Book Review: Radical by David Platt

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Our staff just got done reading Radical: Taking back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt. All of us were challenged and blessed by the book. David Platt’s heart for missions and reaching the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ bleeds on every page. His writing is challenging and convicting. Several times I wanted to sell everything and ask God where he wanted to send our family.

The American Dream is that pie in the sky thought that if you have everything the world says is successful you will be happy. For us Americans it means a house, a couple of cars, a spouse, and 2.5 kids. This dream can be elusive. If we do get close to it the necessary maintenance to keep up that lifestyle actually prevents us from enjoying it.

Platt offers an alternative. He challenges us to think globally when it comes to our faith. 4.5 billion people have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and most of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day. By us turning our focus on those needs not only will we reach people for Jesus but in turn it will open our lives to the life God truly desires for us.

Interlaced throughout the book are stories of missionary trips Platt has taken as well as classic missionary stories by some of the greats. When he described the hunger and great risk many people take just to come to a bible study it was humbling. We don’t realize the persecution and struggles many Christians have that we would never even dream of.

Probably the most convicting thing in the book was the story of the USS United States. It was a battle ship that was built in the 1950’s to be the fastest troop carrier in our fleet. It was capable of bringing thousands of troops to battle yet was never used for that. It became a luxury liner for Presidents and famous guests. It was such a great analogy about what the church was built for and what it has become. We are built to bring the workers to the harvest but instead we are sitting on the pool deck unwilling to go to battle. Meanwhile thousands die of disease and hunger not knowing Jesus.

It’s time to get radical. Time to pare back our safe lives and live out the mission Jesus has called us to. The book ends by challenging its readers to do five things: 1. Pray for the Entire world in a year, 2. Read through the Entire Word in a year, 3. Give Sacrificially towards the Kingdom, 4. Go One Week a year on a missions trip, and finally 5. Commit to a Biblical Community. The thinking is that by doing these for a year it will change our perspective and give us a desire to go where God leads us.

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