[note: 3PR (3 Paragraph Reviews) is my new format here for book reviews on the blog. I’ll stress three different points, each getting a paragraph (or so) of their own. Enjoy.]
RADICAL by David Platt
The subtitle right there on the cover is “Taking back your faith from the American dream.” Platt’s writing this book straight to the heart of Evangelical Americana and he’s not holding any punches. He wants us as American Christ followers to get out of our La-Z0-Boy super-comfortable/ultra-casual faith and actually start living this life out. Whether that’s giving sacrificially financially or straight up packing our bags and moving to Africa, Platt is urging us to live for what counts, to live lives that matter. He argues that many of us live in a world where we no longer “need” Christ. Even in our churches. We are well-oiled machines. Platt writes:
“I am frightened by the reality that the church I lead can carry on most of our activities smoothly, efficiently, even successfully, never realizing that the Holy Spirit of God is virtually absent from the picture. We can so easily deceive ourselves, mistaking the presence of physical bodies in a crowd for the existence of spiritual life in a community.”
Platt wants us to push on all of this and find ourselves in places where we’ll realize just how desperate we really are for Him. He wants us to risk more and, in return, see Christ’s reward more.
As you can see above, the writing throughout is colored with urgency, honesty, and demand. This is not a pat-you-on-the-shoulder kinda read. He’s borderline shouting at you (of course, out of love) at times and he’s writing with a deep conviction to shake up the status-quo. While this style normally doesn’t speak directly to my heart (I may have a little problem with authority. Just maybe.), sometimes I need a good kick in the pants. Because of all that I’ve said here, this book is hard to read slowly. You’ll find yourself blistering thru it, hearing it like a full, hearty sermon spoken with passion and force.
Platt writes, “To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus. The danger in our lives will always increase in proportion to the depth of our relationship with Christ.” If you’re in a place where you’re really comfortable, really untroubled, and really safe, then I’d recommend picking this up. This book will stretch you and demand more out of you. Actually, to be more clear, I believe it is actually Christ that could use this book to stretch you and demand more out of you…if you were to allow Him to do so. In summing things up there at the end, Platt writes, “Ulitmately, Jesus is a reward worth risking everything to know, experience, and enjoy.” While not everything in this book is for everybody, and while this isn’t one I’ll be re-reading over and over again for the rest of my life, I think it is, in itself, certainly a “reward worth risking”. Put yourself out there a bit and you may find Christ putting you out there a whole lot more.
Interested? Good. One of the best things about this book is that it is cheap! Seriously. Head over to Amazon and grab one for 7 bucks. As always, let me know what you think…and feel free to ask any questions you may have.