"Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream" - David Platt

"Radical" was a very compelling book, full of examples and experiences of church and the Christians inside of them operating with, as Platt describes, "a Christian spin on the American dream."

Platt shows the radical commitment the disciples & apostles had to carrying the Gospel to the ends of the world, no matter the cost & compares that with our immensely watered-down gospel, as found primarily in Westernized Christianity.  Throughout the text, Platt not only provides examples of how we've gone wrong, but also discusses the power Christ's name still carries throughout the world, where people are pursuing God with reckless abandon.  He provides a call-to-action for Christians everywhere to return to the fundamentals of the faith & recognize the radical commitment Christ's message compels us to hold.

David Platt graduated from NOBTS not long after Hurricane Katrina hit.  He shares the reality he and his wife faced in the days after the hurricane: they had lost everything, with a very rare chance to start completely over in life in terms of possessions.  But, he also accounts that he missed that mark.  Within months, he was called to lead a mega-church in Birmingham (The Church at Brook Hills), found himself in a larger house than he'd lived in before, which required more stuff to fill it.  

Platt isn't one of those hyper-radical nuts that say burn all your CDs (not in the good way hehe), throw away all your secular stuff, etc.  He does, however, make the case for Christians to put all worldly possessions in perspective & focus instead on the reality of God's message needing to be declared to the roughly 4.8 billion unsaved people throughout the world.

Platt is the real deal, too.  He speaks in the book of several trips he made to Indonesia & China, primarily; however, he doesn't mention how he went about these trips.  Professors at the seminary speak of the fact that Platt would fly into the most remote areas of China, bringing the gospel to people who, in some cases, had never seen a white man before, eventually working his way back to a major city to catch a return flight home.  One professor I had stated, "don't be surprised if, in a couple years, he trades in everything, leaves his church and moves to live in the slums of Indonesia or wherever."

The week before the book was released, David Platt spoke in chapel at NOBTS (4/29/10).  His sermon was entitled "Gospel Theology Necessitates Urgent Missiology." (note: that is a direct link to the sermon.. if you would like to download it, click here and scroll down toward the bottom of the page to find it)  His message was very powerful and heartfelt, summing up the core ideas found in the text.  We were able to purchase advance copies of the book that day, so I had finished reading through it before it was ever released.  It quickly found itself on the New York Times Bestseller List and, in my opinion, the success of this text is well-deserved.  I definitely recommend this book to all Christians because we all need to re-evaluate our focus on the radical message of Jesus Christ and what it means to follow Him.

In a bible study I am in right now, we are working our way through the book.  This is my second time through the book, but I am still getting a great deal from it.  I'm sure I'll have more nuggets to post from the book as we continue through our study.

No comments: