Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Review: "Radical" by David Platt

Yesterday I finished the book "Radical" by David Platt.  My Mom recommended it.  Two days after that, an older couple that Tricia and I have great respect for (Lew and Helen Good) recommended it to me. So, I took it seriously and read it. Both said that they thought of me when they read it and thought I would love it.  They were right!  


In a word: Inspiring book by a passionate Pastor with an Apostolic heart! 


Here are of a few highlights and quotes that blessed me:

  • "So, how was I to reconcile the fact that I was now pastoring thousands of people with the fact that my greatest example in ministry was known for turning away thousands of people?" ... "I realized that I was a megachurch leader following a minichurch leader."
  • I like the way that Platt challenges complacency and inspires people to follow Jesus boldly and audaciously.  He says that "the gospel evokes unconditional surrender of all that we are and all that we have to all that he is."
  • While Platt casts a vision greater than the American Dream, I think he does so with respect for the Nation in which he lives.  However, he clearly asserts that the commands of the gospel contradict the American Dream. He said: "While the goal of the American Dream is to make much of us, the goal of the gospel is to make much of God."
  • A repeated theology of this book I found refreshing was the idea that we are not at the center of God's plan.  HE IS! "The message of Biblical Christianity is not 'God loves me, period.' as if we are the object or our own faith.  The message of biblical Christianity is that God loves me so that I can make him, his salvation, his ways, his glory, and his greatness known among all nations!" We are not the end of the gospel, God is. 
  • I LOVED the way that Platt encourages every reader to take mission serious for themselves.  He clearly believes that missions is for everyone and that no one should ever settle for just watching a slideshow and writing a check. 
  • "For everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus."

Platt did an awesome job of championing several causes throughout the book:

  • Care for the poor...
  • Church in action...
  • GOing as necessary, not optional...
  • Making the gospel known among the nations is for ALL people, not some people...
  • Your comfort is nowhere near as important as your obedience to Jesus...


Frankly, I did NOT care much for Chapter 7: There is No Plan B. Basically, I do not jive with some of his theology in this chapter.  Namely on the destiny of those who never heard the gospel and his understanding of heaven. Basically, he paints the salvation of the world to rest upon us in our GOING instead of on Jesus and His DOING.


Here is a great summary paragraph:

Real success is found in radical sacrifice.  Ultimate satisfaction is found not in making much of ourselves, but in making much of God. The purpose of our lives transcends the country and culture in which we live. Meaning is found in community, not individualism. Joy is found in generosity, not materialism. And truth is found in Christ, not Universalism. Ultimately, Jesus is a reward worth risking everything to know, experience and enjoy.


Finally, the book ends with what Platt calls the "Radical Experiment" where he challenges readers to make a one year commitment to these 5 things:

  1. Pray for the entire world.
  2. Read through the entire Word.
  3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose.
  4. Spend your time in another context. 
  5. Commit your life to a multiplying community. 

I am excited that I was doing all 5 of these before he asked....


Great book.  Recommend it highly. 

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