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Take the next step. From radical followers of Christ to radical communities of faith.
In Radical, David Platt’s plea for Christians to take back their faith from the American Dream resonated with readers everywhere, and the book quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Now in Radical Together, the author broadens his call, challenging us to unite around a ...
Take the next step. From radical followers of Christ to radical communities of faith.
In Radical, David Platt’s plea for Christians to take back their faith from the American Dream resonated with readers everywhere, and the book quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Now in Radical Together, the author broadens his call, challenging us to unite around a gospel-centered vision.
How, he asks, might such a vision reshape our priorities as the body of Christ? How might well-intentioned Christians actually prevent God’s people from accomplishing God’s purpose? And, how can we best unleash the people of God in the church to carry out the purpose of God in the world?
Writing to everyone who desires to make an impact for God’s glory—whether you are an involved member, a leader, or a pastor—Dr. Platt shares six foundational ideas that fuel radical obedience among Christians in the church. With compelling Bible teaching and inspiring stories from around the world, he will help you apply the revolutionary claims and commands of Christ to your community of faith in fresh, practical ways.
“Platt’s arguments…emerge at a post-excess moment, when attitudes toward material life are up for grabs. His book has struck a chord.”
-David Brooks, The New York Times
“Platt challenges affluent Christians to rethink devoting vast resources to providing entertaining experiences and lattes for seekers. His call for faithful allocation of resources and an empowered laity will resonate across the Christian spectrum.”
“What's significant about Platt's perspective is that it is coming from a solidly conservative voice in the evangelical mainstream.”
-Jonathan Merritt, The Huffington Post
“This book is a challenge for Christians to wake up, trade in their false ‘American dreams,’ and live a Christ-centered life.”
-Jay Peroni, CFP, Crosswalk.com
“[Platt is] biblical, straightforward, brutally honest, and writes a powerful narrative as he sets out to discover what Jesus really taught to first century followers.”
-Matthew Robbins, TheChristianManifesto.com
“Throughout the book, Platt exposes the indifference of American evangelicals. It was hard for me to put the book down, though I can't say that I enjoyed it. I was convicted. I was uncomfortable. But mostly I was (and am) challenged. Challenged to live a life that looks more like that of a true follower of Christ.”
-John Bird, DiscerningReader.com
High atop the Andes Mountains, the rays of the sun strike ice, and a single drop of water forms. It begins to trace a hesitant course downward, gradually joining with other drops of water to become a steady stream. The stream gains speed and strength.
Thousands of feet below and hundreds of miles later, what were once single drops have converged to become the mightiest river on earth: the Amazon. Flowing into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate of eleven million cubic feet per second, the Amazon is more powerful than the next ten largest rivers in the world combined.
In my first book, Radical, I explored how the biblical gospel affects individual Christian lives. Simply put, in a world of urgent spiritual and physical need, gospel-believing, God-exalting men and women do not have time to waste their lives pursuing a Christian spin on the American dream. Using the imagery above, I tried to picture what happens when the truth of Christ penetrates our hearts, melts our assumptions, and propels us on a journey of abandonment to God.
But you and I are not intended to plunge down the mountain of radical obedience alone. That’s one of the reasons I love this imagery of the Amazon. The force of a single drop of water descending the Andes is minuscule. Similarly, as long as individual Christians journey alone—no matter how “radical” they are—their effect will be minimal. But as men and women who are surrendered to the person of Christ join together in churches that are committed to the purpose of Christ, then nothing can stop the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth.
In Radical Together, I want to consider what happens—or can happen—when we apply the revolutionary claims and commands of Christ to our communities of faith. I want to contemplate the force of a people who come together to enjoy God’s grace in the church while they extend God’s glory in the world. And I want to propose that a movement of such people in such churches has the potential to permeate nations with the praise of God.
I am speaking to believers who are ready to lead, influence, or simply be a part of such a movement in their local church. You may be a follower of Christ who desires to live out a more biblical gospel, and you want to see your church do the same. You may be a pastor, staff person, or leader of some other description in the church, and you want your local fellowship to count for the spread of God’s glory in the world. You may even be a Christian who is tempted to throw in the towel and say, “My church will never be radical.”
Whatever your circumstance, in this book I invite you to engage God’s Word and God’s world with a fresh, honest, and open perspective so that together we might answer one question:
How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?
As I pose this question, I do not claim to be an expert on how to answer it. I am merely one pastor in one church, and I have so much to learn. Yet I know that, as leaders and members of churches, we are called to spur one another toward Christ and his agenda in the world. And I am convinced that in the church we can—unknowingly and unintentionally—actually prevent God’s people from accomplishing God’s purpose. If we are not careful, our activities in the church can hinder the advancement of Christ’s kingdom. For this reason I believe certain ideas are foundational for Christians who desire to be a part of churches that are unleashing people into the world with the gospel.
This book is organized around six such ideas. I do not claim they are exhaustive, but as a pastor working out the implications of the gospel in a local church, I do believe these ideas are essential. Here’s a preview:
1. One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church.
2. The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work.
3. The Word does the work.
4. Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people.
5. We are living—and longing—for the end of the world.
6. We are selfless followers of a self-centered God.
At first glance these ideas may seem fanciful, even untrue. I understand that. But then many of Jesus’ statements struck his listeners that way too. Statements like these: “Many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first,” “It is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest,” and “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Though I certainly don’t claim the authority or creativity of Jesus, my aim is to put forward ideas that at first may seem confusing, if not contradictory, but upon deeper investigation will bring to light important realities that most overlook.
I hope and pray that accurate theological foundations undergird all my practical exhortations. I am grateful for valuable resources that help us understand the nature and marks of the church. But I want to be clear that my goal here is not to present a comprehensive overview of the church. Instead, it is to build upon biblical foundations in order to consider practical implications for how a right understanding of the church fuels radical obedience among Christians.
Throughout the history of humankind, God has chosen to call out not just individuals but a people for himself. He told the Israelites, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” Through Christ, God brought Jews and Gentiles together as “one body” in which “each member belongs to all the others.” Peter told the church, “You are a chosen people,…a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Indeed, God’s intention is that “through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.”
If you and I want our lives to count for God’s purpose in the world, we need to begin with a commitment to God’s people in the church. God has called us to lock arms with one another in single-minded, death-defying obedience to one objective: the declaration of his gospel for the demonstration of his glory to all nations. This is God’s design for his people, and it is worth giving our lives to see it accomplished. It is worth it for billions of people who do not yet know that Jesus is the grave-conquering, lifegiving, all-satisfying King. And it is worth it for you and me, because we were made to enjoy the great pleasures of God in the context of total abandonment to his global purpose.
1 Tyranny of the Good 7
One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church.
2 The Gospel Misunderstood 25
The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work.
3 God Is Saying Something 39
The Word does the work.
4 The Genius of Wrong 55
Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people.
5 Our Unmistakable Task 77
We are living-and longing-for the end of the world.
6 The God Who Exalts God 101
We are selfless followers of a self-centered God.
Small-Group Discussion Guide 131
Posted April 16, 2011
I received an advance copy of "Radical Together". As a previous book review of Radical, I was asked to write the copy expressing my interest in receiving an advance copy of Radical Together. They give 50 reviewers the opportunity to read the book before its release.
I submitted my essay and one day I received the book in my mailbox.
I sat and read the book almost immediately. I wanted to see whether Platt would top the "Radical", whether I would find myself so closely connected to the message he was sharing. He did. And I believe I liked this book more than the last.
In "Radical Together", Platt shifted from shock to a subtle dialogue, which asks readers to consider whether they believe the gospel. And if so, are they living it?
"Radical Together" held a different vibe. The content was as relevant as Radical but I believe Platt delivered the first few chapters in a less "shocking" approach. He somewhat nursed readers into understanding the importance of the Great Commission and to consider whether we are living our lives in a bubble isolated from the world or if we are truly picking up our crosses daily for Christ.
I would recommend this book to all believers, especially people in ministry and leadership in churches. Platt gives a very candid account of the issues before the leadership of his church and how they decided to address them. He also, shows readers how we can make our connections with others by coming a community of Christ believing, living, walking, Christians.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The views expressed are my own.
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Posted April 6, 2011
I was so pleased that I was a winner for the contest to receive this book! If you enjoyed "Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream" as I did, then this book is for you. Once again, Platt does not allow you to become complacent in your walk with God. He challenges us to really follow the faith practices that Jesus modeled for us while here on earth. He reminds us: "Don't sit in a classroom; share your lives. Don't build extravagant places; build extraordinary people. Make disciples who will make disciples who will make disciples, and together multiply this gospel to all peoples." Platt has a passion for igniting people to really take the Bible and God's message seriously. He uses God's word to convict us of the message of God (go and make disciples) and bring it to all people. He brought to my attention a verse that I had not considered before. Matthew 24:14 "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Platt explains that the original word for "nations" in the New Testament is "ethne" and refers to all the ethnic peoples of the world. What Jesus is telling us in the Bible is that "the end of the age will come when people from every single ethnic group have come to Christ." Platt tells us there are eleven thousand people groups in the workd and more than six thousand of them are still "unreached". This is an awesome responsibility that God has given us, and one that I personally need to grow in. In the beginning of the book, Platt shares a story of a man who had spent most of his adult life involved in programs and serving on committees in his church. When he began to become active in discipling and leading others to God he realized that "I have spent my life doing all the stuff in the church that I thought I was supposed to do. But I'm realizing that I have missed the most important thing: making disciples". Isn't that just true for most of us? We do all the "right things" from a world point of view, but are we really following God's commandment to "make disciples". This book will make yourself wonder - am I fully surrendered to God. It will make you ask - God, what do you want me to do.
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Posted March 28, 2011
OK, I am doing two book reviews today. The last one wasn't very flattering so I am pleased to stay this one has a very different tone! I loved it!
Now to be honest, I did thumb through the book "Radical" and it didn't grab me. I liked the principles of it but something about the writing style just didn't grab me. However, when I saw this book was coming out, I nabbed it. Why? Because I love talking about Christian community! I love everything about it! The highs and the lows... the good and the bad.. when we are talking about true, Biblical Christian community, I always love being in the conversation.
"Radical Together" did not disappoint! Right in line of my passion and way of thinking, the author digs into great topics including digging into God's calling for our lives instead of buying into the American dream, the beauty and foundation of faithfulness instead of playing games, discipleship and equipping instead full church schedules. Everything about it drives us towards community that we see in the Scripture and the unity that Christ prayed about in the garden.
I believe God is driving us towards a revival towards the ancient practice of community and "Radical Together" encompasses a lot of the thoughts on my heart. While I got this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review of the book, it also encouraged me to take a new look at the book "Radical". I think it is back on my "to read" list. "Radical Together" doesn't come out until 4/19/11 so picking "Radical" to get your appetite going while you are waiting might be a good idea for you as well!
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Posted September 6, 2013
the thought provoking ideas mr. platt outlines are inspiring, however, I felt very inferior in my service to God as I felt the focus of the reading material was that you needed to serve outside your family and living arena. I could not figure out how that would be possible for a lot of people, including myself. I try to serve God in my daily encounters with strangers and spread the love of Jesus when I feel the time is appropriate. This book left me with more questions than answers which I guess makes it a good book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2012
Radical Together by David Platt
I welcome any opportunity to read a David Platt book so when Blogging For Books made “Radical Together” available for review, I jumped on the opportunity to soak up the words.
I was not disappointed.
It was a non-stop adventure through what it means to be radical together as a church. He sets the tone for this theme with the opening question on page 3:
How can we in the church best unleash the people of god
In the spirit of god with the word of god
For the Glory of god in the world?
How, David? Well… he tells us how and he does it by addressing six main points:
1. One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the church
2. The gospel that saves us from work saves us to work
3. The word does the work
4. Building the right church depends on using all the wrong people
5. We are living and longing for the end of the world
6. We’re selfless followers of a self-centered god
However, there is a warning I would issue here; if you are not ready and/or willing to make radical changes, you will fight against the radical ideas David proposes. Radical ideas like:
- The last thing you and I want to do is waste our lives on religious activity that is devoid of spiritual productivity—being active in the church but not advancing the kingdom of God.
- As Christians today, you and I can easily deceive ourselves into thinking that dedication to church programs automatically equals devotion to kingdom purposes
- David Platt challenges us to let go of the good things in order to achieve greater purposes.
I think we can all admit, letting go isn’t easy and letting go of what seems good is even harder. His challenge, after his stated thesis, unrolls in this claim:
Put EVERYTHING on the table.
Meaning, bring all things before God for His approval, no matter how good you think they are. And in this, David begins to show radical submission, radical work for the Lord, radical sacrifices, and radical living.
He does all this first and foremost by sharing what God’s Word says about every single topic his thesis sets out to address. He challenges people, churches, and preachers to remember: God’s Word does all the work, we are but instruments for Him to use in spreading it.
I could talk, in great excitement, for hours on the lessons and encouragement gained from this little book. It was an easy read with a tough but great message for modern times. It includes resources for small group study and links to his and other websites which contain further FREE resources helpful in growing radically together.
Soaking up this information may have only taken a few days… but the impact will certainly last a life time. A must-read for every Christian, and especially for every Christian in a leadership position.
Be radical, Jesus was.
Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
- Matthew 10:39
Posted January 17, 2012
I really enjoyed David Platt's book "Radical," so I was very optimistic going into "Radical Together." Platt builds on his former book by using some of the same concepts, with a few different examples. The book is subtitled, "Unleashing the people of God for the purpose of God." To Platt, the purpose of God is simply missional. There was a major emphasis put on the importance of missiology to the Christian, even to the point of making the local church seem unimportant.
Platt used an example of starting at his church in Louisiana and immediately reallocating funds to missions. He mentions nothing, however, about all of the people who had to take pay cuts, whose livelihoods were greatly affected, and who left the church completely due to this.
Overall, Platt's "Radical Together" is a nice idealistic book, but once we realize that not all of us are called to be third-world missionaries, the ideas seem nothing more than that.
Posted November 30, 2011
As part of the Blogging for Books program from WaterBrook Multnomah, I received a copy of Radical Together, by David Platt for review. I haven't read his first book Radical but had heard many good things about it. This book looks at how to be radical corporately not just individually. A word of warning, don't open this if you like to be comfortable. I must admit the thought of putting everything on the table, open for question is a scary prospect but David Platt is spot on with his argument that this is what the church must do if we want to see God's work done. He asks the hard questions that desperately need asking and challenges us to let go of the good to do the best. The danger with asking these hard questions is that they can leave us feeling guilty without bringing lasting change. Platt addresses these issues in later chapters by focusing on the gospel and showing us how it is sufficient to sustain and strengthen the church over the long term.
This short book is broken into six chapters:
1.Tyranny of the Good: the worst enemy of Christians is good things in the church
2.The Gospel Misunderstood: the gospel that saves us from work save us to work
3.God is saying something: the Word does the work
4.The Genius of Wrong: building the right church depends on using all the wrong people
5.Our Unmistakeable Task: we are living -- and longing -- for the end of the world
6.The God who exalts God: we are selfless followers of a self-centered God
It's a quick read that I can definitely recommend.
Posted November 3, 2011
I would not recommend that you read this book UNLESS you are willing to think, examine the way you do things and be willing to be made uncomfortable. This book will cause you to be very uncomfortable if you read it with an open mind. In Radical Together, by David Platt, he takes us a step further from his previous book, Radical. In Radical he challenges our walk with Christ on a personal level. In Radical Together he challenges our walk with Christ together as a community of believers. He challenges us to rethink the way that we act as the Church. He challenges the self-serving mindset that exists in so many local congregations: i.e. bigger buildings, more programs, bigger crowds and budgets. He is not opposed to these things but wants us to think through the question concerning everything that we do: is this the best that we can do with what we have? Is this what God wants us to do? He then proposes six keys to help us think through change.
1. The good things of church can become the enemy of the best.
2. The gospel saves us from work so that we can work.
3. The Word does the work.
4. Building the right church depends on using the wrong people.
5. We are living and longing for the end of the world.
6. We are selfless followers of a self-centered God.
His premise is that God wants to change the world and that He wants to use us to do it. Citing many good examples from the lives of his own congregation, David shows how ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference when they believe they can live radically. Many of the points that David makes in this book will fly in the face of American church-life. The reason for this is that many American Christians are comfortable in their faith and have settled for "safe-church" (all the pleasures without any responsibility). This is what David is countering. He contends that our lives are not meant to be comfortable for our own self-service. They are meant to take the gospel to the world and we must do that together.
This book would be a great read for every pastor and church leadership team. Actually, I believe that all Christians should read both of his books. You may not agree with everything that he says, but they are both challenging enough that it should cause one to examine their faith to see if they indeed are radical. Many people think that being radical is all about how excited you are or how much you know. David defines radical by how well you serve others and give your life for the cause of Christ.
I definitely recommend this book.
Disclosure: WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group sent me this book for free for this review - the views expressed are my own.
Posted October 1, 2011
David Platt's Radical together is about living the Christian life and putting your faith before the world's culture. In a day and age where we are all pursuing the American Dream, Platt urges readers to return to Christ and put Jesus back into the place of most important in our lives. Platt outlines 6 ways we can live in obedience and serve God - creating radical amazing lives.
I found this book an easy read and very inspirational. It was deep enough to get me thinking but not too difficult to understand. I think the great part about this book is that it is motivating and makes you excited to be a Christian again. For me, this book returned me to the days of me youth when I wanted to run out there and be a missionary and live for God!
Platt follows in line with some of my other favorite authors (like Francis Chan, Frank Viola): calling Christians back to being REAL Christians and living the life and not a shallow Christianity. This is the Christianity that the 18-35ers have been seeking and missing in mainstream church! This is the reason we all left the churches. We couldn't find others who really wanted to LIVE Christianity. I highly recommend this book.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for this review but I did really give my honest opinion
Posted September 10, 2011
Radical Together by David Platt is a much-needed call to action in a desperate time. Radical Together is a call to the church in America to stop and take a serious look at the effectiveness of all our building projects and community programs. David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, asks us as the body of Christ to consider all that we are doing for the cause of Christ and ask God to show us if we are making the best use of His resources for the time and place in which he has each of us. The author puts it this way, "How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?" (pg 11 e-book) Radical Together is written from the viewpoint of a mission minded family whom God called to pastor,much to their surprise, an old southern church who had turned inward rather than reaching out with the Gospel. Radical Together takes us on a journey that ultimately begs the question, "Are the good things we do in church in the name of God, our understanding of the Bible and who God is the very things that are keeping us from winning a lost world to Christ?" Radical Together challenges us to evaluate the good things we do in church to make sure they are the necessary things. It shows us our misunderstanding of the Gospel, when God is speaking, our task as believers, whom God exalts and dealing with the "wrong" people. Radical Together is written in sections. The first is the book content itself. Six chapters each dealing with how we do "church" in America today and how it can be different. In the back of the book you will find questions for small group discussion and after this section you will find David Platt's notes section in which he shows you all the resources he used in writing this book. I can't tell you how happy I was to read the notes section. Ninety five percent of the resources used in the making of this study are from the Bible itself. I almost jumped for joy. Here is an author who is challenging us to change the way we do church. He is challenging us to live differently. He actually used God's Word to show us how. What a concept! Bravo David! For me, this book was affirmation that I am not crazy nor am I alone. I have known that how we do "church" in America is not the best way to glorify God or reach the lost but didn't know how to change it. David Platt was able to put into words the hard questions that need to be asked if the church in America is going to be reformed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2011
I received this book with anticipation. Last year my mom and dad read Radical (book one) and loved it. Then I read it and I too loved it. It challenged me, it kept me intrigued, and it was easy to read. 3 very uncommon things for one book to posses at one time!!! :) But, Radical did.
Then Radical Together (Radical 2) was released. Eagerly I waited to be able to read it. What would it be like?It keeps up with its predecessor in wit, ideas, challenges, and good points.
In Radical Together, David Platt addresses the true meaning of the gospel and how some well meaning Christians can actually prohibit the people of God from fulfilling the gospel.
You will be challenged to give your all to further God's plan in the world. Reaching out to the nations who have never heard the word of God. How much are you willing to give for Christ and His Kingdom?
The Church is about the people of God. Not, performances, places, professionals, and programs. Look around you. Are you giving your all? Are you furthering the Kingdom of Christ as an individual, a family, a couple, a church, and as a community?
I highly recommend you read Radical and Radical Together.
Score ~ ?????
Violence ~ None
Indecency ~ None
Language ~ None
Age Appropriateness ~ 15 and above
Posted September 7, 2011
If Radical was the call for revolution in the lives of individual Christians, then Radical Together must be the call for revolution within churches. In David Platt's newest book, Radical Together, he shifts his focus to how churches can implement the same truths he introduced in his New York Times bestselling debut title, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. Rather than simply rehash the same material readers can find in his first book, David Platt expands on those ideas and goes a step further by introducing fresh concepts just for churches. Using the same type of foundation he presented in Radical, the questions Platt asks call for a larger and more thought-provoking experience as readers take a solid look at the way churches currently execute ministries in ways that actually differ from the core biblical teachings Jesus left to the Body.
Without an ounce of condemnation, Platt asks some tough questions. He asks churches and ministry leaders to re-evaluate budgets to see if monetary resources are used in the most effective way possible, he asks leaders and pastors to re-examine modern concepts in preaching of the Word and missions around the world, and he asks the entire body of believers to work together toward the common goal he showed us in Radical-to make the glory of Jesus known to all nations.
For individuals who embraced the teachings Dr. Platt presented in Radical, this book will assuredly offer a spark of hope. I remember after I finished Radical, though I felt enthusiastic about doing what Jesus said, I encountered a great deal of discouragement as I realized I truly couldn't impact the world by myself. In Radical Together, Platt makes it clear that the church is supposed to be comprised of individuals whose lives have been affected and transformed by the radical teachings of Jesus, and thus, those individuals come together to launch a radical movement in a united purpose.
While Radical could some-what be used in group study among churches, Radical Together is, without a doubt, written for that very purpose. If your church considers reading Radical Together, I highly recommend your group undergo some prerequisite reading with Radical before delving into this book. Reading Radical first will help provide a great foundation and sense of unity within churches who wish to study Radical Together.
While any church member can embrace the concepts found in this book, I think Radical Together will prove most beneficial for pastors and church leaders. That being said, once the pastors and leaders have read this book, I see no reason why they can't walk their own congregation through this study! To be honest, as the TeamKID leader at my own church, this book reshaped my view of the responsibility I hold.
Fans of Radical will especially enjoy this book as it could very well open a fresh way for them to recommend it to the staff at their own church. Once more, David Platt offers readers another thought-provoking book in Radical Together!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Posted August 15, 2011
I've never read Radical, David Platt's bestselling prequel to Radical Together. However, I'm going to get a copy as soon as possible.
In Radical Together, Platt encourages his readers to forget the American Dream and other useless pursuits and to embrace a passion for spreading the Gospel all over the world through unity among believers, churches, and organizations. As radical as it may seem, Platt is building on an age-old concept that without unity, nothing happens. But with unity, even miracles can come into existence.
What I liked about this book is its variety of resources. Combining stories, facts, inspiration, and his own personal testimonies and examples, Platt weaves a practical book that can be used to disciple people into this visionary world movement. I highly recommend it to anyone who's willing to get real and get radical.
I received a free e-copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.
Posted August 5, 2011
David Platt's Radical Together is easily a must read for church leaders. This book challenges readers to rethink some things in the church. If you liked Radical, you will love Radical Together. If you loved Radical, then Radical Together will blow you away. At least that's what it did for me as I soaked in each chapter.
As a leader at my church, my concern is to be a steward of what God has given me. I will be accountable for how I have served. I want to faithful to what God wants me to do. Radical Together does not have all the answers and it is not a huge church manual. In fact, it is a pretty short book. However, the book presents chapters that are stout with loads of truth. David Platt truly writes with humility and presents the truth from the Bible with huge blows to the way we "do church." For example, here are a few things readers are challenged with:
- Rethinking the use of programs and activities.
- Being totally dependent on the Word of God.
- Knowing that God doesn't need us.
- Engaging unreached people groups.
- Using ordinary people for ministry.
The best thing about Radical Together is that it helps readers to live the Radical life within the body of Christ. The life we are called to is not meant to be lived individually. No! We must do it together. David Platt helps church leaders, laymen/women, and members to see church life in a Radical way. Just like the first book, it's not Radical, it's biblical. Get your hands on this book and dive into it!
Posted July 18, 2011
There is a story about a church deliberating over whether to invite D.L. Moody to preach a revival service for them. Someone stands and says, "It is not necessary for us to invite Mr. Moody. He does not have a monopoly on the Holy Spirit." A second voice offers this rebuttal, "Yes, that is true, but it appears that the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody."
That conversational exchange describes my opinion of Radical Together by David Platt. David does not hold a monopoly on the Holy Spirit. Very little that is written in Radical Together is new or unique. All of what is said could be easily derived from a careful, unbiased and Spirit-filled reading of the New Testament. At several points, I felt obligated to turn to my wife and say, "I've been saying this for years." To be honest I have seen David speak on several occasions so I may have been previously inoculated to the "radical" nature of his message. On one hand, I feel as if I could have written this book. Radical Together is not a message that the Holy Spirit has only told David Platt. There are many of us that have heard this same voice.
The difference is not in the "radicalness" of the message David has shared. The difference is with the radical obedience with which he has chosen to listen to that message. The Holy Spirit is not speaking to David and his church in a unique way. David does not have a monopoly on what the Holy Spirit is saying. However, through the personal stories that are shared it is clear that him and his church have decided to be obedient to the Holy Spirit in some unique ways.
If you have no intention of changing your life to radically follow God's call to do whatever, wherever, however and whenever He calls you to, then there is no need to read Radical Together. If you have already submitted to God's absolute right to every aspect of your life, then there is no need for you to read this book either. If you are like me and find yourself somewhere in the middle, slowly and sporadically allowing God to have an ever-increasing control of your life, then you will undoubtedly hear within Radical Together the voice of the Holy Spirit calling you to take that next step of obedience. You will also see in David Platt and the Church at Brook Hills encouraging examples of those on the journey with you.
As you read this book you will find that is has a very simple thesis stated in the form of a question. "How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?" Then each of the following six chapters emphasizes on way the church in America can better answer that question. May you read this book and hear not the voice of David Platt but the voice of the Holy Spirit calling you to find a few like-minded Christians and set out on a journey to live radically together for the sake of the glory of God.
Posted July 18, 2011
Radical Together by David Platt is not a surprise. This latest addition from the Birmingham pastor is brief and direct. In the 121 pages he outlines what the church might look like if she were truly impacted by the Gospel.
"You and I are not intended to plunge down the mountain of radical obedience alone...In Radical Together, I want to consider what happens -or can happen - when we apply the revolutionary claims and commands of Christ to our communities of faith."
Dr. Platt envisions and global church characterized by the prioritizing of best over good, the Gospel releasing believers to service, the centrality of scripture, a drive to tell all people groups about Jesus and a focused worship of God alone. This he says would be carried out by the 'wrong' people. People whom the world may percieve to be uneducated, skilled or qualified.
"[T]he Spirit of God has empowered every follower of Christ to accomplish the purpose of God for the glory of God in the world. This includes the so-called wrong people: those who are the least effective, least brilliant, or least talented in the church."
While it would be hard to argue with the logic and scriptural basis of David's work I did find the wording in the fifth chapter to be somewhat misleading. The subtitle for the chapter read, 'We are living - and longing- for the end of the world.' In this chapter Dr. Platt explains the potential implication Matthew 24:14 may have on the mission of the church.
This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come. - Matthew 24:14 HCSB
From that verse Platt teaches that Jesus is 'not coming back until this assignment has been accomplished.' In other words Jesus will return when the Gospel has been preached to every people group. I agree. But the end of the world is something entirely different. Scripture teaches that God will recreate not destroy the earth. In Matthew, when Jesus says the end will come, Christ is saying the end of things as we know it will come once every ethnolinguistic group has heard the Gospel not the end of the earth. Dr. Platt never actually ties his subtitle to the chapter nor does he explain the difference. What he inadvertently does is leave open a door that is not intended in the Bible.
There is one word of warning for pastors. The book is filled with personal stories the author shares concerning The Church at Brook Hill of which Dr. Platt is the lead pastor. It is very easy for a pastor to read the stories and begin to compare. This is not the hope or point of the stories but it is a natural sin many pastors fall into. So to that I simply want to warn those who may begin to read the book.
I would highly encourage all believers to read the book. I do not necessarily believe you would need to read Radical before reading this but it would only help. The only thing to consider before diving into this challenging and short work is to understand it is intended to be read in community. It would do next to no good for one to read it in isolation. So, grab your small group or a group of friends and read Radical Together.
Posted July 4, 2011
"Radical Together" by David Platt
The Church in America has been seduced by the American dream and we have been unfaithful to the Gospel. We have turned inward and think only about our lives and our local churches and we forget about the calling God has given us. This book and its predecessor, Radical, are concerned with correcting this.
The one big flaw in both this book and the previous one is that, if taken at face value, they induce guilt in the reader. Not everyone can be a missionary to a far away place or start some type of "radical" apostolate here at home. Quite a few Christians are leading Christ centered lives and use their talents to fulfill a vocation close to home.
While it is not necessary to have read Radical before taking on Radical Together, it will be an immense help if you do. This book is a continuation of the topic found in Radical and makes much more sense when taken in the context of its' predecessor. I highly recommend purchasing and reading both books back to back.
Taken together these books will benefit anyone involved in ministry or wanting to live a Christo-centric, Radical life.
Posted June 13, 2011
Looking to be a part of a God-sized vision? What if the church began to take seriously Jesus' commission to take the gospel to the nations? As a follow up to the bestseller, Radical, David Platt challenges believers to unite around the gospel in Radical Together.
Through the use of personal examples and excellent use of Scripture, Platt introduces the potential of believers uniting together for the sake of the gospel. He shares six very practical principles that provide building blocks to that end.
This is a must read for any follower of Christ who desires to take seriously the call of Christ to make disciples of all nations. Radical Together will convict and inspire anyone who desires to make an impact for God's glory. I give Radical Together 5 out of 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers 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."
Posted May 29, 2011
After reading Radical a while back, I gained an immense respect for David Platt. Much like Francis Chan, whose books and sermons I also really enjoy, Platt is a Christian who practices what he preaches and calls believers to a life-changing, out-of-your-comfort zone sort of faith. When I found out he'd written a new book, Radical Together, I was excited to get my hands on a copy.
Radical Together focuses on believers in the church living lives that are dramatically different because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the first chapter, he lays the foundation for the book, by explaining a not-so-novel principle: good can often be enemy of great. He explores how this is true in the the church. We have plenty of programs that, in themselves, are not bad, and, certainly are not sinful. There are activities and events for children and adults of all ages, niceties and conveniences in our buildings, and plenty of things to add to the ever growing to-do this. However, Platt calls his readers, as he called his own church, to examine these carefully to determine whether they are God's best. He tells the story of his church spending their $500,000 savings fund to meet physical and spiritual needs of people in India. This goes a much longer way in accomplishing God's plans than building a larger foyer in the front of an already expansive church building. He calls individuals and churches to regularly examine their lives to determine whether "good" things we're doing/spending money on, are stealing from the great. This was a foundational chapter in the book that was also very convicting for me personally.
I also greatly enjoyed the second chapter, where he explains that the "Gospel saves us from work to work". While at first this seems to be a contradiction, it isn't, The Bible is quite clear that it is by grace alone through faith alone that someone is saved. Salvation is all about grace and not one bit about our legalistic attempts. However, scripture also states that faith without works is dead. I was moved by stories, in this chapter and throughout the book, of everyday people living their lives to live God-honoring lives and love people well. Platt told a story of a couple who had been planning to buy a bigger home, that felt led to buy a smaller home and adopt children with the money. He told of parents who had adopted children with special needs, and those who had fostered children, or given radically for the sake of others. All of these people are "average Joes" whose lives have been transformed by the Gospel. They are saved from their own efforts to work for their salvation, and are saved to do the work of Christ.
The other chapters he explains how God uses imperfect people to accomplish his purposes, and how he uses his Word and the plans outlined in it, we only have to be obedient. It is a convicting book, an easy read time-wise, and I did appreciate how he suggested that believers come together as a body to accomplish the purposes God has for his church. However, my one criticism of the book is that I felt in many ways like a was reading Radical for a second time. Although I could certainly use the reminders, I felt it would have been equally beneficial to reread the first text. There were some new stories and applications for a group of believers desiring to walk through a radical life together, but, in general, I felt that the two works were too similar.
Posted May 26, 2011
Recently I had a few days to read and devour this book. The power was out in our house for two days. And while the power was out I took advantage of the nice quiet, sedated time to read this book. The book is a follow up to David Platt's life changing book Radical. While Radical concentrates on how and individual person can lead a "radical" lifestyle for Christ, Radical Together concentrates on how the church or groups can be Radical Together.
The book is broken down into 6 different chapters.
1. Tyranny of the Good
2. The Gospel Misunderstood
3. God Is Saying Something
4. The Genius of Wrong
5. Our Unmistakable Task
6. The God Who Exalts God
The book goes into details on how the church's worst enemy could be good things in the church. It then goes onto explain the TRUE Gospel, letting God's Word do the work He has called us to, using people in the church to help accomplish this and then sums it up by explaining our task while here on earth, while explaining God in His true essence.
I recommend the book to anybody who is looking for insight into God's true calling for any of His followers.