Paperback: 165 pages
Publisher: Multnomah (April 19, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
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Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #91,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #59 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Church Institutions & Organizations #70 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Leadership #1746 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Spiritual Growth
I'm not sure there's a book I've anticipated more than this one in the last year... and it was well worth the wait! David Platt's first book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, brought into focus the incompatibility of the Christian life with the American dream, and has had a huge impact on Christians -- particularly those in my generation. Many readers of that first book have begun to live lives of radical obedience to Christ, devoting themselves to prayer, reading God's Word, and spending their time and resources serving others at home and abroad. Many of these readers' stories are shared in this second book.But one person being radical will not ultimately accomplish much. To see real change come in this world requires like-minded Christians to band together in local churches, with each person contributing their talents, resources, and energy to the cause of Christ as part of a unified body. What Radical did for individual Christians, Radical Together aims to do for churches. I believe it will succeed!In the first chapter, called "The Tyranny of the Good", Platt urges churches to re-examine the use of their resources, facilities, and time. Most churches, he says, are not investing themselves in worthless, unfruitful, or unbiblical pursuits. Rather, they are held captive by the "tyranny of the good", spending themselves on labors that are good... but not necessarily best for advancing God's Kingdom purposes.
Even smaller than his first book (this one is just under 150 pages without the study guide), Platt's sequel is no less thought-provoking even if it repeats several of the themes of his earlier book. Where "Radical" focused on the problems with American culture, "Radical Together" focuses on the problems within the American church. His purpose in this book is to unite the church, meaning the lay people, around a gospel-centered vision.The six short chapters, each with a sub-heading, are as follows:1.Tyranny of the Good: the worst enemy of Christians is good things in the church2.The Gospel Misunderstood: the gospel that saves us from work save us to work3.God is saying something: the Word does the work4.The Genius of Wrong: building the right church depends on using all the wrong people5.Our Unmistakeable Task: we are living -- and longing -- for the end of the world6.The God who exalts God: we are selfless followers of a self-centered GodLike his earlier book, Pastor Platt weaves together compelling stories from his own life and that of his faith-community at Brooks Hill in Birmingham, Alabama, to craft an easy read. And like "Radical" the speed and slimness of the book belies the challenge within its pages.Two chapters stood out for me. The first focuses on cutting the good to emphasize the greater. He tells of how his church slashed their budget, not because of tough times, but to spend their savings on spiritual needs around the globe instead of staffing needs within their church. Downsizing for the betterment of the world. How often we hear of budget cuts to line the pockets of corporate shareholders. Here Platt tells of budget cuts (of over $1.
I have been very interested in finding out what all the buzz surrounding David Platt's best-seller "Radical" is all about. After hearing him teach some unconventional ideas at the Catalyst Conference in Dallas this year, I approached his newest offering "Radical Together" with some skepticism.However, I found many concepts to applaud in the book. After all, it's not enough to just get personally radical for Christ, we are called to follow Christ with others in the context of the local church. Each chapter is built around an apparent non sequitur or shocking statement in order to illicit a response from the reader. Noting the abundance of churches and resources in the US, he challenges us to give sacrificially to foreign missions. He calls us to think globally beyond our own borders. He asks how often do we settle for the good, instead of choosing God's best? Platt skillfully describes the tightrope walk of faith and works and adds to our understanding of the meaning of grace. He emphasizes the centrality of prayer and the importance of adoption. He reminds us of the truth that God does not need us to further His kingdom, but He lovingly chooses to use us for His glory.However, when Platt sets up a straw man through the stereotypical modern church, he veers off course. It seems Platt inherited all the trappings that go along with pastoring a wealthy mega-church. And it's within this setting that he feels confident in criticizing the excess that has become a part of those churches. He imagines scores of pastors who've decided they would rather not use the Bible as the basis for their teaching. It's just that those pastors aren't in the churches I know of.
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