Intro to Christian Missions:
Book Review: Radical by David Platt
I have read this 90% of this book. Section one Platt starts out his book with speaking of his fast growing mega church in Alabama. However as he points out, Jesus only choose twelve men to follow him closely. Thought Jesus often had huge crowds following him around when they got to big, as Plat pointed out, He would start preaching some of the more radical, abstract ideas of His word. This had the effect of separating the goats from the sheep. Only those with radical obedience to Him stayed. After setting this foundation, Platt says that he is convinced that American churches have embraced values and ideas that actually contradict the gospel we claim to believe. What would happen if we really believed and obeyed the true Jesus of the Bible? Our God calls to leave everything we have, to pick up our cross and follow Him. In America we have our cushioned, temperature-controlled churches with all that we could want and then some. But normal church services only meet for an hour or two once or twice a week. Platt contrasts our “normal” church scenario with his experience in Asia, secret church with barely enough to read by with a starving hunger for the word. The Bible is where God talks to us about being His disciple. We live in our cushioned lives while more than twenty-six thousands children die today from malnutrition or preventable diseases. We live in luxury. We avoid beggars on the street as we shop for things we don’t need. How different would our world look if all who believed spread to those who had never even heard? We could put caps on our lives, as John Wesley did, living simply no matter what earthly gifts God blesses us with and sending this rest to those who are in dire need. Could we eradicate poverty and those number of people who haven’t heard? Our question for ourselves should be what will take and not what we can spare. This is a radical way of life, and it’s not easy. Jesus says that while to die is to gain, that we are called to live for now. We face many challenges. Our human nature is a constant battle with our Christian walk. It can be, and often, is a lonely walk. Yet believing in and obeying Christ leads to true happiness and treasure in heaven. It means freedom instead of holding on to things of this life and hoarding, we help others and release to God’s control. Ultimately He is our only satisfaction. He lasts forever and ever. To close the book Platt addresses specific ways we might live radically. He calls it an experiment, testing how God wants us to live our lives. He challenges us to try it for a least a year. We need to start praying for the whole world. Prayer is how we communicate with God, “Ask and it shall be given.” Next God often communicates to us using his word, we need to study it fervently and completely. Then we need to start giving, both our time and our money. This is best done specifically, to a specific purpose and a specific place outside of our comfort zone. Finally we can commit our lives to multiplying God’s kingdom. The Great Commissions is to go into all the world to make disciples. This is a radical life style.
Section 2 I thought this book was very well written and a thought provoking book. Have we really gotten away from the biblical dream and replaced it with the “American dream”? I think Platt was right about how as American’s we have been blessed. How we have let our blessings becoming stumbling blocks to what we need to be doing for the Kingdom. However all good things come from God. So the blessings themselves are not bad things, it’s what we’re doing with them. I don’t think Platt doesn’t stress this enough. He does a good job on what we’re supposed to be doing, but I almost felt guilty for the padded seat I sit…