The book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, by David Platt, is one heck of a book. But before we get into this book, there is a note that needs to be made:
- This book is NOT for people that have no desire to change. If you are comfortable with uneventful, mundane, status-quo Christianity, and think it’s your job to argue doctrines and methods (yet not be passionate about serving your Savior Jesus Christ), then you will not like this book.
The book starts with challenging your view of God and how much value you place in your faith as a Christian. Platt doesn’t waste any time, and goes right for the jugular. As the pastor of a megachurch, he found himself being challenged by the fact that everything the American Christian culture represents—that same culture that drove him to build a megachurch, and that same culture that measures success by the size of the crowds, the size of the budget, and the size of the building—seems to be contradictory to what Jesus lived and taught. Platt shares his personal journey and struggle as he was reminded if the times when Jesus would say radical things, like, “Anyone who wants to be my disciple must eat of my flesh and drink of my blood.” Statements like this didn’t build a huge movement over night. In fact, it mostly drive the crowds away! The only ones remaining were His true disciples. So, now, he was faced with having to answer two questions for himself: 1. Was I going to believe Jesus?, and 2. Was I going to obey Jesus? Even though the radical statements of Jesus ended with few that were willing to follow, the result was a world that was flipped upside-down!
The author shares stories about how he and his church started to change the way they viewed the world; and how it impacted their desire to serve in capacities never before imagined. The transformation that began to take place in their hearts and in their community was incredible. You will be challenged in the major areas of your life—money, time, work, family, and your faith. The stories of the countless pastors and Christians from around the world who are living radical lives of faith will convict you. By the end of the book, you will be thinking of ways that you could be used in radical ways for the glory of God—that others would come to know Him as their Savior!
Man, I was so challenged by this book! I found myself spending many times, while reading, having to stop and take a moment to reflect, or repent, or even write down things that I had just read. I really appreciated the author’s honesty and wiliness to self-examine before he wrote a book about this stuff. Too many pastors, ministers, college professors, and regular ol’ Christians traffic unlived truths—our speech is full of ought-to’s and opinions on how one should do things, yet an honest self-evaluation would find that we often don’t even live up the expectations of our own sermonizing… a.k.a. We are hypocrites. Platt gives you a transparent, inside look into his journey of rethinking, and changing, his own understanding and fleshing out of the faith he claims to obtain—radical faith found in a radical man named Jesus, the Savior of the world.
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