Mark’s #11 – Radical Together by David Platt (2011)

In 2010 I read and reviewed Radical by David Platt.  That book has been a powerful tool for millions of Christians to refocus on the stunning implications of the gospel for their lives, churches, and the world.  In 2011, at The Harbor, using that book we launched the year long Radical Experiment.   Needless to say, I loved the book.

However, there was some resistance, or perhaps misunderstanding of the book, not only by those who do not want the American Dream challenged, but even by those who share Platt’s evangelical theological convictions.  In sum, it was argued that the book put undue pressure and burdens on Christians and misplaced emphasis on actions rather than gospel proclamation.  From these well respected brothers, Platt humbly received their criticism of the book, and thanked them for their mentorship. 

In Radical Together, Platt returns to similar themes of the first book, but with more of an emphasis to clarify what he believes God’s Word really does call Christians too.  Here he emphasizes the need for churches to reevaluate every church program in light of the gospel and the mission of God.  He shows that the gospel that saves us from work, also saves us to work… and the gospel, empowered by the Word of God and the Spirit of God is what ultimately does the work, so that in salvation and in the fruit of the works, God gets the glory.

I anticipated that Platt would address his critics and clarify his positions, which he did.  However, I expected, from the book title, that there would be more of a focus on how communities of faith can come together to live out these radical implications hand-in-hand.   This did not seem to be much of an emphasis in the book.  There were plenty of anecdotal stories of individuals and small groups of people doing this, but no game plan or emphasis for churches as a whole.

The other small critique of the book is its length. Minus the group discussion guides in the back, the book is only about 130 pages long. Some people may avoid spending money on such a short book, which is too bad because each chapter has some really encouragement and insights for followers of Christ.

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