Review: RADICAL by David Platt.

422211: Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream A Review of

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

By David Platt
Paperback: Multnomah, 2010.

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Reviewed by Chris Smith

We will be giving away a copy of this book in this Friday’s issue!  Watch for it!

David Platt was the pastor of one of the fast-growing mega-churches in North America, and yet something was lacking for him in his church experience.  “I realized,” he says, “I was on a collision course with an American church culture where success is defined by bigger crowds, bigger budgets, and bigger buildings” (2).  His new book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream is a pointed critique of the ways in which churches more closely resemble Western culture at large than the Kingdom of God.  Platt is right on the mark in his critiques of American might and wealth, and speaks out boldly against these powers.  Furthermore, he writes in clear, simple prose that is fitting for the book’s presumed mainstream evangelical audience.  However, Platt’s work in prescribing a way out this mess is just as flawed as his insights in describing the situation are keen.  Most significantly, he lacks any sense of ecclesiology and thus falls victim to yet another prevalent power in Western culture, individualism.  We, as individuals, cannot by some act of heroism, as Platt presumes, resolve the crises that he so aptly describes in the first half of the book.  Radical would however be a good book to initiate conversation in traditional evangelical churches, but the individualistic course of action that it prescribes, tempting as it might be, must be resisted as yet another manifestation of the brokenness of Western culture.  Multnomah has also published a little companion book entitled:  “The Radical Question: What is Jesus Worth to You?,” which is a sort of modern day tract – and although it poses some excellent questions, it is fraught with all the stereotypical oversimplification of a tract.  I’d recommend skipping the tract and diving right into the book.


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