The Kingdom of God is a Party by Tony Campolo (Word, 1990) is actually the first and only book I’ve read by Campolo. I think I have been a little put off his writing because I’ve seen him on video. I personally don’t like preachers who shout, but that’s ok because he doesn’t shout when I’m reading his book!
We have many pictures or symbols for the Kingdom of God and Campolo adds another one “a party”. He makes the comment that the New Testament begins with a birthday party, where angels sing and wise men bring gifts, and it ends in a wedding feast. In between times there is still much to celebrate despite the dreadful things that are happening in the world. Several of Jesus’ parables regarding the Kingdom of God use the picture of a wedding feast, Jewish weddings are large celebrations lasting a week. It is this idea of celebration or “party” that Campolo uses. I wonder how that fits in with the image of God that we hold. A God who tells his people to stop work and have a party.
Tony Campolo certainly has some radical ideas on the funding of celebrations and the book challenged by thinking. Some of his ideas were new to me and I therefore found it very thought provoking – causing me to go searching through my Bible (not a bad recommendation for any book!). Yet I also found it encouraging to think that God wants us to take some time and money and celebrate His goodness.