Campolo started the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE) ‘to birth and support missionary enterprises that would meet the spiritual and social needs of people’ around the world, he said in a January newsletter to supporters. ‘Today, an array of ministries founded by EAPE is doing just that.’ Campolo has encouraged supporters to shift their giving to one of these organisations after 30 June 2014, when EAPE will cease to exist.
Bucking the trend so often seen in successful Christian ministries, Campolo will not be passing the organisation on to his son, Bart, who left EAPE a few years ago to start his own ministry. ‘My son’s theology has drifted to the left,’ Campolo told Religion News Service, asserting that EAPE was ‘still definitely evangelical’
But, if socially progressive evangelicals are looking for a figurehead who will continue Campolo’s work, a possible candidate might be activist and author of The Irresistible Revolution and Jesus for President, Shane Claiborne.
Campolo has for years been raising the dreadlocked simplicity and peace advocate’s profile through projects they have worked on together. The most important of these has been Red Letter Christians ? the title of a book the pair co-authored as well as the name of a movement for which they have both been figureheads: the established old guard and the radical young face of biblical, socially progressive Christianity. Red Letter Christians is one of the ministries Campolo has encouraged EAPE donors to start supporting and, with more than 2 million people around the world logging on to redletterchristians.org, is arguably the most successful of all the organisations spawned by EAPE.
With its goal being ‘To take Jesus seriously by endeavouring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture’, Red Letter Christians is perfectly suited to the anti-consumerist and pacifist leanings of Claiborne, to whom Campolo seems to have passed the torch of his social and political work.
Tony Campolo will continue to preach and write throughout 2014.