Would you be willing to give your whole life to the pursuit of following Christ? It’s easy to say yes to this at church or at summer camp, or even over a cup of coffee with a fellow Christian. The only way to know if you actually would is to follow Jesus wherever he leads. This kind of living is a radical departure from the american dream, and for Christians it’s exactly what Jesus has called us to do.
In his book Radical, David Platt challenges readers to consider their life and their faith and to ask themselves if they are truly willing to follow Jesus all the way. To let go of American comforts and security, and to follow after the security in knowing that we are doing God’s will.
As I was reading this book I was challenged and felt uncomfortable. Let’s face it, I like the American dream. I’m a pastor and its still hard for me to be willing to say that I’m going to give up everything and follow Christ. But the truth is I must be willing to give up everything when called to do so. I’m a pastor and this is something that I need to be reminded about.
Throughout the text Platt doesn’t just say, you should do this, you should do that, he gives examples of how he went and has given much of his time, energy and resources to spreading the gospel. It’s much more than just a good idea to Platt it’s his lifestyle. Platt also shares examples from his church of people who have gone, taking great risk for the gospel in exchange for the reward of knowing that they are following after Jesus.
This book has been a great reminder to me that I need to re-prioritize things in my life. I need to be true to my calling, and I’m pursuing that, but there are many things that I can do with out. This has also challenged me as a pastor to look at the church I serve in and start to ask, what can we do to help people go and serve. What can we do without as a church for the sake of the mission of the gospel?
Platt conludes the book with the challenge to give a year of your life to the Radical Experiment. This is what I know about experiments like this. If you commit to focus a year of your life to go to another context, to sacrifice your own resources, to pray and to read, you will definitely see the value of world missions and you will want to be a part of advancing the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Read Radical, and tell me you are not challenged.
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Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book from Multnomah publishers. Disclaimer on the disclaimer: I actually liked it, if I didn’t I would have written that in the review.