Radicalby David Platt
There is a movement taking place in the body of Christ today. A fresh awakening to the truths of the gospel that we have forgotten as the Lord has prospered us as a nation. David Platt expounds on the truths of the gospel that we may have left behind. The gospel demands discipleship. If we say we are followers of Christ, then we should be doing the things that He did.
Jesus said to the believer to "leave all and follow me". We should not rewrite what we think Jesus meant by that. That He wouldn’t mind our materialism, that He wouldn’t want us to suffer, or ever do anything dangerous. If we feel this way we must ask, are we worshipping God or ourselves? Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German martyr of WWII said it this way, "the first call every Christian experiences is the call to abandon the attachments of this world". Regardless, we shrink back from self-denying faith and settle into self-indulging faith while billions in need of the gospel remain in the dark.
The author has gone through his own period of self-seeking. He found himself asking two questions:
1. "Was I going to believe Jesus? Embrace Him even though he said radical things that drove the crowd away?"
2. "Was I going to obey Jesus? My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus' words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to Him."
That is why David Platt wrote this book. He is on a journey, a journey to find out what the consequences might be if we really believed Jesus and really obeyed Him.
Throughout the book Platt gives examples of what he has found as he has shared the gospel in many foreign countries, including examples of men of faith today and in the past, who gave their lives for gospel of Christ, men of God relying on the power of God. Stories of men and women who have journeyed for days just to soak in the teaching of the Word of God - Stories of men and women sleeping under trucks in a war zone to bring the gospel to the lost - Stories of men who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to reach the Muslims.
God has had a global purpose for mankind from the beginning through today. He has always cared about the nations; they are His children. We should care too. As we enjoy our free time and recreation and build larger homes and buy nicer cars, the world is dying apart from Christ. Storing up treasures in heaven, by helping to bring the gospel to the lost world, would be a better use of our resources. God has made a way of salvation for the lost. But as the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 10:14 "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?"
People cannot come to God apart from faith in Christ. Christ commands the church to go and make the disciples of all nations. So if we are truly His disciples we also must go into all the world, from our neighbor, to our workplace, to the ends of the earth. If we don’t feel this urgency for salvation of the lost we must get on our knees and ask our Father to implant it in us. It is His highest concern, and if we are His followers we should be equally motivated to this work.
We get to do this together. There is nothing like the joy we experience when we serve side by side with like-minded believers. We have a tendency to rely on ourselves, and many times when we do we miss the miraculous ways the Lord would provide for his own dear children. We often need to be reminded that what He has called us to do, He will provide for in resources, energy, companions, whatever is needed.
In Jesus’ upside down economy the last are first, and Jesus made a promises like this to His followers, "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake finds it." Jesus clearly acknowledges that following him involves risking the safety, security and satisfaction we have found in the world. But in the end Jesus said following Him leads to a radical reward that the world can never offer or take away.
As beloved children of God we need to connect the blessings of God with the purposes of God. Where would He have us go? Go to where there is need. Jesus told His disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, cast our demons, care for the orphan, visit those in prison. So go to the diseased, the dying, the despised and the dangerous. Didn’t He say, "I am sending you out like sheep among the wolves."?
But our Father has not left us alone. He sent His Holy Spirit to be our comforter and teacher. Our reward will be great for truly following Him. His sovereignty is our safety, His love our security, His presence our satisfaction. And He promises, "My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory." He has all we need to walk faithfully with Him. He calls us to radical living in Him.
Will you answer the call?
Book review written by Diane Caston