“The Book that Evangelicals Need
To Be Reading Today
(Besides the Bible, of course)”
A review of
Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God
by David Platt.
Review by Chris Smith.
Unleashing the People of God
for the Purpose of God
Paperback: Multnomah, 2011.
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David Platt is an evangelical; he is the pastor of the Church at Brook Hills, a mega-church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he speaks and thinks in evangelical language. He is also the author of the recent New York Times bestseller Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. Even in the title of this work, we start to get a sense that there’s something about Platt that does not quite fit the stereotypical mold of evangelicalism. When I reviewed Radical about a year ago, I found that Platt had a keen sense of some of major cultural pitfalls – particularly wealth and power – that await evangelical Christians. Although he did a superb job of exposing these temptations, I felt like the solutions he proposed left a great deal to be desired. Specifically, he seemed to minimize the role of the church, and to rely instead on a sort of heroic individualism.
Thus, you can imagine my surprise when I heard the news that he would be releasing a follow-up book that specifically emphasized the place of the church. This new book, Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God, does a superb job at addressing the concerns that I expressed about Platt’s ecclesiology in my review of Radical. In the book’s introduction, for instance, he sets the pace for the book by emphasizing the role of the church in God’s work in the world: