Sunday, August 15, 2010

Radical by David Platt

This book crossed my path several times before I read it. I don't believe it is coincidental that I finally read it after returning from ten days in Kenya. I was, and still am, in a place of trying to sort through the ever-widening gap between how I live and how the average Kenyan lives. In Radical, David Platt addresses a variety of challenges that face western Christians, if they are to journey toward becoming more obedient to the teachings of Christ found in the scriptures. The subtitle of Radical is "taking back your faith from the American dream." Radical is built upon Platt's observation that we, American Christians, have made Jesus into our own image and worship this Jesus that feeds and even approves of our material excesses and devotion to our entertainment, comfort, and conveniences. God's purposes are much greater than this.
I must admit that this book made me uncomfortable as Platt told of his experiences from around the world working with various churches. This book is not just a book of inspiring stories. Platt does an excellent job in pointing to scripture to back up the truths he is sharing. I am confident that my squirming as I read this book came from the conviction of the Holy Spirit in how I have ignored and completely disobeyed the teachings of Christ because they weren't in line with the kingdom I am building for myself.
Here is some chapter titles that will give you a taste of what you can expect from Radical: (1) Someone Worth Losing Everything For (2) The Great Why of God: God's Global Purpose (3) How Much is Enough: American wealth in a World of Poverty.
I was both encouraged and challenged by this book. Encouraged that there are people addressing these topics and taking them seriously and challenged that I haven't been one of those people but have a stirring desire to be counted among them.
In this post, I have included 2 videos for you to watch: a general book video and also one of David Platt himself talking about the book. I strongly recommend this book for all Christians to read. It is in an easy to read style, but the content will not be easy for anyone. I am working my way through it a second time.

David Platt has challenged his church in Alabama to what he calls The Radical Experiment (

Here are the five challenges included in the experiment:

In One Year:

  1. To pray for the entire world
  2. To read through the entire Bible
  3. To commit our lives to a multiplying community
  4. To sacrifice our money for a specific purpose
  5. To give our time in another context

Details of the above can be found in the "Overview" section of the Experiment website. If you are interested in being part of an "experimental group" at some point in the future, leave a comment on this posting and we can talk about it.

Blessings as you journey in a Radical life for for Jesus.

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