It's easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily...BUT WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO LIVES LIKE THAT? DO YOU?
In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple--then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a "successful" suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus. Finally, he urges you to join in The Radical Experiment: a one-year journey in authentic discipleship that will transform how you live in a world that desperately needs the Good News Jesus came to bring.
©2010 David Platt (P)2010 christianaudio.com
Great book... This book will either turn you off or make you truly examine yourself.
Not a Fan...
Read his own book... Really good job.
I am an American evangelical, but have been living in Scotland for the last year. In a lot of ways I experienced reverse culture shock listening to this book. I have not heard the words "American" "biblical" and "Birmingham" so many times in my life. Platt is right that the book is very much written to Americans. Megachurches that look like Wal-Mart and have more money than they know what to do with do not exist over here.
Nonetheless, it was a very challenging book. Platt is very passionate about what he believes. I don't think he ever quite reconciled the concept of being a megachurch pastor in the midst of a book that was in a lot of ways a megachurch castigation. He tried at times, but is having trouble fitting in his context.
I found his call to pray for the nations continually challenging. Although the review was largely critical, I think this book is a good call of a passionate pastor to share the gospel.
I have been challenged to the core of my being by the message that David Platt brings. The challenge is clear and do-able. What a wake up call to the Church in North America!! Rather than continuing to insulate ourselves from the real needs of the world by building self-congratulating works that only show love to those who already love us back, Platt challenges us to overlay the Gospel with our lives to see if anything shines through. Jesus' commission is ours. If we fail to take it up, God will use someone else, but we will not see the reward nor have the fellowship with Him in its realization.
I'm not a Calvinist, but that doesn't really matter. The call of Jesus to His Church is exactly the same. Things that I've been blind to in the past, David has helped me see with crystal clarity for what they are. No Christian should be afraid to listen to this book, nor should we try to explain it away by a differing theology. As a CPA, I'm particularly challenged to live below my means and invest the money of this world to make eternal friends.
This is not an ivory tower exposition of the necessity of being active in the Church. It's also not a pastor trying to lay a guilt trip on his people to get them to do something. Instead, it is a call from one laborer in the Master's vineyard to another to be diligently about the Master's business. It's always been interesting to look at Paul's designation of himself as a bondservant of Christ. This book helped me see that status as my own and realise that I no longer belong to myself. I am Christ's, and He has priority over anything else.
This is a brave book in that it didn't comfort me in my current situation and congratulate me on how well I may be doing. Instead, Platt looks at the commands of Jesus and the claim of God on my life. He doesn't claim any supernatural knowledge of my situation, but he lays out the Biblical mandate and basically says,
The 5-point challenge is worth the price of the book. Very worthwhile reading.
After 8 hours of listening to Mr. Platt, one might tire of his emphatic delivery. Please don't let that dissuade you from listening. He does a very commendable job of reading and the message is so compelling that the emphasis of each point is important.
I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in being convicted about how we "do" church and our Christian walk. We NEED Jesus and we don't live that way at all in America. I am being convicted...
Wow. Where to begin without being hyper-critical, judgmental, or insincere? I'm not sure I can do that without appearing to be those things. I wish I could just share my heart without criticizing this book to get a message across.
As Pastor Platt opened, I'll also open. I'm a layperson who has been a Christ Follower since I was 12. In the past 45 years, my family has served on two international mission fields, two local churches, and many small study and prayer groups. I've never been to seminary and am a professor at a community college. Cars are paid for (and one is a decade old), no credit cards have balances, and we live within our means in a 3 BR ranch home in the suburbs. In International Standards, we're mega-rich.
Pastor Pratt starts his book with his credentials as the youngest pastor of a mega-church and a seminary-trained minister.
Pastor Platt's premise that in order to live Biblically, we must give away what we own, live as minimalists, leave America to spread the message of Christ around the world, and abandon our "mega-churchs, performances, and programs" is a sweeping and completely unfounded damnation of millions of Christians in the United States.
His Biblical example of the Rich Young Ruler is a primary foundation for the "command" that we give away our stuff. This was an instruction to a NON-BELIEVER because he worshipped his STUFF more than he was willing to worship GOD. This was not a command to everyone, and certainly never a requirement for salvation. In fact, our material wealth is never a condition of salvation - whether we've got a lot, a little, or none.
In fact, Lazarus was never commanded to sell his home, which Jesus stayed in often. Solomon, David, Moses, Jacob, were all blessed with material wealth. None of them worshipped their possessions, and Pastor Platt doesn't mention their leadership as a model for how we should treat our possessions. Joseph of Arimathia was wealthy enough to own a tomb. Jesus certainly didn't tell him to sell that. And tithing is never encouraged in this book.
In fact, dozens of references to homes, cars, clothes, and things are sarcastically lamented as non-Christian demonstrations of our self-centeredness, and that if we keep these things instead of giving to the international poor, we should question our own salvation. He turns his sarcasm and biting tone to worship style, buildings, and programs too. In fact, he writes that it's a sin to build a $12 million dollar sanctuary and only send $5,000 to foreign aid to feed starving people. His damnation of that paltry sum is never juxtaposed with the decades of service such a building may provide as a venue for tens of thousands of hungry SOULS to learn about Christ. He also doesn't mention that those hungry people will be hungry again tomorrow unless something changes in their country, their government leaders, their cultures, and their economies. He has no suggestions on how we Christians should address that.
This is the same kind of "Spiritual Abuse" as the "Health and Wealth" theology spewed by some popular evangelists, except we are told that we are guilty of abhorrent sin when we have stuff instead of poverty. We're further instructed to leave where God placed us in ministry (especially if you're in a mega-church, a church with programs, or a church with many services, bands, and visual arts.) If that is our "misguided" understanding of Jesus' desire for our ministry, then we are living sinfully and not within the Word according to Pastor Platt.
I reject nearly every argument people present if they first consider it necessary to bash the predecessors responsible for whatever they want to change before they can present the merits of their proposal. Making someone else look bad in order for me to look good isn't taught by Jesus either.
The maintenance committee leader who criticizes the prior painter a decade earlier before he can propose we paint our sanctuary again is just wrong. The treasurer who must point out all the difficulties of working with the prior bookkeeper before recommending we change our procedures is misleading. The pastor who tells me I'm living sinfully worshipping in my church before telling me I need to go overseas to help people in "secret church" learn about Jesus is manipulative. Pastor Platt does not appear to stand on Biblical truth as his foundation. He builds his case on the backs of what he perceives is wrongful worship and false salvation.
So, I reject this premise as being manipulative, totally out of context with Biblical truth, and yet another "Theology of Works" approach to Christianity.
If this were contextually written, Pastor Platt would have written at least one time about tithing. He'd have mentioned at least once the promise of Blessings in both Old and New Testaments. He'd have at least acknowledged that we know that not ALL will know Christ. And he'd at least devoted some portion of a chapter expounding love, compassion, and service as Biblical motivation to follow his prescription for practicing our faith. Instead, we get guilt, works, and theological abuse.
Bummer. I really don't like writing such criticism.
Not sure, but that would stand on its own merit.
Not really interested.
So sorry to write such criticism.
We are challenged as disciples of Christ. We have a duty to Him. He is - IS - worth it. This author uses the bible to explain what it is God wants us to do for Him, and I've found this subject not be such a popular sermon in church, but he def speaks the truth. And it's all over the Bible. Verrrry moving and inspiring....to get out of the rut alot of Christians are in. I am deeply moved.
I have both read Radical and listened to the audio version. The advantage of the hard copy was to highlight key thoughts and quotes. Almost every page of my personal copy is marked! The advantage of the audio version is being able to hear the passion in David Platt's voice as he warns of our making "Jesus as one who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream." This is a convicting read and caused me to take stock with what we are doing with our lives and resources entrusted to us.
This Book is written as a wake-up call to American Christianity to separate their faith and what the Bible teaches from what we have learned from our society. I probably wouldn't have chosen this title for the book, since the word "radical" has become associated with so much negativity and violence, specifically radical Islam and all that has brought in the last decade. The book's subtitle would have done a better job as the title, as this is literally an assault on what we refer to as the American dream (or Nightmare, more aptly). And this is a good thing, especially according to the author.
While this book certainly isn't the last word on the subject, it speaks a lot about how Christians view money, time, and how different the Bible is from our American lifestyle. The amazing thing is that the concepts he advocates are not really radical at all, but are things that we clearly see Christians doing in the Bible, and still see in other countries around the world. I think this book illustrates how far we have fallen and how far we still have to go if we want to truly live out a biblical view of Christianity and reach the world for Christ.
This is definitely a hard book for many Christians in America to deal with. It is spot on in so many ways. I wish it could inspire even a fraction of us to change. That is probably the purpose. Truly it let's you see what could happen if all Christians began acting like those in the New Testament.
I think that, more than simply can be gained from reading this book, I would recommend actually traveling to another country to see what Christianity is like there. a lot of the concepts that you read here, I think, you would begin to see on your own simply by experiencing what life is like for others out there. I know I have seen from my travels in Asia and other parts of the world how differently other Christians live and how much more dedicated they are than the average American. What place does American patriotism have in the life of a Christian, who is called to go throughout the world and preach the Gospel? It's time to stop thinking about how great the United States is, and think about how we can make God's Kingdom great throughout the whole world. I particularly loved how he stated at so many people ask God what His will is for their life, when His Word is so clear that he wants us to reach the world for Christ. so if you are hesitating over whether or not you should go on a missions trip to give to missions or give your time to helping the poor or needy, it's time to stop wondering can just do it. The rewards are well worth it.
You have got to listen to this book. Your life will never be the same! I bought the book via paperback and now am buying via audio. I have been putting the word out ever since reading it. It is well money spent.
A must read for Christians and non Christians alike. Very direct and challenging. This book has made me reconsider if I was even a true Christian and helped me confirm that I do want to be a better Christian. It clearly lays out what God demands of his true disciples and what the cost is for following Christ. Can't recommend this enough.
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