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Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Written by David Platt

Narrated by David Platt


Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Written by David Platt

Narrated by David Platt

ratings:
4.5/5 (89 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Jun 1, 2010
ISBN:
9781596449398
Format:
Audiobook

Description

It's easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily...BUT WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO LIVES LIKE THAT? DO YOU? In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple--then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a "successful" suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus. Finally, he urges you to join in The Radical Experiment --a one-year journey in authentic discipleship that will transform how you live in a world that desperately needs the Good News Jesus came to bring.
Released:
Jun 1, 2010
ISBN:
9781596449398
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Following many years as a Research Scientist I joined the Public Affairs Department of ICI in 1993. As NW Community Relations Officer, for the next 5 years I was responsible for building and sustaining communications with audiences and influencers essential to the success of the company - notably local residents, industry regulators, local government, teachers and the press. As part of this role I hadmany articles and press releases published in internal ICI magazines and the local press, respectively. "Steam Trains and Jigsaw Puzzles"is the second book that I have had published although thefirst one, purely opportunistic on my part, was restricted to local distribution around Runcorn in Cheshire. "The History of ICI's Castner Kellner Works" was presented, free of charge, to around 300people - all with Work's connections - in 1997.The book, of over 100,000 words, was written to commemorate the Centenary of the huge Chemical Works and was sponsored by the company. I have also had many articles published in external magazines and newspapers including"Amateur Photographer" and"Cage & Aviary Birds". To write the 'Centenary' book was a fine stepping stone into authorship and thoroughly recommended to anyone in the same position. To write this book, however, with the possibility of even greater distribution fulfils a lifelong ambition. In short it is the culmination of a 2.5-year dream involving planning, Internet research, word processing, photography, Photoshop image production and many headaches. Following 30 years as a scientist I found the transition from writing about data, tables, experiments and graphs more than a little different to writing anything acceptable to a non-scientific audience. Please forgive me if my style still involves overtones from my past.


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What people think about Radical

4.6
89 ratings / 49 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    Much-needed prophetic voice for N American Christians to consider laying all of their vast personal wealth on the line for the purposes of Jesus in the world.
  • (4/5)
    Platt chanllenges the American dream, and if a person can be a Christian and still pursue it. A great read and worth the time. It reads quickly and is a great challanenge to get a person thinking about waht it means to really follow God. At times I think he reaches a bit, or overgeneralizes things to make a point. It is a quick leap, a very quick leap, from this book to works based salvation, so one must guard their heart against that. While Platt speaks directly against that belief, it would be easy to fall down that slope. All in all a good book.
  • (5/5)
    Radical by David Platt was exactly that: radical. I was challenged and inspired by this book. The author has made some great observations of our society and gives the Christian reader suggestions (based on commands from God) on what we can do to ensure we aren't "conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2). David Platt believes that there are many professing Christians who "have in many areas blindly and unknowingly embraced values and ideas that are common in our culture but are antithetical to the gospel (Jesus) taught." He goes on to say: "Here we stand amid an American dream dominated by self-advancement, self-esteem, and self-sufficiency, by individualism, materialism, and universalism. Yet I want to show you our desperate need to revisit the words of Jesus, to listen to them, to believe them, and to obey them. 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." In Chapter Two, the author does a great job of describing the gospel, then he goes on to explain what he sees as the problem in our churches today:"The dangerous assumption we unkowingly accept in the American dream is that our greatest asset is our own ability. The American dream prizes what people can accomplish when they believe in themselves and trust in themselves, and we are drawn toward such thinking. But the gospel has different priorities. The gospel beckons us to die to ourselves and to believe in God and to trust in his power.""While the goal of the American dream is to make much of us, the goal of the gospel is to make much of God."One illustration that I will not soon forget is about the time the author was reading a "Christian news publication" and noticed two headlines next to each other. One pronounced the celebration of a new $23 million building for a church. The article beneath described the church's new sanctuary which consisted of marble, stained glass, etc. The other headline was atop a much smaller article. It proclaimed that "Baptist Relief Helps Sudanese Refugees." Nothing wrong with that, except the article stated that 350,000 Sudanese refugees were dying of malnutrition, and "Baptists have raised $5,000 to send to refugees in western Sudan." I almost cried when I read that.Next, Mr. Platt explains in detail what he sees as the solution to the problem: obey God in reaching the world for Christ with the gospel. He suggests we consider the words of Jesus to the rich young ruler to go and sell everything he had and follow Christ. What "things" do we need to give up in order to follow Jesus? "What luxuries does God intend for my family and me to savor, and what luxuries does God invite us to sacrifice?" Then, there is the challenge to go to those who need to hear the gospel.In the last chapter of the book, the author sums up all he says by suggesting the following:"I dare you over the next year to:1. pray for the entire world;2. read through the entire Word;3. sacrifice your money for a specific purpose;4. spend you time in another context;5. commit your life to a multiplying community."I gained a lot by reading this book. I will be going through it again and praying to see what the Lord will have me do in these areas. Here is one more quote (my favorite from the book):"Radical obedience to Christ is not easy; it is dangerous. It is not smooth sailing aboard a luxury liner; it is sacrificial duty aboard a troop carrier. It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all thes things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us."If you profess Jesus as your savior, you should read this book. But remember, it is RADICAL, and it may change your thinking and how you live your life!
  • (5/5)
    There are many books out today that claim to contain the secrets for living a full Christian life; too often, these books just tend to clutter the shelves. David Platt's Radical, however, has the potential to dramatically reshape the Christian landscape in America. His call for Christians to abandon the pursuit of the American dream and pursue a life dedicated to glorifying God, both at home and abroad, truly is a radical charge, and it is one based squarely in the Gospel. The stories of the power of God to work through Christians challenge the reader to quit living comfortably and start living a life of complete abandon for God. This is not about your best life now; it is not about finding your own purpose in the world. It is a call to the purpose all Christians have been given: to glorify God and to make Him known to the nations. I would highly recommend this book to every college student wondering about their future, to every middle-aged man or woman questioning whether the corporate climb is all there is, and to every retiree pondering what is next. Simply put, this book is something every Christian should read; it's time for the church to start acting like the body of Christ again, and this book offers some guidance as to what that life would look like.
  • (5/5)
    I was very impressed - and refreshed - by this book. Although unfortunately grievous in some of its details, the book outlines the sad state of the church in America today, and calls us to be more. To be radical. Readers are challenged to change our thinking about what "successful" Christianity is. We are charged to truly serve Christ, with our time, our habits, our finances, our decisions. It was refreshing to me to see that there are still pastors out there teaching the hard-hitting truth of Scripture. (And, as best I can tell, living it.)This is an absolute must-read for every Christian in America.
  • (5/5)
    Every Christian should read this. The points may be hard to take, but they are points that need to be made!
  • (5/5)
    This book has changed my life. Another book that everyone on this planet should read. Awesome book...
  • (5/5)
    If you are content with trying to be a Christian and having the "American dream," then don't read this book.If you like being comfortable, don't read this book.But if you're really trying to follow Jesus no matter what the cost, then by all means you must consider this book.The author convincingly and in a convicting way sets forth the contrasts between what Jesus demands of His followers and the ideals of the "American dream." He is more than willing to point fingers at churches and believers and how they have "sold out" the hard parts of the message of Jesus in their pursuit of American ideals. He then shows the way toward radical discipleship-- standing firm for Biblical truth, giving sacrificially, showing concern for the poor and dispossessed, and proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom boldly in all places.Many a sacred cow of American Christianity are eloquently slaughtered, and it is for the best, even if it is uncomfortable. The only reason why I cannot make a wholesale endorsement of the book is the Evangelical predisposition of the author and his insistence on faith only and eternal security.Nevertheless, the book is most worthy of consideration.
  • (5/5)
    David Platt may be a young pastor of a mega-church, but don't let that turn you away from what is a persuasive and convicting book. The sound, Gospel-centered message is one that is neglected by many pastors, and it is refreshing to see Platt winsomely and humbly plead with the church to unashamedly follow Christ.Platt writes with humility and conviction, presenting a message that is both challenging and encouraging. Highly recommended.
  • (3/5)
    Platt's book is a good book. He says nothing that hasn't already been said before by the likes of Piper and Ron Syder, yet the book's message needs to be proclaimed over and over in different ways to Christians who have imbibed materialism from their infancy. The primary benefits of the book come from the fact that this is a young pastor shepherding a mega-church away from a mindset that pervades most mega churches, that he issues a clear call based in Scripture and enflamed by his first-hand knowledge of life in foreign countries, and that he gives clear examples of how radically many in his church are living as a result of the truths he is presenting in the book.I was personally challenged again by the call to choose self-sacrifice and heavenly living over the siren call of this world's selfish mindset. Platt reminded me of the subtle way that materialism creeps into my life and the constant threat it poses to a selfless, others-focused life.I am grateful that Platt continually submitted his plea for renouncing the American Dream to God's plan for redeeming a people for himself. By doing so, Platt evaded the temptation to fall into humanistic socialism and provided us with a call to live like Christians in a world that desperately needs Christ.
  • (5/5)
    David Platt has written a book that is long overdue and much needed today. The title is enough to send many who want the comfortable "me-first Christianity" that fills the American landscape and bookstores today running. The title is, however, a breath of refreshing air to those who have had enough of the status quo.This book does something many books do not. It challenges the person who says they are a Christian on every level. We are challenged to examine what we call Christianity today in the brilliant light of Scripture. We are challenged to separate Christianity, and ourselves, from culture unto Christ. We are challenged to live out the simple precepts of the Bible without making excuses and justifying lives that run completely counter to the teachings of Christ. This is a book has the potential to rescue Christianity from America and restore it to the world. This book has the potential to bringing seeping change to the landscape of American Christendom as people move from being "culturally Christians" to Conversion through Christ and commitment to the cause of Christ. Remarkable book. David Platt leaves any Christian concerned for pleasing God and shepherding other Believers asking, "What have I done with the Gospel?" and "What do I really know about being a Christian?" As the answer, "Not Enough" keeps resounding in our ears I trust that we will be driven to God and the word of God and the glory of God to all nations to change that answer. A MUST READ FOR THE AMERICAN CHRISTIAN!
  • (5/5)
    challenging that is all I can say - must read if you think you are a christian
  • (5/5)
    This is my favorite book!
  • (5/5)
    I dare any Christian to read this. If you allow the wisdom of the author, coupled with what Christ taught, to penetrate your soul I guarantee you your world will be rocked from the complacency and apathy of the American version of Christianity. Jesus was indeed a radical. And radical is what we all should be. So radical should our lives be that we be willing to risk even our very lives for the sake of Christ. One of my favorite quotes from this book is, "To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus"
  • (1/5)
    I appreciate what he's trying to do, but his fundamentalism taints everything.
  • (5/5)
    His 5 step plan is something every Christian should consider. There are some very thought provoking statements in this book. A lot regarding hoarding of your money and wher it should really be going. Love the last couple pages that talk about how someday you'll have to give an account of what you did with all the money you made and how you spent your time on earth.
  • (2/5)
    It is ironic to call a book entitled "Radical" imbalanced; by the nature of the case, such is Platt's goal. A gifted preacher, and a personable writer, Platt's call is good, but his technique is cruel, and his application over-generalized. Some Christians are called to radical lives like he describes; but others are called to be radical in a different way. Platt misses the radical nature of a life of boring Christian faithfulness, and sees no middle ground between the life of a first-century evangelist and the american dream.If God flooded the church with more people heeding Platt's call, much good would be done, but with such a short-sighted vision, it would be temporary at best. The Apostle Paul had learned how to abound, as well as how to be in want. Platt sees that many American Christians have abundance, but don't know how to use it. Unfortunately, his answer involves running right back to being in want, and not actually learning how to abound in a way that glorifies God. He explicitly denies making wealth the problem, but his answer involves getting rid of wealth. It is hard to see how someone could accumulate the immense capital needed to do the good work of a C.T. Studd without it looking on the surface like he was pursuing something like the american dream. Much of Platt's motivation comes in the form of guilt manipulation, disguised in the language of God's glory. He doesn't appear to have a category for the faithful father who spends his life working to provide his children with a bed, food, and a college education (all things which Platt sees as good, and not opposed to the radical living he is talking about), who gives faithfully to his Church, and saves enough to enable his children to do the same. Is God not just as glorified by generations of boring faithfulness as he is with one dramatic spending of capital?His eschatology seems to constrain his thought to the short term, as the immediate swallows up the long-term, and his baptistic atomism leads him to put what should be covenantal, communal expectations on individual churches and people.His heart is in the right place, and many people need to hear his call. But he mistakes a calling for the Christian life. The things he cautions Christians against indulging in are explicitly promised to Christians as the blessing of God. He warns Christians against blessings without nuance, or at least without appreciating the true weight of the nuances he nods his head to. Wealth and blessings are to be used and developed, not scattered and avoided. Strangely, at the end of the day, it is the american dream that is not as radically materialistic as the blessings God promises to give to his faithful people. By mistakenly "spiritualizing" away the idea of heavenly treasure, and by not allowing the blessings that Christ the King gives to his people to be a reality in this age (though of course not as fully or completely as at the end of all things) Platt has given us a radically imbalanced picture of the Christian life.If God gave us many more radical Christians like Platt calls for, it would be a great blessing to the world. But if every Christian took Platt's call as the normal Christian life, a crushing burden of guilt and a short-sighted vision would harm the Church.
  • (4/5)
    This book is an excellent recommendation for the Christian that might question the traditions of church. What is church? What should it look like? What should the church be doing?
  • (5/5)
    An amazingly hard look at how we live, how we spend our money, what we prioritize in our lives as Christians in America. Everyone needs to think about this - are we putting it all on the line for Christ, to see him glorified to the ends of the earth? Have we critically examined our homes for excesses? Big screen tv or feed the starving? New car or Bibles in a new language? There's a legitimate place for many things we have in America, but there's no need for as much or as big or as nice as we have. I particularly liked the part in this book about how do we listen to the Word proclaimed? Is it attentive because we're trying internalize it so we can share it with those we interact with, to teach others of Christ? That perspective would revolutionize the atmosphere in our churches.
  • (4/5)
    Just finished reading Radical by David Platt and I encourage you to read it, but only if you want to think and be challenged.
  • (4/5)
    This book is very similar to "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. I did like chapter 9 and Platt's challenge fora year. I would buy the book for chapter 9.
  • (5/5)
    This is a powerful book that pulls us out of our American context and confronts us with the question of what the gospel really demands of us. It is guaranteed to challenge you and probably scare you a little (in a good way). Definitely worth reading!
  • (3/5)
    For Christians, this book offers a lot to think about.
  • (3/5)
    I give this relatively short book three stars. It is well-written and says great things, but I get frustrated with how books like this pretend to be saying something new when others have wrestled with the same ideas for centuries, and there are a host of classic books out there addressing the same topic. For whatever reason, David Brooks singled the book out for a column, increasing its readership. This book is now very popular among Southern Baptist churches, having spun off book studies, "Secret Church" movements, etc. even though there is nothing new here-- other than it having been written by a Southern Baptist and not someone from another denomination. There are plenty of contemperaneous works that Platt appears to draw from or have identical ideas. For example, Ron Sider wrote Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (my review) in 1978. This book is probably considered subversive by many Southern Baptists but it's roughly half of Platt's book. Dallas Willard, A.W. Tozer, and others also wrote several works that make calls (and better arguments) for authentic worship and discipleship than Pratt does. Pratt does not mention these, so a young reader is left with the impression that he's discovered all these ideas on his own from the Bible. I get frustrated with how much praxaeology Southern Baptists rediscover in the 21st century, from Mark Dever's 9 Marks movement on church policy to Platt's Radical.

    Platt's exhortation is for Christians to live simpler lives, be more "radical" in their giving and going (to the unreached), and to reclaim the true meaning of discipleship from the modern emphasis on buildings and programs. To his credit, he does cite the work of Elisabeth Elliott and works by or about missionaries of centuries past.

    A couple positive takeaways from the book:

    Platt affirms people in their vocations, giving the example of a man operating his accounting firm for God's glory and being very influential both in discipling his co-workers and contributing to overseas work.

    He also makes the point that since we are all called to make disciples, discipleship necessitates teaching and modeling. Thus, we are all teachers, teaching is not necessarily a vocational calling to only a few. He encourages all of us to study and learn things as though we are going to teach them later, which is a good lesson to apply to all of life.

    A few weaknesses of the book:
    Namely the aforementioned lack of original thought. Another weakness is that while the book encourages being in a reproducing community it lacks ideas of the greater power of Christian community (that you can find in other books). Platt doesn't tie the idea of Church community very well in deciding how we spend our money and the types of things we buy, and how we handle ethical issues at work. Platt essentially leaves it up to the individual family to figure out if their house is too big or their giving not radical enough rather than among a community of believers in accountability with one another as we saw in Acts.

    I'm struck by the number of churches who are actively promoting or studying this book, but the changes in their attitude toward buildings and programs seem only changed at the margin-- if at all. Platt would set a high standard to whether a church should focus its resources on its weekly services or increasing its numbers or instead focus on discipleship and giving to the poor.

    In all, 3 stars out of 5. There are a host of other, more complete, books I'd recommend before this one.
  • (5/5)
    If this book didn’t shake you Christianity to the core, I’m not sure what else would ? Maybe that you can experience yourself as a missioner! It has confirmed many things that I have been feeling and thinking of lately and has also stir something inside of me!!!wow, thank you God for our brother David
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely amazing book. Took the challenge. Already seeing changes in the way my days are lived out, how I am raising my children, how I am talking to my husband, how I am sharing the gospel every chance I get... Every Christian should read this book!
  • (5/5)
    what a convicting book. what a biblical book! God deserves it all!!
  • (5/5)
    Excellent book. Would recommend pairing with Francis Chan’s Crazy Love. A convicting but encouraging call to rise above American Christianity’s version of the American Dream. A people like the ones described in Radical are what this world needs. Now to get to work...
  • (5/5)
    Best book I’ve read in a while. So convicting, I would encourage everyone to read this!
  • (5/5)
    This is an incredible book. It challenges me in my faith and expounds upon truth in eloquent ways.