Thursday, April 21, 2011

Radical Together - A Book Review

David Platt's previous book Radical is a book that, since reading it, I find myself recommending to just about every Christian I share casual conversation with. It was challenging and edifying which made it all the more exciting when I saw Radical Together was coming out. In all honesty I was slightly nervous this Radical thing would become the next Every Man's Battle with 100 different versions and would end up being over done and be the new "fad". Considering the author, I don't see that happening and after reading Radical Together it looks like I have nothing to worry about. This book is a perfect follow up to Radical and will hopefully open a lot of eyes to how we are called to live radically not just individually, but as a church that strives to impact the world in service to Jesus Christ.

The book is broken down into six chapters that follow six ideas proposed by the author:

1. One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church
2. The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work.
3. The Word does the work.
4. Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people.
5. We are living - and longing - for the end of the world.
6. We are selfless followers of a self centered God

Each chapter follows a similar style as Radical. There are personal stories from the author, church members, as well as letters from people that changed their lifestyle after reading the first book. None of these stories are included to make Radical seem like the answer to our problems but rather as a testimony to God's grace in changing lives to better serve His purposes. These stories usually act a springboard to help us see his points more clearly.

So why read this book? Is it more of the same? Yes and no. The stories are similar to the first book, and the tone is the same, but the focus is different. Everything written in Radical Together is aimed at the local and universal church. The individual application is present but the goal is to drive the Christian community to a more biblical understanding of what it means to work together for the sake of the gospel. What should our vision be? Should we have a vision? Should we spend our efforts locally or think globally? All of these questions are answered in a helpful way that is persuasive and challenging. As a church leader I found some of the points the author made to be so challenging that I actually rebelled against them in my mind and in my heart. It was a struggle thinking through what was in this book and what my life and our life as a church would look like if we lived this way. The world would look very different, that's for sure.

As I read the book I really didn't find too much about it that was negative. If there was anything I was bothered by it was my own heart and unwillingness to want to pursue what the Bible clearly teaches in regards to living as a church.

Buy this book and read through it slowly and carefully. Take notes and ask yourself the questions the author is asking. I bet you will not come away the same person. Highly recommended for anyone from Pastors to churchgoers. Also, there are discussion questions in the back of the book that could be used in various group settings.

Read the 1st Chapter here.
Buy the book here.

(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)

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