What if you were asked to give everything you had for the cause of Christ. Everything. Would you do it? Could you? In “Radical” pastor David Platt asks the church to re-think its mission and purpose. No doubt many Christians have heard of this book and it’s companion follow up volume “Radical Together” which outlines a plan of execution. The premise is this: The “American Dream” has clouded the eyes of the Western church to a faith that is comfortable and nice. Jesus however, calls us to take up our cross and to follow him daily (Luke 9:23). Getting our hands dirty in ministry means more than just giving financially to a cause. It’s about sacrifice and living a faith that puts others ahead of yourself.
Platt develops this theme through nine chapters in his first book. He begins with a chapter on our obligations, weaves this theme through a call to think and then lays out the starting points of where we are today. Many have criticized him for this all out treatise on living a “radical” life of faith for Christ but what the book does is challenge the reader to examine their life and its purpose. Are we serving others as Christ told us to? Are we meeting the needs of the least of us? If not, why not? Excuses are easy to give but Platt offers no condolences or ways out of this maze of examination. The author then takes the next four chapters of his book to explain the “Why” of this new way of thinking and then the “How” in terms of what the church today can do to fulfill it’s Christ given mission. By bringing us to a starting point and then showing the reader what they can do to move into a mind set of meeting needs. He then concludes the book with a challenge and some reflection on the real work of the body of Christ.
Many have taken this book over the past year and have dissected it for it’s different way of thinking. Some have partitioned it for the parts they like. Others have responded with rejection rebuffing his words and asking “who does he think he is to question us?” The reality is we need balance in the church today. The church needs times of refreshing and worship and there’s nothing wrong with having a decent place to worship and the time to fellowship with a body of believers. But there’s also a time when the church MUST serve others and do so in a way that is uncomfortable to the masses. Christ called us to this. If we do nothing but meet weekly we are not fulfilling the vision Christ had for us. Likewise, if all we do is meet for social justice initiatives, we will burn out and nothing good will be accomplished. “Radical” was written to challenge your thinking. Platt wants to bring the church back to its first century roots. This book is a good start.