Book Review: Radical Together
I have enjoyed reading Radical Together by David Platt. I have mixed feelings about it, but I’ve enjoyed it for the most part.
Radical Together is the sequel to David’s bestseller Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. While I would distinguish Radical as a personal wake-up call, I would characterize Radical Together directed toward a group mentality. This seems rather obvious by the titles of the books, but there seemed to be a lot of overlap from my perspective and this made my reading experience seem redundant or déjà vu-ish at times.
I absolutely agree with the heart of both books, at least as I understand it, which I think is exposing the “me-centric” and consumer-driven approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the American church. Perhaps that might be somewhat of a broad generalization, but that seems to be the bolded message that I get coming from the Radicals.
The point where I begin to not fully buy-in to the message of the books (in this case, Radical Together) is in determination of mission and means for the purpose of God. I don’t think the entirety of the message and purpose of God is necessarily missionary evangelism. I do believe it is important, but I don’t think that it is the sum goal of becoming a disciple of Christ. Before I continue I need to clarify that I am in agreement that it is part of the mandate given by Jesus to his followers, but it seems to me the hand is overplayed in this book. Having read both books and listening to some of the teachings of David Platt, I believe his universal message of Jesus’ gospel is more balanced, but this latest book did not seem to include the balance. In fairness, my interpretation and opinion might be influenced by my aversion to performance metric-based sanctification that is indirectly propagated by the evangelical movement (of which I am part). Also, I don’t think that is the belief system motivating Radical Together, it just seems to me that is the boldest point of the book… that the ultimate expression of the corporate Church community is international missional evangelism.
I believe the Bible teaches the Kingdom of God begins in you and this is the ultimate expression of the Gospel. The fruit of this Kingdom seed (in you) might be manifest in thousands and millions of ways and not necessarily culminating with international missions. All of the earth and every aspect of it is ripe for redemption; this is realized when people decide to fully and radically lay aside their lives to follow Jesus. While I believe that David Platt teaches this message, it seemed lost or hidden in Radical Together… perhaps “upstaged” is a better way to put it.
All in all, I think the book is okay. In my opinion, it would have been better to have packaged it together with Radical. I think the message of Radical Together might not have seemed so one-sided had that been the case. It is for this reason that I am rating the book a three (based on one to five ranking). In summary, I don’t believe global evangelism is the only expression of the church being radical together, regardless of how important an expression it is, and I don’t think Radical Together can stand alone without being taken out of context, but this is only one man’s opinion.
I received this book free from Multnomah Books as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”