Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Radical by David Platt

Platt asks the reader to look at his or her Christianity. Is it true Christianity or has it been conformed to the idea of the “American dream”?
“Jesus commands us to go,” Platt says. “He has created each of us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, and I propose that anything less than radical devotion to this purpose is unbiblical Christianity.” (64)
We say only some need be concerned about global missions yet all Christian can claim the promise of abundant life in John 10:10. Platt says, “In the process we have unnecessarily (and unbiblically) drawn a line of distinction, assigning the obligations of Christianity to a few while keeping the privileges of Christianity for us all.” (73)
He recounts stories of people who “believe they were created for more than a Christian spin on the American dream.” (82) He explores what it means to be radically abandoned to Christ and invites the reader to let his or her heart be gripped “by the radical prospect that God has designed a radically global purpose for your life.” (82, 83)
Each of us needs to ask why we have been blessed. Is it so that we will have a comfortable life, a big house, a nice car, and great vacations? Or is it so that God will be glorified and the nations will know Him?
“Today more than a billion people in the world live and die in desperate poverty.” (108) Nearly half the work struggles to food, water and shelter today on what we might spend for an order of fries. How can we ignore this poverty when we live in comparative wealth? Platt reminds the reader of the comments Jesus made to the wealthy who ignored the needs of the poor. “Regardless of what we say or sing or study on Sunday morning, rich people who neglect the poor are not the people of God.” (115)
Would you, like John Wesley, be willing to live on a fixed income and give the excess away? Are you willing to recognize that God has given you more, not so that you can have more, but so that you can give more?
Is this being radical, or just biblical?
Platt challenges the reader to live the radical life for one year.  Pray for the world.  Read through the Word.  Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose.  Spend time in another context.  Commit to a multiplying community.  See if living for God's glory isn't more rewarding than living the American dream.
If reading this book doesn't make you want to change your life, I would truly wonder about the condition of your heart.
Multnomah, 217 pages.
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