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1.18.2011

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream


Are you ready to do something Radical? David Platt wants American churchgoers to wake up and see how their prosperity is ruining the spread of the gospel. I just finished reading Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, where Platt challenges readers to consider how our culture has made us comfortable Christians rather than evangelists ready to take a risk for the gospel. We’re comfortable in our fancy churches, our padded bank accounts, and our safe little social groups with others like us. But, he reminds us that early Christians left everything to follow Christ including security, money, convenience, and family.

Platt advocates being radical, but he’s not unreasonable. He isn’t asking people to sell everything they have, leave their homes forever, or neglect their children. But he does challenge Christians to be willing to live with less and to give up some comfort for the sake of radical obedience to the call to spread the gospel. And he addresses nearly every excuse we might give.

I enjoyed the conversational style of the book and I also liked that the author was willing to be radical too. He didn’t just preach about it. He lived it. Most of what he spells out is right on with scripture. The only place where I wasn’t so sure was when he explained how all peoples have a knowledge of God. I could agree that they have a perception that there must be a supernatural power outside of themselves, as evidenced by how even pagan nations seem to set up some kind of worship system, however off-base it might be. But I couldn’t quite see that this indicated a knowledge of the one God Almighty. Other than that, I found this book to be a great scripture-based faith challenge.

The other thing I liked was that Platt ends the book with a radical challenge for readers. He asks them to commit to 5 things for a year. 1. Praying for the world. 2. Reading the whole Bible through. 3. Sacrificing money for a specific purpose. 4. Spending time in another context (giving in service in a way that spreads the gospel). 5. Committing to a local church that encourages discipleship (multiplying community).

I’ve been mulling over ways that I can implement this radical challenge in my own life. This isn’t the kind of book that you read and toss aside. The challenge keeps coming to mind as I examine my own comfortable surroundings. That’s what makes this a great book, I can’t forget the message!

Note: I received a free book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.


About Author David Platt

Dr. David Platt is the pastor of the Church at Brook Hills, a four-thousand-member congregation in Birmingham, Alabama, comprised of world-impacting disciples who really believe that as a church they can shake the nations for God’s glory.

David’s first love in ministry is disciple making—teaching God’s Word, mentoring others, and multiplying the gospel. “I believe that God has uniquely created every one of his people to impact the world,” he says. “Some may count this view as idealistic, but I believe it is thoroughly biblical—rooted in Psalm 67:1–2, yet found in Scripture from beginning to end. God is in the business of blessing his people so that his ways and his salvation might be made known among all people.” To this end, David has traveled throughout the United States and around the world, teaching the Bible and training church leaders.

David has earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Georgia and three advanced degrees, including a doctor of philosophy from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to Brook Hills, he served the seminary as dean of chapel and assistant professor of expository preaching and apologetics and was on staff at Edgewater Baptist Church in New Orleans.

David and his wife, Heather, are Atlanta natives who made their home in New Orleans until they were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. They live with their family in Birmingham.

Additional Info

You'll find links to much more information about the book on the author's book website. There are Bible study resources and much more that go along with Radical. Check out http://www.radicalthebook.com/links.html

Tell me what you think. Is it time for American Christians to get radical? Do our comforts prevent us from being bold in sharing our faith? Remember: Your comments get your name in the January drawing.

1 comment:

  1. In this book, Platt talks about taking back your faith from the American Dream. How can we live a true biblical life, just sitting comfortably in our own homes. We've become so materialistic in our every day lives we haven't even realized it! We have above and beyond the necessities that we need for every day living, yet we still want more! Platt, talks about how it's a constant battle to resist more things that make life more comfortable. We even have to have these comforts in our Church buildings, padded seats, air conditioning/heat, lights, screens, music. If we took all that away Platt asks, "would just the Word of God be enough to continue meeting together?" He talks about his experiences overseas and how there are so many people daily meeting in underground churches. They are risking their lives for the sake of meeting together to worship God; but here we are in America, in our comfortable houses, comfortable churches, unwilling to step up and take a little risk ourselves. This book is a "Radical" eye opener to the life that we should be living but are not.

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