Monday, January 17, 2011
a radical review
My scheduled reading topic for this month, church history, has suffered because I got distracted by Radical by David Platt. I really enjoyed this book even though I often caught myself thinking that most of it didn't apply to me since my husband (and therefore, me) is in the fulltime ministry, and surely the author is just talking to lay people (those not in fulltime, professional ministry.) ha! I need some radical in my life just as much as everyone else.
So while it is fresh in my mind (I just finished the book this morning) I thought I would go ahead and give a brief synopsis of the book and highlight a few sections that jumped out at me. Keep in mind that I am not an expert book reviewer, in fact I don't think I really even know how to write a book review (and apparently my grammar ain't too good either.) but I liked this book and I'm going to tell you why.
The first thing I liked was that he talked about the difference between the american dream and biblical christianity. The american dream is about big, comfortable houses, cars, bank accounts, self-reliance, surrounding ourselves with people who like us and creating the perfect family; whereas christianity is about being uncomfortable, putting ourselves in (possibly) dangerous situations, abandoning everything we've earned for the sake of christ, choosing jesus even if it means offending coworkers, friends, family, and realizing how dependent we actually are. another aspect is realizing that christianity isn't an american religion. so he didn't really talk about this too much, but this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, and it extends beyond the american flag in the sanctuary. but, I need to stay on topic.
he also talks a lot about making disciples. while one (me) can read this and get overwhelmed by all that needs to be done (1.5 billion people in the world have never heard about jesus!), we realize we can't do it all or alone, we need to follow jesus' example and make disciples. this is one area where enabling is encouraged! now I admit (like it is mentioned in the book) I don't fully understand what it means to make a disciple. but I do understand this, "love them, serve them, and lead them. lead them to follow me, and lead them to lead others to follow me." multiplication of leaders & followers!
The rest of the book is much of a challenge. A radical challenge. (I think that word was used 50 times.) There are stories of others who have done it. And you can do it too. You don't have to sell everything you own and move to the sudan, but you could sell your ipad and give the money to world vision. (just a little suggestion) I have a LONG way to go in this area. My life is very comfortable. we are not wealthy by any means, but I'm never worried that we might not eat tomorrow. what are our goals in life? does it matter that we have two new cars when billions of people die & go to hell because no one told them about jesus? if anything, I hope this book opens up our eyes a little. our lives and perspectives are much too small. (and I hope this little review doesn't turn you away from the book.)