“Jesus commands us to go. He has created each of us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth…anything less than radical devotion to this purpose is unbiblical Christianity.” (p. 64)
In Radical, the author (Dr. David Platt, a senior minister from Birmingham) shows us the “blind spots” in American Christianity that keep so many of us from following the real Jesus of the Bible. The entire book is blunt and challenging, so I don’t recommend reading it if you’re not serious about growing in your Faith. He writes with a no nonsense approach to Scripture, making it a hard book to ignore.
The first half of the book exposes the subtle yet terrifyingly effective traps Satan weaves into the American Dream to keep Westerners from fully believing and doing all that Jesus died for. Clearly stating the difference between the two, he writes: “While the goal of the American dream is to make much of us, the goal of the gospel is to make much of God.” (p. 47)
Platt also shines the spotlight on the way we pick and choose among Jesus’ commands. For instance, we treat ministry and mission work as something to which He only “calls” a select few, but then we’re quick to claim and obey the command to “Come to me, all you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” We pretend the Great Commission is only for varsity believers, while promises of abundant life were intended for everybody.
To maintain urgency, the second half of the book gives alarming statistics about the thousands of people who die every day, launching off into a Christless eternity while many of us are content to do nothing. “We leave worship to spend thousands of dollars on lunch…meanwhile the poor man is outside our gate. And he is hungry.” (p. 114)
The challenge then becomes clear: are we willing to forsake everything for the advancement of the gospel (Mark 10.28), or would we rather build our own Kingdom here on earth (Matt 6.19)? This book seeks to keep us all away from the lukewarm faith Jesus attacked in Laodicea (Rev 3.14-19). The author does so by simply reminding us of the Great Commission:
“A community of Christians each multiplying the gospel by going, baptizing, and teaching in the contexts where they live every day. Is anything else, according to the Bible, even considered a church?” (p. 106)
At Your Side,