Monday, October 4, 2010

Radical by David Platt

Radical is the result of a mega-church pastor who began to compare his ministry to that of Jesus'. This led to many questions. Why does the church of then look differently than the church of today? Why do biblical Christians look differently than American Christians? The search for these answers compelled David Platt to write this book and challenge us all to see these discrepancies for ourselves.

What did he find? The American dream. Our American ideals, expectations, and love for comfort and money have infected our gospel, our church, and our “Christian” lives. We came to faith and we brought our American dream with us, actually believing that by believing in the value of our Christian work ethic, we could have it all and more. Rather than denying ourselves and taking up our crosses, we feel God wants us to trust Jesus for all our earthly comforts. Treasure in heaven sounds nice, but earthly treasure feels a whole lot better!

So what should we do? We must severe the vanity of the American dream from the true hope of the gospel. We are not self-made or self-sufficient. We are dependent on Christ not only for salvation, but for our very lives. Jesus is our infinite treasure.

How does this change the direction of our lives? Are we willing to consider God and his will instead of our own? God wants us to love him and love others. The greatest love we can show to anyone is to introduce them to Jesus. Are we willing to be spent for the Kingdom of God? Are we willing to sacrifice it all for God's glory? Only you can answer that one.

Radical is a challenge. A challenge to examine our churches and ourselves. What you will find may not be pretty, but it can be changed. By God's grace, lives can be changed, radically. This book is a definite must read for all who desire to experience biblical Christianity.

At the end of the book, David Platt delivers a formal challenge to all who would be willing to live radically. The challenge involves dedicating one year to do five 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

The end of the book is dedicated to explaining these steps and how to undertake each one. There is even a website with resources to help you along the way. The only question that remains is:

Are you willing to face the truth, and are you willing to be changed - radically?
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