My friend Mark put it best: Radical is Crazy Love with more theology.” As much as I liked Crazy Love, David Platt’s Radical addresses similar themes better.
The subtitle for this book is “Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.” We as American Christians are so quick to settle into our comforts of success, society, and stuff that we forget that we are not our own and that we belong to another. We are nestled deep into this world that we forget that we are to live for the next one. David Platt reminds us that we are to live radical lives as Jesus was Himself a true radical. We should be willing to sacrifice our money, status, and time to be kingdom-obsessed. He makes an important distinction between giving and sacrificing. Anyone can give a few bucks or an hour, but to sacrifice means something completely different.
Three parts of this book are especially worth reading.
- The chapter titled How Much is Enough? American Wealth and a World of Poverty shows how much excess we have as Americans. 26,000 children will die today of starvation or other preventable illness. Two billion people live on under two dollars a day. Jesus says, “Go and sell everything you have an give it to the poor.”
- Chapter 7 titled Why Going is Urgent, Not Optional outlines seven truths from the book of Romans that illustrates our sin and guilt before a holy God, and His provision of salvation. These seven truths provide one of the clearest depictions of the Gospel I’ve read.
- Chapter 9 discusses “The Radical Experiment.” Platt challenges readers to live a one-year radical lifestyle marked by the following principles:
- Pray for the entire world
- Read through the entire Word
- Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose
- Spend your time in another context
- Commit your life to a multiplying community
This is one of those must-read books for Christians. For non-Christians, I encourage you to read it to see what Christianity should look like.
I think that this book can change individual lives, churches, and the world.