Bart Campolo is the son of Tony Campolo who is a leading spokesman for the Emergent Church movement (EC). These people call themselves Progressive Christians. Ken Silva, who exposed the EC movement for what it is, described it as “the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church”
Campolo Sr. is also a “Red Letter Christian.” But this is not about the father; it’s about the son and how his process of adjusting his theology to match his experience has shipwrecked his faith. According to Sam Hailes, Bart has “‘skipped over’ the ‘progressive re-vamping’ of Christianity and gone straight to the logical conclusion that God doesn’t exist. He reckons that Progressive Christians should stop pretending God exists in the form of ‘the universe’ or other wishy-washy language.”
Well, at least Bart Campolo is willing to admit that the god progressive/liberal “Christians” believe in is not the God of the Bible.
Premiere Christianity, a magazine out of the UK, has the story of Bart Campolo’s drift into atheism:
Fundamentalist Christians will sometimes warn that any deviation from historic evangelical beliefs (however small) is a stepping stone toward full-blown atheism. In other words, Christians must accept that hell is eternal, the Bible is inerrant and God created everything in six literal 24 hour days. If you remove any of these doctrines, it won’t be long before you’re denying your faith altogether!
Younger evangelicals like myself tend to reject this way of thinking. We see legitimate room to differ on how to interpret doctrines like creation and sovereignty. It’s often only the core creedal statements about the existence of God and Christ’s resurrection or divinity which are non-negotiable. Whether because of pressure from culture, or an honest re-reading of scripture, we’re susceptible to changing our minds on other doctrines that previous generations of Christians have held dear.
But what’s surprising is it turns out our older fundamentalist friends aren’t the only people who think progressive Christianity can be a stepping stone to atheism. At least one atheist agrees with this theory!