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Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  32,400 Ratings  ·  1,540 Reviews

It's easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily...

Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Multnomah (first published January 1st 2010)
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Corey Decker
Jan 31, 2013 Corey Decker rated it it was ok
Radical for the Wrong Reasons

"Taking Back your Faith from the American Dream." This is the confessed purpose of David Platt's new book, Radical. In it, he attempts to save American Christians from their cultural sins, showing that one cannot serve both the American Dream and Jesus Christ. A decision must be made: it is either radical obedience to Christ or self-centered, lukewarm mediocrity.


His thesis is based upon his interpretation of the great commission in Matthew 28 and a select f
Adam Shields
Jul 20, 2011 Adam Shields rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full review:

Short review: I think this is one of those books that lots of people will read and many people will not do anything about. That is unfortunate, this is a call to live a life like what Christ has called us to. There are five specific suggestions that are in the last chapter and most people will not do one or two let alone all five.

I say this fully aware that I might be in the same boat. I may not really do what I should be doing either. But rea
Mark Franklin
May 12, 2011 Mark Franklin rated it did not like it
I really don't like writing this kind of review, but I don't think I'll be able to get this out of my head until I do, so here it goes.
Warning: I'm going to be mean. Proceed at your own risk.

First, I appreciate the effort Platt is going to in order to shake American Christianity out of it's stupor. He says going to a mega-church on Sunday morning and giving a few dollars to international missions is an insufficient expression of the gospel. Amen, no argument from me. However, Platt then spends t
CJ Bowen
May 22, 2010 CJ Bowen rated it it was ok
It is ironic to call a book entitled "Radical" imbalanced; by the nature of the case, such is Platt's goal. A gifted preacher, and a personable writer, Platt's call is good, but his technique is cruel, and his application over-generalized. Some Christians are called to radical lives like he describes; but others are called to be radical in a different way. Platt misses the radical nature of a life of boring Christian faithfulness, and sees no middle ground between the life of a first-century eva ...more
May 23, 2011 Stacia rated it liked it
I have really struggled with how I felt about this book. At first I felt like, "I am SOOO sorry that I am a middle class American Christian, which automatically makes me somehow less of a Christian than someone in the Chinese or Indian underground church movements." (Read sarcasm.) That is probably a wrong response, but I've been feeling like that type of message has been coming from a lot of angles.

Through reading the book I felt like Platt was very repetitive he could have written a booklet,
May 24, 2016 Dara rated it did not like it
Shelves: garbage-can
As a former member of Brook Hills, I remember sitting through sermon after sermon on Radical. After four and a half years, it became overwhelming and I had to get out. My family left Brook Hills, along with scores of others who rejected Radical. We were burned out and spiritually exhausted. Years later, God is still working with me as I de-program from Radical.

According to David Platt, if you call yourself a Christian, you should be doing more (especially if you’re American). The overwhelming m
Maureen Wagner
Feb 29, 2012 Maureen Wagner rated it it was ok
I was really looking forward to reading this book and went in with some high expectations, only to be disappointed.

To start on a positive note, I will say that I was challenged by this book and really enjoyed some parts. In the beginning, Platt offers some wonderful criticisms of American Christianity, which he argues is often practiced within the sheltered context of privilege with an overemphasis on prosperity and comfort ala the American Dream. The discussion about the importance of stepping
Dave Johnson
Oct 29, 2014 Dave Johnson rated it it was ok
First, why is it that many people out there have a hard time with obedience? And why is it that certain ministers and writers have a hard time explaining obedience without dipping into either legalism or radicalism? I understand what it's like to rebel and not wish to obey--I'm human so this is an innate problem with all of us. But I always try to keep my heart open to what the Father has to say in my life, even if I don't like it. And I'm always trying to keep an open heart with teaching that I ...more
Oct 22, 2012 James rated it liked it
Shelves: justice
So I read this book after reading it's sequel, "Radical Together." As I expected, this is the better book of the two. Unfortunately the two books are too similar for me to enjoy this book as much as I may have otherwise. Here are some of my general thoughts on this book (more reflections than a book review):

1. David Platt manages to write in a humble, and engaging way. He tells stories about what his church is doing and the steps that they are taking to follow Jesus and to accomplish his mission
Mike Conroy
Jun 17, 2013 Mike Conroy rated it really liked it
I wanted to read this book a few years ago and I decided to read it now because of some criticism that was leveled against the "radical movement" and this book in particular. One of the things I appreciated about the criticism was one questions raised: Would people who really loved this book agree with Paul's words, "and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands."? (1 Thess 4:11) That is a fair question.

However, I thought this book was pretty balanced.
Jul 16, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This book has provoked me to deep thought. Am I living for the temporary or for the eternal? For myself or God? It has spurred me on to deeper living and a deeper commitment to the spreading of the Gospel!! I recommend this book to all of my brothers and sisters in Christ!
May 27, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Rereading for a class.

David Platt argues, convincingly, to the point that you feel like you've been punched in the stomach and you've lost your breath, that the American church has taken the radical message of Jesus in the gospels and traded it for ... respectability.
Radical: Sell all you have, and give the money to the poor, and follow me.
Respectable: Throw some money in the collection plate every week.
"You and I can chose to continue with business as usual in the Christian life and in the chur
Jul 10, 2011 Linda rated it liked it
I started reading this book based on several people recommending it to me. While Platt does a great job of highlighting the materialism and affluence we live in, I had some issues as to how Platt seemed to present his personal convictions as convictions everyone should have. Throughout the book, there were many instances where it felt like he was trying to "guilt" people to doing what he thought would be the most Christian way of giving radically, generously, and sacrificially, but not taking in ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Joshua rated it it was amazing
The author David Platt covers a topic that I have been hoping someone would would write about for a long time! He talks about the complacency of the church today and contrasts it with the passionate churches in other countries suffering from persecution and ready to die for Christ. Our churches today don't have people that are radical followers of Jesus. He also touches on the fact that Christians don't think long-term, but short term. In church, we can listen to a message and decide how to appl ...more
Robin Koshy
Nov 18, 2015 Robin Koshy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This book hits you in the gut about falling into the trap of the American dream and chasing the bubbles that accompany it. Lots of wonderful stories, anecdotes and exegesis that call us to move away from lukewarm comfortable christianity that seems to permeate so much of American Christianity into more of a radical (biblical) one. Loved reading it overall and I love Platt. However, I was a bit uneasy with some of the over generalizations that seem to seem to show that non-American Christians and ...more
Lena Morrison
Oct 19, 2015 Lena Morrison rated it it was amazing
I do my reviews in the form of a letter, which is why they are written like this.

Dear David Platt,

Wow. This is the first nonfiction book that I have given five stars. It was that good. I seriously did not expect to like it as much as I did.

I really, really, REALLY appreciate the fact that you are extremely Biblical. It's needed in this world. I know that I, as an American, have bought into a lot that the American Dream teaches. But now I realize how much of it is wrong.

The way you write abou
Jan 14, 2013 Liz rated it liked it
David Platt spoke at Urbana 2012, and after hearing him speak I wanted to learn more. If you heard him speak at Urbana, skip chapters 1-2, it's the same material.

Positive: The book revolves around the diagnosis of 'materialism' as a deadly sin of the American church. The 'American Dream' has been absorbed by the American Church, and we've made the pursuit of 'bigger and better' the same thing as the pursuit of Jesus' kingdom. We, American Christians, are not entitled to the wealth of resources a
May 11, 2013 Brian rated it did not like it
While I appreciate some intentions, a desire to think more seriously about the poor, attack the idolatry of the American dream (which ends with dog eat dog) and remove the self from the center of his theology, Platt sums up a lot of what I really don't like in Evangelicalism and I expect irritates many unbelievers.

To be specific Platt doesn't have the gear to do what he wants to do:
*Heap on the Guilt: Platt comes across as a tortured soul, one who preaches at a Megachurch, but feels guilty abou
Abbie Riddle
Jan 27, 2011 Abbie Riddle rated it it was amazing
It's the orange book with the upside down face - the eye catching one that makes you wonder what's inside. The picture of the upside down house is exactly the idea of this book - it will turn your ideas, your world, your spiritual house upside down. Those beliefs that have been long ingrained in you since a child sitting on a pew will be tossed out the window. What you have held as the standard for Christianity will be turned on it's head. The standards you held will be lifted to a new level and ...more
Aug 26, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. I thought his assessment of American Christianity was rather accurate and convicting personally. I may not agree with all of his conclusions or methods, but his message (discipling all nations with the gospel) needs to be remembered in our churches. I know I needed this book.
Jan 23, 2013 Brenan rated it it was amazing
Read it. Now.
Apr 17, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
This book is really excellent, especially if you feel that most Christians and Christian environments are too watered down these days. This book helps re-focus you on getting SERIOUS about Jesus -- and also alerts us to the many ways that being American inherently feeds into neglect of Jesus and his mission.

I do have a couple of complaints -- I hate to even call them complaints. But he kind of criticizes people who "just" give money to causes and don't "go" to meet the causes themselves. Ideally
Chris Huff
Dec 19, 2011 Chris Huff rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians
In a way, I feel a little weird writing a review of this book. It's not really the type of book to be reviewed. I mean, sure, I could analyze the author's arguments and major premise. I could point out how many of the chapters focus on his own personal experiences and the experiences of people in his church in order to pull our emotional strings, rather than being based solely on the Word of God. I could note that the five elements of his final challenge to be radical mostly equate to doing thin ...more
Dave Cruver
David Platt's book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, is an excellent book. I highly recommend it - if only for his assessment of American Christianity; the American Dream couched in Christian verbiage.

His prescription of the problem? Not so much.

The American Dream is what I would call a "secular religion" of which Platt rightly calls us to abandon, but Platt exchanges this "secular religion" for a "religious religion" and not the Gospel.

Let me explain.

"But if Jesus is who
Julie - Book Hooked Blog
I've always been bothered by the whole prosperity gospel - if you pray and tithe, God will give you material things. I'm even bothered by the idea that God wants us to be happy. I think God desires our obedience and our holiness a lot more than he desires our happiness. Of course He loves us and what He has for us will always bring us joy, but if you think about Christians in the persecuted church, you realize that they aren't always "happy". Many of them have lost everything they have and some ...more
Aug 21, 2012 Faith rated it did not like it
What a disappointing book. Despite the title, it is not particularly radical. Oh my goodness, God doesn't want me to have 3 cars and 20 tvs! Also, the author gets so caught up in preach his neo-Calvinist understanding of atonement and the place of the Bible (or "the Word" as he keeps calling it) that the rest of the book where he covers the "radical" idea that Christianity and the American Dream are not the same thing gets swallowed up with little detail or explanation. Also, the author is a pas ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Tung rated it liked it
In 2010, Pastor David Platt’s book Radical made all the Christian bestseller lists. The book makes the point that Christians not only used to live radical lives for Christ, but also that such a life is what we are still called to live. Platt rebukes the American Christian church for having molded religion into something selfish, trading the radicalism of our faith for creature comforts. He contrasts the underground church in China where believers literally risk their lives to gather and worship, ...more
Eric Chappell
Jan 25, 2012 Eric Chappell rated it liked it
Review: Challenging. While I don't think that I would say things exactly the same way as Platt, I appreciate many of his thoughts. The book was simple and straightforward and dealt principally with Scripture passages. One thing I liked about this book was Platt's refusal to be dogmatic about how radical obedience to the call of Christ might look from Christian to Christian. He appreciates people's life situation, but not at the expense of sell short the call of Christ to go to all nations. This ...more
I like the tag line of the book: Taking back YOUR FAITH from the American Dream.

Platt challenges the entitlement sense of American evangelical Christians that God somehow is obligated to conform His purposes to fit our concept of the American dream.

Platt starts with what radical abandonment means: total, superior and exclusive devotion which is in direct opposition to the magnet of comfort and prosperity. Referencing Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he says, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and di
Jan 25, 2011 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Amber
This is a very tough book to rate. The large majority of the book was a rehash (for me) of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. Similar to Rich Christians, which I eventually abandoned, this book was very convicting, but also very anxiety inducing since I tend to think I am not really at the stage in life where I can devote large resources of time and energy to unwieldy problems like world hunger. I also find books like this somewhat frustrating, in that I tend to think we, as Christians, someti ...more
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Dr. David Platt, Pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, is deeply devoted to Christ and His Word. David's first love in ministry is disciple-making—the simple biblical model of multiplying the gospel by sharing the love of Christ, showing the life of Christ, and teaching the Word of Christ in all nations. He has traveled extensively to teach the Bible and church leaders throughout the United States ...more
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“Radical obedience to Christ is not easy... It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.” 276 likes
“We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves.” 146 likes
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