Oct 032013

David Platt.
But as a new pastor comparing the images around me that day with the pictures still fresh in my mind of brothers and sisters on the other side of the world, I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable.
Page: 12

The title of the book and this early paragraph state the author’s thesis. Our faith must once again become ‘radical’. But what does that mean? There are negative connotations to the word, as in ‘radical Islamic fundamentalist’ and there is the slang meaning of ‘wonderful’ which is usually shortened to ‘rad’. Below is the definition from The Free Dictionary:

rad·i·cal  (rd-kl)
1. Arising from or going to a root or source; basic: proposed a radical solution to the problem.
2. Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme: radical opinions on education.
3. Favoring or effecting fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions: radical political views.
4. Linguistics Of or being a root: a radical form.
5. Botany Arising from the root or its crown: radical leaves.
6. Slang Excellent; wonderful.

After looking at the first three definition above, I cannot argue that what passes for Christianity must change, must become radical. We must go to the root or source; which for us is the Bible which tells us the good news that the Savior has come. We must depart from the usual or customary; it is always Christ against culture, be it the culture of modern America or the culture of some third world country. And finally the gospel is so antithetical to the world that we must always be striving for the fundamental practices and views that are taught in scripture.

Where I may disagree with the author is that this is nothing new. This is what the Apostle Paul was attempting to fight in his day. All his letters to the New Testament churches hammered home this reality. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) It is the perennial struggle of the Christian, not something new, not something peculiar to modern, affluent America. The impoverished new believers in the Sudan have the same struggle against their culture. It may be invisible to us with our western rose-colored glasses but for them the same struggle exists.

Where I may also disagree with the book will be in the solution to this problem. If I am correct that this is the same problem that the Apostle Paul was dealing with in the first century, then this book should be proposing similar solutions. Will David Platt call us back to the fundamentals? Will we find his solutions to be contemporary ways to implement the same solutions that Paul and the other New Testament (and Old Testament for that matter) writers called for: A radical faith in a radical God? Let us find out.

Book Posts

  • Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream – David Platt
  • Radical Promise: Consequences of “Really” Believing and “Really” Obeying
  • Being Radical in a Rad World
  • Gospel of Self-Sufficiency
  • Risking All for a Biblical Gospel
  • Radical Gospel of Guilt
  • Poor, Puny, Pathetic Jesus?
  • God’s Gift of Grace: New Heart, New Desires, New Longings

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