During my recent travels to Nicaragua, I finally was able to finish reading a great book by David Platt titled Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. The timing couldn’t have been better to read a book like this. Whenever you experience poverty and suffering in another country, you naturally question why we have been blessed with so much while the rest of the world suffers in hunger and spiritual darkness. Materialism and greed and comfort have replaced our love for our brothers.
I really regret not having a highlighter while reading this book. It just means that I will have to read it again to slow down and really let the words sink in. This is a book that reminds me of Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It is similar in that it calls us to live a counter-cultural life, a life that is radical and crazy by our society’s standard. Being a disciple is much more than attending church, it means a radical devotion to the God who created us and who desires us to bring Him glory. I appreciate the author’s faithfulness in keeping Christ at the center of everything. Here are some quotes that really made me think.
- And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshiping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead we may be worshiping ourselves.
- The message of biblical Christianity is not “God loves me, period,” as if we were the object of our own faith. The message of biblical Christianity is “God loves me so that I might make him – his ways, his salvation, his glory, and his greatness – known among all nations.” Now God is the object of our faith, and Christianity centers around him. We are not the end of the gospel; God is.
- One of the unintended consequences of contemporary church strategies that revolve around performances, places, programs, and professionals is that somewhere along the way people get left out of the picture. But according to Jesus, people are God’s method for winning the world to himself.
- Whereas disinfecting Christians involves isolating them and teaching them to be good, discipling Christians involves propelling Christians into the world to risk their lives for the sake of others.
- Are you and I looking to Jesus for advice that seems fiscally responsible according to the standards of the world around us? Or are we looking to Jesus for total leadership in our lives …
- If we are going to live in radical obedience to Christ, we will need the church to do it. We will need to show one another how to give liberally, go urgently, and live dangerously.
After reading these quotes, I think you will agree with me that this is a book that will make you evaluate your life and evaluate your priorities. For me personally, missions was always something that I thought was reserved for people who were called to the mission field. I might not have said it that way, but when I listened to stories and watched presentations, it never really had a direct impact on the way I lived my life. But when I actually traveled to remote villages in Nicaragua, something in my heart changed. Reading this book really helped me understand the urgent need for everyone in the church to be involved in their community and in our world. The author ends with a one year challenge to the way you live your life. I’m up for the challenge. Who else is with me? Next month, he is releasing the followup to this book. I can’t wait to read Radical Together, a challenge to take the next step. From radical followers of Christ to radical communities of faith.
Here’s the info from the back cover.
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.
I’ll end with a couple of videos about the book. I encourage you to pick up a copy and read it for yourself.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Click here for my full disclosure policy.