Some people have a sneaky way of recommending books to read.
Pastor Steve Bunyard (Pastor of Outreach at RHCC) simply carries around a copy of a book that he wants you to read. The book catches your eye and you ask him, “Hey, Steve, what book are you reading?” Then it is too late. He has the hook in your mouth and you know that you will be going to http://www.christianbook.com and you are going to order that book so you can start reading ASAP.
That is how I discovered and devoured Radical: taking back your faith from the American dream by David Platt. I highly recommend this book as a good read to review your thoughts on being a Christian in America. Platt warns you to examine how your faith guides your life or how your culture invades and possibly overwhelms your faith. I took this book to heart and am praying through changes in my life.
Here is my summary of Radical: taking back your faith from the American dream by David Platt:
“God has designed our lives for a collision course with the world.” (p. 83) No matter in which walk of life we find ourselves, God wants us “to spend all of our lives for the sake of all of God’s glory in all of the world.” (p. 83)
Platt questions the validity of “pray a prayer after me” Christianity. He sees the Bible clearly teaching the follower of Jesus to give up everything that they have and take up his cross and follow Jesus against the tide of family and the world. He challenges each believer to focus on discipleship and becoming a reproducing disciple-maker.
Platt drives to the core when he challenges every American believer to review their personal view and feelings about death. If we view death as a reward as we are instantly escorted into the presence of Jesus and leave the cares and struggles of our earthly life behind, then we are good to go in our discipleship. Our faith needs an adjustment if we are found clinging to family, possessions, positions, friends, comforts, safety, security, and our very lives.
We have nothing to fear as we rest in His sovereign control over every minute of our day. (p. 173)
We can remain secure because we know that he loves us and cares about every detail of our life. (p. 174)
Our greatest security is found in the faithful provision of our all-knowing God who is also able and willing to meet our needs in every way. (p. 174)
We have to work to believe with Paul that “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) Death can be a reward only if dying really is gain. Your life is free to be radical only when you see death as reward. The key is realizing that this world is not your home. (p. 175-179)
We are radically His when we only know security in Him and we find satisfaction only in His presence.
“When we consider the promises of Christ, risking everything we are and everything we have for His sake is no longer a matter of sacrifice. It’s just common sense. Following Christ is not sacrificial as much as it is smart. Jim Elliot once said, ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.’” (p. 181)
Platt spends the final chapter of the book challenging the reader to put their new found radical faith into practice via a radical experiment. He gives the reader 5 challenges to undertake in the next year. This is a very practical step for each reader to take.