Saturday, March 26, 2011

Radical by David Platt—A Book Review

“David Platt challenges Christians to wake up, trade in false values rooted in the American dream, and embrace the notion that each of us is blessed by God for a global purpose . . . .  This is a must read for every believer!”  —Wess Stafford, president and CEO, Compassion International

This response appears on the cover of the book—

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream
by David Platt

I finished this book several weeks ago now.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t written a good book review since my college days or perhaps it’s because I don’t quite know how to explain his written words well, but it has taken me this long to sit down and try to sum up in my own words if this book is worth your time and money spent on it.

In three short words—yes, it is!

Mr. Platt presents his case right off the bat by challenging the reader’s walk as to whether it is Biblical or American.  And he has a point.  How we do church in America is not at all like how the body of believers lived and worshipped in the New Testament. 

I felt uncomfortable at some points—convicted at others.  I was quickly left asking myself the question, “Am I content to settle for less than radical obedience to Jesus because that is what I see in the lives of Christians around me and is the Christian life I’ve always lived?”

The American experience is not the norm.  I make myself read Voice of the Martyrs magazine every time it comes to our home just so I will never forget that truth!  Sending money to support others is one thing, praying for them is better, but being involved in the lives of our suffering brothers and sisters around the world is what Christ called us to do as the body.  

Jesus’ disciples abandoned everything.  And what do I abandon to follow Him?  Do I give up much to be a Christian?  In other countries, it would cost me my freedom, my possessions and even my life.  How uncomfortable do I live to perpetuate the gospel of Christ?

Do I deny self the least little, tiny bit?  Do I sacrifice?  Do I suffer?  Do I live differently and react differently?  Do I spend my money, time and vacations differently?  Or does the use of my time, my possessions and how I live my life look virtually the same as that of my non-Christian neighbors?

Mr. Platt issues a radical one-year experiment at the end of the book. 
1.  Pray for the entire world.
2.  Read through the entire Word.
3.  Sacrifice money for a specific purpose.
4.  Spend time in another context.
5.  Commit to a multiplying community.

I’ve seen other reviewers kind of rip it apart as laughable to be considered radical.  I’d kind of like to do a little ripping myself.  If doing these 5 things is so inconsequential, then why are we in the American church not doing them?  We can do nothing greater than devote ourselves to prayer.  The supernatural happens when we pray and fast. 

*If the majority of the American church were praying for the entire world by country, I think we’d see some amazing things happen. 
*If the majority of the American church read, studied, knew and lived according to the Word of God, we’d see some amazing things happen. 
*If the majority of the American church sacrificed money (the operative word here being “sacrificed”) for the Kingdom of God, we’d see some amazing things happen. 
*If the majority of the American church spent time doing and giving of themselves and not merely sending or praying for someone else “to do it”, we’d see some amazing things happen. 
*If the majority of the Americans who called themselves Christians lived as true followers of Jesus Christ and devoted themselves to serving and contributing to the Church Body, His Bride, we’d see some amazing things happen!

To whom much is given (American affluence) MUCH WILL BE EXPECTED!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this honest review.

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