(feel free to refer to my book review disclaimer before reading)
I picked up Radical by David Platt at the suggestion of my dear friends Molly and Nate. This book is written as a challenge to the American Church to come back to the Gospel for our church strategy and methodology rather than looking to culture for our strategy and methodology. The tone of the book reminds me of Paul’s letters to the churches in the New Testament. Radical challenges the consumerism, materialism, and trendy-ism that exist in Christian churches and Christian individuals. “We are fine with thinking of affluence, comfort, and material possessions as blessings. But they can be barriers. We think the way that the world thinks – that wealth is always to our advantage. But Jesus is saying the exact opposite.”
The book gives Scriptural insight into how we should live our lives. Platt asserts that Christian lives are meant to be a total sacrifice because Jesus is worth it. Throughout the book, the author gives numerous examples of beautiful sacrifice from the scriptures, from Christian history, from around the world, and from members of his church in Birmingham, Alabama.
The chapter that really got me was, “How Much is Enough?” Platt paints a startling visual comparison of international and national poverty and disease to American Christian individual and church affluence. He challenges Christ followers to look at the Bible and consider how we save, spend, and give. He writes, “Caring for the poor is one natural overflow and a necessary evidence of the presence of Christ in our hearts. If there is no sign of caring for the poor in our lives, then there is reason to at least question whether Christ is in our hearts.” The real gut check comes with the practical suggestions of sacrificial living.
Radical doesn’t just point out glaring needs and deficits in Christian culture, but also, it also gives practical ideas for change. This is a worthwhile read, to be sure. Read it, share it, and take the Radical Experiment.