RADICAL – David Platt (2010)

Radical by David Platt is not for the faint at heart.  The author calls readers to a life of God-centered discipleship; a life that pursues Christ, worships Christ, and obeys the mandate of Christ.

Platt aggressively confronts the primary tenets of the so-called American dream and challenges readers to re-evaluate priorities in light of Christ’s call to discipleship: “Jesus has commanded each of us to make disciples and this is the means by which we will impact the world.”

Platt admits that making disciples is not easy: “We must live for them, love them, serve them, and lead them … In the process you will multiply the gospel to the ends of the earth.”

Additionally, the author argues that disciple making involves intentionality: It is a “command for us to be gospel-living, gospel-speaking people at every moment and in every context where we find ourselves … Disciple making is not about a program or an event but about a relationship.  As we share the gospel, we impart life, and this is the essence of making disciples – sharing the life of Christ.”

The author calls Christ-followers to commit to a one year radical experiment:

1. Pray for the entire world.

2. Read the Bible from cover to cover.

3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose.

4. Spend  your time in another context.

5. Commit your life to a multiplying community.

Radical is a cross between John Piper’s Desiring God, John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus, Walter Chantry’s Today’s Gospel, and The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer.  It is a serious book for serious followers of Christ.  Indeed, “Your life is free to be radical when you see death as reward.”

Platt continues a theme that Piper has stressed for years, namely – God is the Gospel: “This, we remember, is the great reward of the gospel: God himself.  When we risk our lives to run after Christ, we discover the safety that is found only in his sovereignty, the security that is found only in his love, and the satisfaction that is found only in his presence.  This is the eternally great reward, and we would be foolish to settle for anything less.”

One of my best friends from Belarus has summed up the essence of Platt’s work: “In the final analysis, the only the thing that matters is a relationship with God and relationship with people.”  Belarussian Christians are truly living radical Christian lives!

Radical is God-centered, Christ-saturated, biblical, thought-provoking, passionate, Great Commission-minded.

4.5 stars

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