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Why I Left, Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son by [Campolo, Tony, Campolo, Bart]
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4.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Length: 170 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


“Rarely are questions of faith genuinely debated with the kind of sincerity, insight, and compassion presented in Tony and Bart Campolo’s thoughtful new book. We can all be grateful this isn’t just a family discussion.” (Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy)

“A love story for our time. One of the most honest books of this generation.” (Kenda Creasy Dean, dean of Princeton Theological Seminary and author of Almost Christian)

“An indispensable treatise of hope and transformation. In an age when the fastest growing religious demographic in the United States are those who are not formally affiliated with religion, Tony and Bart provide us all with a model for how we engage, interrogate, and reconcile our similarities and differences.” (Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California)

“Bart’s journey—and especially the amazing relationship he’s forged with his superstar preacher dad—will delight anyone looking for an example of how to live a beautiful and good life without God. Tony’s response—to honestly engage without attacking—is equally inspiring.” (Greg M. Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University)

“An intellectual feast, an example, and a window into robust expressions of both evangelicalism and humanism. This is an important book for our times. Please read it.” (Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee, author of Changing Our Mind)

“The Campolos have done us all a huge favor by discussing their differences right here in the open. A remarkable book.” (Hemant Mehta, editor of

“Bold. Gripping. Brutally honest.” (Ronald J. Sider, Palmer Seminary at Eastern University)

“This book offers a model that could bring healing to many torn relationships--a thoughtful dialogue into which people from across the spiritual spectrum can enter.” (Lynne Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church)

“[Tony Campolo is] one of the most important evangelical Christian preachers of the last 50 years, a prolific author and an erstwhile spiritual adviser to Bill Clinton.” (New York Times)

“[Bart Campolo] is a rising star of atheism.” (New York Times)

From the Back Cover

Over a Thanksgiving dinner, Bart Campolo announced to his famous evangelical father, Tony Campolo, that, after a lifetime immersed in the Christian faith, Bart no longer believed in God. The revelation plunged the Campolo family into an increasingly common spiritual dilemma and forced father and son to each reconsider his own personal journey of faith. Yet it also allowed for a new opportunity: to openly discuss religious questions across their differences.

In Why I Left, Why I Stayed, Tony, a renowned Christian teacher and apologist, and Bart, a humanist chaplain at the University of Southern California, seek to provide a safe space for anyone wrestling with their own—or a loved one’s—decision to stay in or leave the church, providing compelling arguments in both directions and modeling for everyone how to strongly but lovingly disagree about the things that matter most.

“We haven’t stopped talking—or caring,” they write. “Hopefully, this book will model a graceful way to process what has become an increasingly common crisis, while also serving as a safe forum for those struggling with doubts and questions about the Christian faith.”

For anyone who has questions about the viability and truth of the Christian life or wonders what life looks like after Christianity, this book promises to be challenging, inspiring, and highly informative.

Product details

  • File Size: 891 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (February 21, 2017)
  • Publication Date: February 21, 2017
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,046 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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