Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Don't Hold Back by David Platt Book Review

About the Book:

The New York Times bestselling author of Radical challenges Christians to break free from an American gospel that prostitutes Jesus for comfort, power, prosperity, and politics—and fully pursue the true gospel that exalts Jesus above all.

Pastor David Platt believes we’ve gotten really good at following a really bad gospel—one that worships American ideas over biblical truth. It’s time for disillusioned, discouraged, and divided Christians, and the next generation, to follow Jesus into a different future.

But we have to make a choice: an American gospel or the biblical gospel. Worldly division or otherworldly unity. Compromise with the idols of our country or commitment to God’s call in our lives. In Don’t Hold Back, Platt encourages followers of Jesus to take necessary risks and find unimaginable reward as we:

• Work for—not against—each other, especially when we disagree
• Turn the tide on centuries of racial division in the church
• Trust all of God’s Word with conviction while loving everyone around us with compassion
• Do justice with kindness, and experience the good life according to God
• Play our part in spreading the gospel to all the nations of the world

We can experience the full wonder of Jesus and transcendent beauty of his church here and now. But in order to do so, some things need to be different. Starting not in “those people,” but in each one of us. With the gospel in our hearts and God as our prize, let’s press on and don’t hold back.

You can read an excerpt here.

You can watch the book trailer here.

My Review:

“Our church family is sick,” Platt writes. (173/2503) Particularly that in America. While he is grateful for all God's grace has meant for America, he finds the American gospel wanting and would like to see it loosed from ties to a nation. “There is much more to Jesus and the church than the American gospel could ever offer...” (127/2503)

Platt helps us understand what the gospel is really about. We can have loving unity, he says. We start with understanding Who unites us and then understand what's worth dividing over and what's not. He reminds us of the necessity of humility. He explores racism and justice. He reminds us immigration is an opportunity to share the gospel. He includes many stories to illustrate his teaching and includes six practical steps for moving toward being better followers of Jesus in our country.

In the end, Platt writes, there is a choice before us. “The American gospel or the biblical gospel.” (2222/2503)

This is a great book for those who have become uncomfortable with the direction some of Christianity has taken in America. This book is a good one, reminding us what the Gospel of Jesus really is and encouraging us to embrace it.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C., and he is the founder and president of Radical Inc., a global ministry that serves churches in accomplishing the mission of Christ. David previously served as the president of the International Mission Board, and he has authored several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture. Along with his wife and kids, he lives in the Washington D.C. metro area. Photo: ©Radical.

Multnomah, 208 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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