Recommended. An issue that has been pervasive throughout American churches has been the self-centered, “you-are-powerful-and-God-loves-you” mentality, which (though mostly true) takes the focus off of God and his plan and puts the importance on people. Simply put, Christians are beginning to think that they’re the hottest thing since apple pie. But this mentality has diluted true faithfulness and obedience to Jesus Christ’s command to “make disciples of all nations”. Enter David Platt and an “in-your-face” book that calls into question everything American society has taught us. If it doesn’t, there’s something wrong with you.
David Platt calls believers to be radical. No. Rather, Platt makes clear that it is Jesus who calls his followers to be radical. Jesus was radical. In the midst of a culture that is quickly fabricating a convenient image of Jesus, Platt is calling us back to a right view of our biblical Savior. Platt writes, “We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with.” Have we indeed forgotten the Jesus of the Bible?
Platt is courageous in writing this book in the midst of a “me-first,” mega church culture. But his audience is more than just those who are fickle Sunday Christians, he’s talking to every believer who doesn’t live all out, radical lives for Christ. I love what Platt says: “We need to return with urgency to a biblical gospel, because the cost of not doing so is great for our lives, our families, our churches, and the world around us.” His call comes with practical applications and exhortations toward global evangelism and local discipleship, which are both convicting and well supported biblically and experientially.
Platt’s clarity is his forte. He leaves no doubt in the mind of the reader about what needs to be done. He addresses specific questions head on, namely about the limit of American wealth, the urgency of gospel-centeredness, and what radically living looks like in a local environment. In each chapter, he leaves the reader with hope for the tremendous blessing of living a life that is purposed for others. “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.”
This is a strong book (a New York Times Bestseller) that is effective in re-focusing American faith on what is truly important. Oh, and there’s a challenge at the end, but I’ll leave that for you to discover yourself.