evangelist Tony Campolo". The Progressive. Retrieved October 20, 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.tonycampolo.org/podcast/tonycampolo_podcast_Internet_Show_Part_2.mp3
  9. ^ "J.I. Packer – General Teachings/Activities". Rapidnet.com. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  10. ^ John Dart (December 14, 1985). "Move by Campus Crusade for Christ Stirred Debate : Baptist Professor Absolved of 'Heresy' by Evangelical Panel – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  11. ^ Ted Olsen. "The Positive Prophet - Christianity Today magazine - ChristianityTodayLibrary.com". Ctlibrary.com. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Tony Campolo to shutter the evangelical ministry he started 40 years ago | Religion News Service". Religionnews.com. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ "GayChristian.net". GayChristian.net. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  14. ^ Red Letter Christians by Tony Campolo, Chapter 7 Gay Rights

External links[edit]