Radical - A Review

Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream is a dangerous book written by a dangerous man - David Platt. As Platt states from the outset, "you and I can choose to continue with business as usual in the Christian life and in the church as a whole, enjoying success based on the standards defined by the culture around us. Or we can take an honest look at the Jesus of the bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believed him and really obeyed him" (pg 3). What is so dangerous about that? The question assumes that most of us don't really believe and don't really obey Jesus. And the sad reality is that we don't. In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who Platt quotes, "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." Platt unpacks the biblical gospel and reveals the fact that "the gospel does not prompt you into mere reflection; the gospel requires a response" (pg 21).

Radical is nine chapters, and at 217 pages (excluding end notes and acknowledgements) it can be read in one sitting. I know because I read it in one sitting; it was that good and engaging. There were plenty of times, as Russell Moore said in his endorsement, that I wanted to put it down because I was "uncomfortably targeted by the Holy Spirit." David Platt doesn't just talk the talk in this book; he walks the walk. Every chapter is woven with the experiences of one who not only asked the questions, but searched for the answers. Platt is a "doer".

There really is no "safe" chapter in this book. Page after page you are confronted with two pictures; Biblical Christianity and North American Christianity. One fact leaps out time and time again - "one of these things is not like the other." If you can remember doing any "spot the difference" puzzles as a kid, in Radical, spotting the differences is not hard, admitting they exist is. We come face to face with a Universal Church that has "nothing but the people of God and the Word of God. And strangely, that's enough." While we "fill our lives with the constant drivel of entertainment {because} we are afraid that if we stop and really look at God in his Word, we might discover that he evokes greater awe and demands deeper worship than we are ready to give him."

In the end every excuse we in the North American Church come up with for our disobedience is just that an excuse. None of them stand in light of Scripture, they never have. "{God} doesn't give options for people to consider; he gives commands for people to obey." If you are comfortable where you are right now don't read this book. Platt takes it one step further, "to everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus."

I have been looking forward to this book since I heard of it's release date and it did not disappoint. Radical is one of the best books I have ever read period. I would and will recommend it to all.

Love in the Truth.


Carol Fleisher said...

I waiting to get my copy of this book. I am looking forward to reading it. I think we as Christian in North America have been far to complacent.

Trevor Peck said...

I agree Carol. Trusting that you will be blessed when you get it.

Love in the Truth.

John said...

I agree with your review--good job!

Trevor Peck said...

Thanks John. I appreciate the encouragement.