Radical by David Platt
It seems that everyone has been reading Radical by David Platt so I figured I should too. Platt is a minister at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL. The book is a challenge to live a radical life for Jesus.
Chapter One is about how people in the world crave to hear God’s word while many in the US don’t. We get to meet in open in nice buildings and have multiple copies of the Bible that we never use. As a student minister I totally get this. Only 20% of my students bring a Bible. Meanwhile others around the world meet in secret and crave to know God.
Chapter Two is about how we can become used to the message of Jesus and forget that God is a God of wrath and demand punishment for sins. Jesus swallowed up the full cup of God’s wrath for us.
Chapter Three is about how we can do church successfully without ever relying or even desiring the Holy Spirit to work. He asks what could we accomplish if we spent hours in prayer asking God to work on our behalf. This chapter reminded me of Francis Chan’s sermon series on the Holy Spirit. Many of the successful churches can be explained while in the book of Acts the only explanation is God.
Chapter Four was my favorite chapter. When asked about the message of the Bible we often say that it is God loves me. The problem is that the object of that sentence and message is me. This is why we have many who see church and God as needing to please me. Have music I like, programs that benefit me, and a message that works for me. The real message of the Bible is that God loves me so that I will give him honor, praise, and share him with others. The message of the Bible is God.
Chapter Five is about how one of the unintended consequences of the church model is that we have professionals for everything. A pulpit minister, worship minister, people hired to do this task or that task. Somewhere we have gotten so specialized that we forget people.
Chapter Six deals with money. What are we saving our money for, what are we doing with it? Why are we consuming so much when so many are hurting and doing without? How can we upgrade, save, and consume while others will go without?
Chapter Seven outlines that God’s plan is that we will tell others about Jesus and there is no plan B. There are an estimated 1.4 billion people who do not have access to knowing Jesus and it is the church’s job to make sure they do.
Chapter Eight asks if we would postpone immediate gratification and even endure hard sacrifices if we are convinced your future will be better than your past? Are we convinced that heaven will be better than this world? If so would we delay gratification today knowing our future?
Chapter Nine he issues a challenge to live for God in a radical way for one year. There are five challenges:
- To pray for the whole world
- The read the entire Bible
- Sacrifice and give that money to a godly cause.
- Spend your time in another context
- Commit your life into multiplying community
This was an easy read and Platt gave me a lot to think about. He makes a lot of valid points and has convicted me that I need to be living in a radical way and not in a normal way. It is easy for all of us to get used to doing things that are normal and the American way. I feel comfortable and proud of myself for giving 10 percent, reading a few verses of scripture each day, and praying. It is not radical or even a workout. I like his challenge at the end and will think about what I need to do in 2011 to give more of my life over to Jesus.
The one thing I didn’t like about the book was the constant references to him being overseas. I don’t know why but it was a turn off. I told my wife that maybe I need to explore why and what that says about me. But I guess I saw it as the pretentious person who thinks they are better than you because they…. I do not think Platt is that way. I do not think that was his intent or that he would ever think that it would be taken that way, but it annoyed me the same.
The book was a good and easy read. I will not be telling people this is a must read but it is a good read.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.