Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Radical

I've had this book for over a year now.  I cried the first time I read it - and I've referenced back to it so many times! 

Author David Platt is a pastor of a mega church.  In Radical, he gives us a glimpse into his transition from the status quo to authentic first-century Christianity.  And then he challenges me to do the same.  


I am forever grateful for the broadening that occurred as I read this book.  To say that it was life-changing is not a stretch!  Growing up middle class, middle America, Christian and home-schooled, I was sheltered from the realities of life in many ways.  Christianity was "normal" and other religions and lifestyles were the odd-man out.  To hear Mr. Platt share of going to a secret church overseas, then doing the same here in the US was invigorating!

In Radical, I was challenged to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple--then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a "successful" suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus.

Here's an excerpt:
“If you were to ask the average Christian sitting in a worship service on Sunday morning to summarize the message of Christianity, you would most likely hear something along the lines of “The message of Christianity is that God loves me.” Or someone might say, “The Message of Christianity is that God loves me enough to send his Son, Jesus, to die for me.”
As wonderful as this sentiment sounds, is it biblical? Isn't it incomplete, based on what we have seen in the Bible? “God loves me” is not the essence of biblical Christianity. Because if “God loves me” is the message of Christianity, then who is the object of Christianity?
God loves me.
Me.
Christianity’s object is me.
Therefore, when I look for a church, I look for the music that best fits me and the programs that best cater to me and my family. When I make plans for my life and career, it is about what works best for me and my family. When I consider the house I will live in, the car I will drive, the clothes I will wear, the way I will live, I will choose according to what is best for me. This is the version of Christianity that largely prevails in our culture.
But it is not biblical Christianity.
The message of biblical Christianity is not “God loves me, period,” as if we were the object of our own faith. The message of biblical Christianity is “God loves me so that i might make him–his ways, his salvation, his glory, and his greatness– known among ALL nations.” Now God is the object of our faith, and Christianity centers around Him. We are not the end of the gospel; God is.”
If you are happy with the status quo - read this book.  If you are dissatisfied with religion - read this book.  If you aren't a Christian - read this book.  I guarantee that it will be worth your time!

Don't stop - there's lots more good stuff...

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