A Radical Books Review

9781601424891I’ve just finished reading “The Radical Question and A Radical Idea” by David Platt.  It’s a great, short read and seems to contain much of the “meat” of the full books he’s previously written, “Radical” and “Radical Together”.  It seems to be a good gift idea (list price $9.99, & kind of a ‘Cliff Notes’ version of both books at 110 small pages total) for someone who would otherwise not read an entire “book”, but could really benefit from some of the thoughts/questions Platt raises.  I’ve read “Radical”, and found much of it to be a reminder of good points and challenging questions.  But I’d not yet gotten to reading “Radical Together”, so it was good to hear some of the thoughts presented there.

In “The Radical Question”, he asks “What if Jesus is worthy of more in our lives than a Christian spin on the American Dream?”  He gives examples of several people who seemed to have “achieved” what the world would look at as “success”, or “retirement”, or some stage of life where America says it’s okay to focus on ourselves.  In short story format, he reveals each of them sacrificing what they’ve achieved to pour their lives out for the sake of others.

I enjoyed his turning Bonhoeffer’s statement about the high cost of discipleship into a powerful question – “What does nondiscipleship cost us?”  The millions that are dying, and the hopelessness pervading our world, many people not ever hearing about the good news of Jesus Christ.  It’s a far greater cost than anything material we could give up.  I still struggle with his reminder that Jesus calls us to “hate” even our family/spouse/children.  Would I really risk their safety in the midst of persuing what I believe to be the will of God in our life?  I suppose we’re in the midst of that, with this adoption.  Taking on the financial costs, risking our lives in traveling to Africa, forever connecting our home with those suffering in the DRC…it’s a bit risky.

The second “book” presents the “Radical Idea” that our Kingdom-work should be more people-focused than places, professionals, or places.  He gives examples of what can happen when we worry less about creating ministries and then finding the people to fill the roles involved – and instead find the places God has uniquely gifted the people we already have for ministry in their lives.  This connects with me both as a pastor AND a parent.  That we would be equipping God’s people to be actively involved in Spirit-sourced ministry wherever they are.  That I would be equipping my daughters for a life sourced in the Spirit of Jesus, and not in fitting into any pre-conceived notion of a “pastors daughter”.

Throughout both “books”, I did find myself wanting more.  He continues to talk about disciples making disciples, which I like.  But it seems if you asked him “Why make more disciples?”, his answer might be “So THEY can make more disciples too!”.  The closest he seems to get here is something ambiguous about “making His glory known”.  In the first half he says, “..lets stop living as if this world is even our home.”  I think I’d focus more on how this world is being made INTO a redeemed and renewed home for us….and the “why” of making disciples being wrapped up on revealing Jesus as Lord already, etc…

But for that, we’d need a longer book.  🙂

So if you need a good graduation gift, or “short read” for someone who needs to hear these “radical thoughts” but wouldn’t make it through a longer book…..this is definitely a great book to offer.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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