views updated

Campolo, Tony 1935–

(Anthony Campolo, Jr.)

PERSONAL:

Born February 25, 1935, in Philadelphia, PA; son of Anthony (a radio repairer) and Mary (a homemaker) Campolo; married Margaret Davidson, June 7, 1958; children: Lisa Davidson Campolo Goodheart, Bart Anthony. Education: Eastern Baptist College (now Eastern College), B.A., 1956; University of Pennsylvania, graduate study, 1958-59; Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Th.M. and B.D., both 1960; Temple University, Ph.D., 1968. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Baptist. Hobbies and other interests: Developing missionary programs for poor and oppressed people in Third World countries and in urban America.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Philadelphia, PA. Office— Department of Sociology, Eastern College, St. Davids, PA 19087.

CAREER:

Minister (clergy), writer, and educator. Ordained Baptist minister, 1959. Pastor of Baptist Churches in Jacobstown and Chesterfield, NJ, 1957-61, and of American Baptist church in King of Prussia, PA, 1961-65; Eastern College, St. Davids, PA, associate professor, 1965-73, professor of sociology, 1973-2000, department chair, beginning 1966, chair of youth ministries, beginning 1982, and director of Urban Studies Program, then professor emeritus of sociology. University of Pennsylvania, visiting associate professor, 1966-75; Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, visiting lecturer, 1968-73. Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), founder and president; Mount Carmel Baptist Church, West Philadelphia, PA, associate pastor; co-hosted the television series Hashing It Out, Odyssey Network, and Across The Pond, a weekly program on the Premier Christian Radio Network in England. Also pastor of Baptist church in Upper Merion, PA, 1960-65; Youth Guidance of Southeastern Pennsylvania, served as executive director; Habitat for Humanity, member of international board of directors. WCAU-Television, staff member; host of television programs; guest on television programs, including Good Morning America, Colbert Report, Nightline, Crossfire, Politically Incorrect, Charlie Rose Show, Larry King Live, CNN Dayside, CNN News, and MSNBC News. Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, 1976.

MEMBER:

American Baptist Sociological Association, Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (founder and president).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Seven honorary doctorates.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

A Denomination Looks at Itself, Judson (Valley Forge, PA), 1971.

The Success Fantasy, Victor Books (Wheaton, IL), 1982.

A Reasonable Faith: Responding to Secularism, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1983.

The Power Delusion, Victor Books (Wheaton, IL), 1983.

Ideas for Social Action, Youth Specialities (El Cajon, CA), 1983, revised edition with contributions by Wayne Rice and Bill McNabb, edited by Rice, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1991.

It's Friday, but Sunday's Comin', Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1984, reprinted, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2002.

You Can Make a Difference, Word Books (Waco, TX), 1984, revised edition, published as You Can Make a Difference: High-Voltage Living in a Burned-Out World, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2003.

We Have Met the Enemy, and They Are Partly Right, Jarrell (Waco, TX), 1985.

Who Switched the Price Tags? A Search for Values in a Mixed-up World, Word Books (Waco, TX), 1986.

Seven Deadly Sins, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1987.

Twenty Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid to Touch, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1988.

(With son, Bart Campolo) Things We Wish We Had Said: Reflections of a Father and His Grown Son, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1989.

The Church and the American Teenager: What Works and What Doesn't Work in Youth Ministry, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1989.

Growing up in America: A Sociology of Youth Ministry, Youth Specialties (Grand Rapids, MI), 1989.

The Kingdom of God Is a Party, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1990.

Wake up America! Answering God's Radical Call While Living in the Real World, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1991.

(With Gordon Aeschliman) Fifty Ways You Can Feed a Hungry World, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1991.

How to Be Pentecostal without Speaking in Tongues, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1991.

(With David A. Fraser) Sociology Through the Eyes of Faith, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1992.

Everything You've Heard Is Wrong: The Surprising Secret to Business Success, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 1992.

(With Gordon Aeschliman) Fifty Ways You Can Help Save the Planet, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1992.

(With Gordon Aeschliman) Fifty Ways You Can Share Your Faith, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1992.

(With Gordon Aeschliman) Fifty Ways You Can Reach the World, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1993.

(With Gordon Aeschliman) Fifty Ways You Can be Pro-Life, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1993.

(With Gordon Aeschliman) 101 Ways Your Church Can Change the World: A Guide to Help Christians Express the Love of Christ to a Needy World, Regal Books (Ventura, CA), 1993.

Carpe diem: Seize the Day, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1994.

Can Mainline Denominations Make a Comeback?, Judson (Valley Forge, PA), 1995.

Is Jesus a Republican or a Democrat? And Fourteen Other Polarizing Issues, Word Publishing (Dallas, TX), 1995.

Following Jesus without Embarrassing God, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 1997.

Let Me Tell You a Story: Life Lessons from Unexpected Places and Unlikely People, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2000.

(With Bruce Main) Revolution and Renewal: How Churches Are Saving Our Cities, Westminster/John Knox Press (Louisville, KY), 2000.

(With William Willimon) The Survival Guide for Christians on Campus: How to Be Students and Disciples at the Same Time, Howard Publishing (West Monroe, LA), 2002.

Which Jesus?, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2002.

(With Brian D. McLaren) Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel, EmergentYS (El Cajon, CA), 2003.

Speaking My Mind, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2004.

(With Michael Battle) The Church Enslaved: A Spirituality of Racial Reconciliation, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

(With Gordon Aeschliman) Everybody Wants to Change the World, Regal Books (Ventura, CA), 2006.

Letters to a Young Evangelical, Basic Books (Jackson, TN), 2006.

(With Mary Albert Darling) The God of Intimacy and Action: Reconnecting Ancient Spiritual Practices, Evangelism, and Justice, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 2007.

Author of audio tapes, including The Joy of the Kingdom of God, Becoming like Jesus, The Doctrine of Love, Living the Christian Life, What Makes Christians Unique, The Call of Duty, Carpe diem, Everything You Heard Is Wrong, How to Rescue the Earth,Is Jesus a Republican or Democrat? It's Friday but Sunday Is Comin', and Staying Alive 9 to 5; author of the videos Carpe diem, How to Rescue the Earth, It's Friday But Sunday's Comin', The Kingdom of Ticky Tacky, and Who Switched the Price Tags? Contributor to books, including Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks, compiled by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties (El Cajon, CA), 1994. Contributor to periodicals, including Watchman-Examiner, Foundations, and Observer.

SIDELIGHTS:

"The most important aspect of my ministry is the challenging of young people to participate in missionary work for Jesus Christ," Tony Campolo once told CA. "Much of this is done by encouraging their participation in the projects of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, which operates out of my offices at Eastern College. Many Eastern students are directly involved in missions in Third World countries and in the city of Philadelphia. Other volunteers are recruited when I travel to churches, and to other colleges and seminary campuses across the country."

Campolo later added: "I am committed to communicating social justice things to the Christian community. This is what inspires me to write. My themes are usually developed in the form of sermons and lectures, and only later developed into book form. It is my strong desire to recruit hundreds of young men and women from colleges and universities across the country to commit themselves to community service and to missionary work. This is the driving force of my life."

Campolo's numerous books have covered a wide range of topics from a Christian perspective, from how to conduct business to the author's viewpoints concerning the conservative Christians, such as his disagreement with them over the condemnation of others. In his 1992 book, Everything You've Heard Is Wrong: The Surprising Secret to Business Success, the author approaches business from a Christian viewpoint and, in the process, "delivers a blistering critique of [modern] sales training," according to Christianity Today contributor Steve Rabey. Among the issues the author discusses are basic questions concerning the type of person and individual desires to be and doing something meaningful with your life. In his review of Everything You've Heard Is Wrong, Rabey noted: "Young people who are struggling with what God would have them do would greatly benefit from this book, as would older executives who may be overdue in checking their career aspirations against Christ's counsel."

Campolo is coauthor with Bruce Main of Revolution and Renewal: How Churches Are Saving Our Cities. In their book, the authors relate various stories of urban ministries that have grown and become successful. They also provide pointers and strategies for making a successful urban ministry by addressing concerns such as education and job creation. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the authors present "a challenging call to action."

Campolo's book Can Mainline Denominations Make a Comeback? addresses the differences between mainline and evangelical Protestant Christianity and discusses many of the challenges facing mainline denominations. He also offers suggestions on how mainline denominations can once again come to the forefront of Christianity. Writing in the Christian Century, Don S. Browning noted that the author "deserves a hearing by conservatives and liberals alike."

Campolo collaborated with Brian D. McLaren to write Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel. In their book, each author writes on a variety of topics, from sin and culture to homosexuality and the Bible, with the other author writing his opinions of dissent or agreement with the other's viewpoint. Often, the authors address how Christians, including both liberal and conservative Christians, have misinterpreted Christian teachings and then they specifically address the "missed point" in a teaching or issue. "The writing is lively, and the back-and-forth between Campolo and McLaren is often quite interesting," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. Ray Olson, writing in Booklist, also called the exchanges between the writers "compelling" and added that readers "might profitably take them to heart for their own reflections on the issues."

Speaking My Mind presents Campolo's views on such far-ranging issues as economics, human sexuality, and women's rights in relation to Christianity. Christopher Brennan, writing in the Library Journal, noted that the author's "prose is passionate, thoughtful, and eminently readable." Campolo and coauthor Michael Battle discuss racism within the church in their book The Church Enslaved: A Spirituality of Racial Reconciliation. The authors both address the history of racism in the church and a way for the religious leaders to help foster racial reconciliation. Interpretation contributor Katie Day wrote of the book: "There are … enough stories and references to flesh out a hearty sermon series on the subject."

Campolo's 2006 book, Letters to a Young Evangelical, is part of the "Art of Mentoring" series and is written as letters to two fictional young evangelicals, Timothy and Junia. He discusses issues such as homosexuality, the religious right, and Christian-Muslim relations. Commenting on the author's advice concerning how to handle homosexuality within the Christian religion, Ray Olsen wrote in Booklist that Campolo "counsels tenderness and mercy rather than stridency." Referring to Letters to a Young Evangelical as an "exceptionally positive book," Library Journal contributor John-Leonard Berg also noted: "The letters are refreshingly open-minded, fully grounded, and committed to traditional religious principles."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Modica, Joseph B, editor, The Gospel with Extra Salt: Friends of Tony Campolo Celebrate His Passions for Ministry, Judson (Valley Forge, PA), 2000.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 2003, Ray Olson, review of Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel, p. 959; November 15, 2006, Ray Olson, review of Letters to a Young Evangelical, p. 9.

Book World, February 18, 2007, "Washington Is Also Reading: Selling Well at Local Booksellers," p. 14.

Christian Century, October 23, 1991, review of Wake up America! Answering God's Radical Call While Living in the Real World, p. 978; February 15, 1995, "Falwell Challenged on Anti-Clinton Tapes," p. 166; February 22, 1995, "Dissident Evangelical: An Interview with Tony Campolo," p. 213; January 24, 1996, Don S. Browning, review of Can Mainline Denominations Make a Comeback?, p. 88.

Christianity Today, September 20, 1985, Kenneth S. Kantzer, "A Man of Zeal and Contradiction," p. 36; December 13, 1985, Randy Frame, "Evangelical Leaders Judge Tony Campolo's Theology," p. 52; February 6, 1987, Lawson Lau, "A Call to Transform the Marketplace," p. 41; September 8, 1989, Randy Frame, "Campolo's Views Challenged," p. 43; January 14, 1991, Michael G. Maudlin, review of The Kingdom of God Is a Party, p. 38; March 9, 1992, Robert Biitner, review of How to Be Pentecostal without Speaking in Tongues, p. 44; April 5, 1993, Steve Rabey, review of Everything You've Heard Is Wrong: The Surprising Secret to Business Success, p. 88; May 16, 1994, "Hunting for Heresy: Prominent Evangelical Christians—Campolo, Mains—Come under Withering Attack for Controversial Writings," p. 38; October 23, 1995, Robert W. Patterson, review of Can Mainline Denominations Make a Comeback? p. 70; October 7, 1996, Michael Cromartie, "One Lord, One Faith, One Voice? a Forum on the Limits of Politics and a Search for Common Ground," p. 34; May 22, 2000, Mark Galli, review of Revolution and Renewal, p. 89; January 1, 2003, Ted Olsen, "The Positive Prophet: Tony Campolo Is a Ferocious Critic of Christians Left and Right. Why Do People Still Flock to Hear Him?," p. 32; March 9, 1992, Robert Biitner, review of Wake up America!, p. 44.

Chronicle of Higher Education, June 20, 1997, Marc Ethier, "Clinton Adviser Teaches, Preaches, Writes," p. 10.

First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, February 1, 2007, Jordan Hylden, "A Letter to Tony Campolo," p. 8.

Interpretation, July 1, 2006, Katie Day, review of The Church Enslaved: A Spirituality of Racial Reconciliation, p. 364.

Journal of Church and State, January 1, 2004, Robert O. Smith, review of Revolution and Renewal: How Churches Are Saving Our Cities, p. 168.

Journal of Consumer Marketing, fall, 1993, Geoffrey P. Lantos, review of Everything You've Heard Is Wrong.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2006, review of Letters to a Young Evangelical, p. 1052.

Library Journal, March 1, 1994, Carolyn Craft, review of Carpe Diem, p. 92; August 1, 2004, Christopher Brennan, review of Speaking My Mind, p. 87; January 1, 2007, John-Leonard Berg, review of Letters to a Young Evangelical, p. 114.

Progressive, August 1, 2005, John Oliver Mason, "Meet Evangelist Tony Campolo," p. 28.

Publishers Weekly, September 6, 1991, William Griffin, "Tony Campolo: Partying with God," p. 36; March 27, 2000, review of Revolution and Renewal, p. 77; February 25, 2002, review of The Survival Guide for Christians on Campus, p. 63; January 27, 2003, review of Adventures in Missing the Point, p. 254; October 30, 2006, review of Letters to a Young Evangelical, p. 58; October 30, 2006, "PW Talks to Tony Campolo: A Red-Letter Day for Progressive Evangelicals: The Boundary-Crossing Maverick Campolo Speaks to the Next Generation of Evangelical Christians," p. 53.

Sojourners, November 1, 1996, Mark Cerbone, review of Is Jesus a Republican or a Democrat? And Fourteen Other Polarizing Issues, p. 57; August 1, 2005, review of The Church Enslaved, p. 39.

Voice of Youth Advocates, August 1, 2002, review of The Survival Guide for Christians on Campus: How to Be Students and Disciples at the Same Time, p. 206.

ONLINE

Tony Campolo + Eape,http://www.tonycampolo.org (June 3, 2007), includes brief profile of author.

Campolo, Tony 1935–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article