Friday, December 17, 2010

Radical, by David Platt

RADICALJesus is calling us all to be radical.  We need to throw off the comforts of the American dream, and make huge changes in our lives so that we can go an make disciples throughout the world.  Do you love Jesus enough to be radical?  Are you willing to try the Radical Experiment?

This may be one of the most difficult reviews I have had to write.  How can someone disagree with a New York Times bestselling author?  Particularly if my disagreement will be called nothing more than selfish refusal to give up my earthly comforts?  Well, I am going to try my best to be honest about this book.

Let me start by saying that I do think the book was well written, and engaging.  David Platt is obviously a charismatic and educated man.  And none of the ideas presented in the book are inherently bad or unbiblical ideas.  I just really dislike the fact that the book is set up in such a way that, if you disagree with any of Platt's principles or recommendations, it means you lack faith and trust in God.

I do not think that everyone is called to be radical.  I think God gives us all different gifts and callings, and I do believe that the Bible supports that.  I think that in some ways, this book is incredibly hypocritical.  David Platt pastors a megachurch.  I am sure he will receive lots of additional fame and notoriety for writing this book, yet these are all things the book preaches against.  I am sure the argument will be made that the book was the best way to spread the message, but it was not a totally selfless act.    It seemed to me that the book, and the author, are fraught with contradictions.

I find it sad that people are condemned for not following this particular method.  Many people do have success and still glorify God, and many really are called to serve here in America, but according to Platt, these people are just making excuses for wanting to maintain a cushy lifestyle.  To me, the book seemed awfully judgmental

As I said, I did think the book well written, and it did contain a lot of useful information, which made me think long and hard.  But I for one, will not be doing the radical experiment.  And I do not think that makes me any less faithful or God centered than David Platt.

I received a review copy of this book courtesy of Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing.