I am overdue for my thoughts on Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt. You might remember months ago I posted a video about the book along with my hopes of reading it soon. Thanks to the generosity of my wife, I did get to read Radical while we were visiting family in Nebraska and thinking about how we might be “radical” in our faith.
The idea behind Platt’s book is that the Gospel is too big for us to sit back and be comfortable. Clearly the teachings of Jesus and our desire to glorify God should be empowering and pushing us toward action and Platt suggests that this action is feeding those in need and working to improves lives across the globe.
I tend to agree with Platt on the overall theme so I won’t go into the finer points of actually living the Gospel and caring for your neighbor but I do want to touch on parts of the book that surprised me.
Discipleship is huge in a radical faith. Unlike most books on social action, Platt takes the time to outline how the foundations of our faith in Christ should be solidified and one area that is key is discipleship. From mentoring to building community in our local church, we are called to live as a family and care for each other. For too long American Christianity has been self-centered and greedy – prayerfully in this generation we will see true Christian community as outlined in the bible.
Platt calls us back to that form of community in Radical and it is something I passionately hope to see in my life.
Throughout the shorter book there are stories of people living radically and your story can be very different, the key is that you have a role and God has called you to glorify him in a unique way.
The book truly makes you evaluate how you spend your budget as an individual and as a church. Perhaps we have convinced ourselves that the Gospel can not be shared without the latest audience gathering technology – but if it is at the cost of the hungry in our towns what is the point? I am quite guilty in this respect and I needed to repent of this mentality while reading Radical.
The book is not a guilt trip – but you might feel guilty. I would suggest that perhaps that feeling is the Holy Spirit reminding you of our true call as Christians. That call is about radically loving God and radically loving those around us.
I highly recommend Radical and hope you will find the time to read this book.