Cutting-edge pop theology in the New America

How to make a career: find a market that isn’t being served, put together a product line that might meet the demand, and roll out the offering as dramatically as possible. That’s what Tony Campolo seems to be doing. Campolo, an evangelical, sociologist and liberal, is best known publicly as one of the clerical props Bill Clinton used during his Monica difficulties. He gets around, so he if anyone is in a position to know that a lot of people who like old-time hellfire and brimstone preaching are rising in the world, and want to believe what Time Magazine readers are expected to believe. Tony’s response? Address a breakaway Baptist group and claim that the Southern Baptist Convention’s position against female clergy is “about as evil a statement as one can make,” call the statement “sinful,” and assert that anyone who makes it is “an instrument of the devil.” who would “change the Bible to fit their theology.” Then go on to attack Bush administration tax and environmental policies as “evil” and “sick,” and conclude by affirming both his belief in the Rapture and his faith that “we need to challenge the government to do the work of the Kingdom of God.” Truly a man who has all bases covered!

[UPDATE: Tony Campolo has indeed nosed out a market: Alabama’s conservative Republican governor is calling for a $1.2 billion tax hike, largely on the backs of wealthier taxpayers, for the benefit of the poor.]

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