Last year I got my hands on a little orange book that would challenge me far beyond anything that has in the past. It was recommended to me by a friend of mine who had read it and exclaimed that it changed the way his ministry works. As I read through the text I was confronted with the harsh reality that many of my friends, and on some level my own faith, was trending towards the world on a dangerous collision course. David Platt drew me in with such basic but overwhelming truths when he writes,
“Biblical proclamation of the gospel beckons us to a much different response and leads us down a much different road. Here the gospel demands and enables us to turn from our sin, to take up our cross, to die to ourselves, and to follow Jesus.”
Platt taught me to fight for the deep things of God and discover an eternal joy saved up for me. I was moved beyond my own limitation and brought to a place of unlimited possibilities. Not only does Platt present truth in such a way that it reaches to your very heart, he doesn’t stop there. He challenges us to move on from just hearing about this truth and making it real and radical.
“Are we willing to obey the orders of Christ? Are we willing to be like him? Are we willing to risk our lives to go to great need and to great danger–whether it’s in the inner cities around us, the difficult neighbor across the street, the disease-ridden communities of Africa, or the hostile regions in the Middle East? Are we willing to fundamentally alter our understanding of Christianity from a luxury-liner approach that seeks more comforts in the world to a troop-carrier approach that forsakes comforts in the world to accomplish an eternally significant task and achieve an eternally satisfying reward?”
It’s hard to read radical and not be drastically altered but it’s content. I have been, time and again, built up by the sermons preached by David Platt. They have taught me much in the way of my own personal theology but because they are preached in such a passionate plea, they also service to stir my soul towards Christ and his mission for the church. That’s where Radical Together came into play. Alright, so the title of this post is a little misleading, this is a review of three books written by Platt. Radical, Radical Together and The Radical Question/A Radical Idea. All three were published by put out by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers.
Radical Together showed me a bigger picture than myself and my mission which Christ has called me to and placed me in a setting of believers who were to live out radical lives as the church of God. I got beyond the many stories and personal testimonies of Radical only to be confronted once again with a radical truth that was about the people in the church, an often forgotten resource.
“We have a tendency to overlook God’s plan for people when we organize churches around professionals. We single out people who seem especially gifted, and we craft the community of faith around them. Everything we do is dependent on their speaking ability, organizational aptitude, and creative skill. But the ministry of making disciples was not intended for professionals alone; it was intended for the whole people of God.”
Radical Together, as the title suggests, is about unleashing the people of God for the purpose of God. That point is made so clear in the way Platt writes. He makes it very understandable for the whole people of God to center themselves under a larger vision of the gospel. A vision so big there is no possible way it can’t move you towards a deeper understanding of this message we call, “good news”. Platt ends this book in a very fitting way, with a clarion call to live out the gospel in such a radical way that it will transform the world.
“Who can imagine what might happen as communities of faith intentionally pray for the world walk though the Word, sacrifice their resources and spread the gospel in their neighborhoods and among the nations, particularly where the name of Jesus is not yet known…..There is no end to the possibilities when God’s people come together in absolute devotion to God’s purpose.”
As far as The Radical Question and A Radical Idea goes, these are but a teaser and introduction to the radical series. They highlight the crowning moments of the two books and leave readers wanting more, which is the intention, I’m sure. Get all these books from David Platt and read them with an attitude of prayer and consideration for what it might do in your life. Following are some resources that might help you and your church, small group or bible study along those lines.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”