John Martindale's Reviews > Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Radical by David Platt
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's review
Aug 20, 2012

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bookshelves: christian, audiobook
Read in August, 2012

Well, this book didn't make me as mad as I expected it to make me. Yet, There was still plenty that upset me, but I was not ticked off with Platt, but with Jesus and the bible, which Platt was quoting. I guess my present delicate state, where nothing is certain, black and white or obvious, was not a good context to read a book like this. Anything that smacks of dogmatism, and is cult-like-extreme and is polarizing really goes against my current sensibilities.
Most of the content in Radical, could have been written by me 12 years ago, what Platt proclaims is what I underlined in scripture, believed, taught as a youth minister and tried to live out. I thought it was an outrage that this radical biblical message was not being taught, all I heard was grace...grace...grace... it made me sick. I too was anti the American dream and I saw the church, was like the one in Laodicea and my mission was to be like David Platt and try to wake up it up. But something somewhere went terribly awry. I started out all idealistic, extreme, with hopes and a childlike faith, but it really seems the second law of thermodynamics set in. How to stop my spiritual entropy is beyond me. I guess I can call myself a "radical" backslider. I kind of feel like a cripple, and yeah, to hear how Jesus commands me to follow him is find and dandy, but well... dang it, he needs to heal my legs so I can. He doesn't seem all that willing to do that, so until then I am stuck, looking to science and self-help to give me a lift until He come around.

I must say, for the church to survive in the West, I do think it needs to take Platt's radical approach. It is necessary, or else, the church is going to die out like it did in much of Europe. If the church in America truly embraces this radical message, wow, it would be beautiful! Finally, there would be a distinction between Christians and the world, millions of poor would be helped and the gospel would be preach. The church in loosing its life, would find it. Lets hope and pray this happens.
But, sadly, like a man without arms, I feel unable to embrace or live this radical message out. Though I still am a "Christian" and plan on staying one, The years of God seeming to leaving me to try in my own strength, when I desperately wanted His help, has eroded my zeal and confidence. God doesn't seem willing to lift a finger to help me live according to the impossibly high standard, that He demands me to live by OR ELSE. Also, my personality doesn't help, I am to prone to asking questions, reading books and doing to much thinking with an open mind. The more I learn, the less certain I am of anything and the more sensitive and bothered by the harshness of biblical teachings.
So yeah, as one that has learned the hard way. I recommend whoever is reading this review, that you only read books like Radical and Crazy Love. Next, don't think about things very deeply, don't ask big question, especially those big troubling questions, like how is it really just and loving to send 99.9% of everyone to hell to be tortured for all eternity for a finite amount of sin. Sure Platt ask that question and He stayed Radical (but yeah, if you have a personality like mine, beware) and yeah, try with all your heart to become a partisan fundamentalist. Don't have a open mind with those who think differently. Don't take all your beliefs to their logical conclusion (especially if you're a Calvinist!). Decide what you believe is absolute truth and then close off your mind or you may be sorely tempted to follow 'truth' wherever it leads and you may not like where it takes you. Never be fooled into thinking what you believe can handle scrutiny, the devil is in the details just waiting to kill your confidence. But yeah, this is true no matter what you believe. All in all, keep a simple and childlike faith. If Platt is right, your eternal fate rest on this and others do too. Become as anti-intellectual as you can be, for not many can become a intellectual and stay Radical, there are not many bible scholars who believe the bible is true. So yeah, beware of seminaries unless its a very conservative one. Above all don't judge God according to your experiences or the reality that surrounds you. All this should help. Good luck on becoming and staying Radical!

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message 1: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim Fascinating read! My prayers for you friend.

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