Book Review "Speaking My Mind" Tony Campolo


I've always likes reading Tony's work because it makes me think. He's never afraid to ask questions which is entertaining to say the least. But the problem with asking questions, especially the kinds of questions that he does in this book, is they will come with answers. Unless you avoid them. That's where this book fell apart for me.

Full disclosure. I didn't finish it and skimmed through the back third of the book.

Tony presents his answers to the sensitive issues in this book but those answers always seem to be portions of a whole, when it comes to the biblical or historical rebuttals to the issues themselves.

A really wise professor once illustrated to me, and the rest of his new testament theology class, that your interpretation of the bible by understanding of it's verses is like balancing the book itself with the pencil you underline the verse with. You can define your personal theology with one verse from the text. the whole of the book teetering dangerously on the point of one pen smack dab in the middle of the cover. a balancing act of biblical proportions.

But its a lot easier to balance that same bible on the tips of 40 pens bundled together.

The scriptures as a whole interprets the scriptures as a whole. It's consistent in a way that few documents are in reality. What Tony does in this book however is selectively use portions of scripture in the absence of others to present a view point. Something we're all guilty of. But not something that wasn't noticed by anyone other than the newest of Christians reading this book. If you know your bible well, the verses Tony doesn't use come to mind way too fast, when he uses the scripture to make his points.

I still enjoyed the book but it got repetitive in its construction quick, Tony is a great writer and like a whetstone keeps me sharp. but not because of what he adds but by what I notice he takes away.

The best part of the book is the preface where he goes after his editor for labeling him as a prophet. This is the quintessential Tony in a nut shell. Not pulling punches.