RADICAL TOGETHER – David Platt (2011)

David Platt urged Christ-followers to jettison the American dream and opt for a life of service to the glory of God in his first book, Radical.  His follow-up work, Radical Together takes his proposal one step further by  challenging the Body of Christ to extend God’s grace to the world.  One central question drives the book: “How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?”

Platt shows how six key ideas stoke the fire which results in a world ablaze with the glory of God.  Included are some highlights from each chapter to prompt thought, discussion, and action:

1. One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church

  • “The last thing you and I want to do is waste our lives on religious activity that is devoid of spiritual productivity – being active in the church but not advancing the kingdom of God.”
  • “We must be willing to sacrifice good things in the church in order to experience the great things of God.”
  • “A church is a community of individuals who have lost their lives to follow Christ.  Surely it flows from this that we would be willing to lose our programs and our preferences, to sacrifice our budgets and our buildings, to let go of our most cherished legacies and reputations if there is a better way to make his glory known in the world.”

2. The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work

  •  “True faith in Christ inevitably produces great work for Christ, not works fueled by the flesh in an attempt to earn our way to God, but works fueled by faith in a life that is abandoned to God.”
  • “Yes, the gospel saves us to work, but we must be careful to plant every challenge, every declaration, every decision, every action, every question, every confession, and every exhortation solidly in the soil of gospel grace.”
  • “Gospel-driven obedience produces gospel-filled joy.”

3. The Word does the work

  • “In our lives and in the church, we are never without revelation from God.  At all times you and I have his message to us in all its power, authority, clarity, and might.”
  • “God has designed us to depend on his Word to lead his people in ways that are utterly disproportionate to who we are.”
  • ” … Members of churches should desire and, in a sense, demand nothing less than continual feasts on God’s Word in the church.  This alone will satisfy, strengthen, and spread the church in the world.”

4. Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people

  • “God has given every follower of Christ natural avenues to spread the gospel and declare his glory.  Which means that the last thing leaders should do is pull people away from those avenues in order to participate in our activities.”
  • ” … Church leaders are intended by God not to plan events but to equip people.  Leaders do not exist to provide services; they exist to serve people.”

5. We are living – and longing – for the end of the world

  • “[Jesus] made it clear that his followers are to make disciples among every people group in the world.  The end of the age will not come when a certain number of people in one ethnic group come to Christ.  The end of the age will come when people from every single ethnic group have come to Christ.”
  • “Any Christian and any church desiring to obey the command of Christ in the world and longing to see the coming of Christ at the end of the world must possess a God-centered, gospel-driven tenacity that is ready to endure an intense spiritual battle.”

6. We are selfless followers of a self-centered God

  • “Let’s rise up together as selfless followers of a self-centered God, and let’s live – and die – as though we believe our highest prize is his global praise.”

Platt argues, “God has called us to lock arms with one another in single-minded, death-defying obedience to one objective: the declaration of his gospel for the demonstration of his glory to all nations.”  I’m always challenged when I read something by David Platt.  Something tells me I’m not alone.  But I’m confident that the author is not encouraged by platitudes and well received reviews.  What Platt is after is action – action that begins and ends in the church.

4 stars

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