Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

by David Platt
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Radical 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 466 reviews.
FatherFanMan More than 1 year ago
Radical is a difficult book to read. David Platt sets out in this book to turn the hearts of American's from their selfish pursuits to the needs of the hurting and lost people groups around the world. Along the way he makes a host of excellent points, but they are overshadowed by his selective use of scripture and poor logic. I was tracking with the author until about Chapter 4. Up to that point I thought he was doing a good job of bringing me along side of him, taking me step by step to the point where his heart is today. I applaud him for that. The tone was not preachy and the prose were engaging. But it's his response to the question, "What about the needs here?" that lost me (pages 75 and following). Here he makes the point, with exceedingly poor logic, that if we only have a heart for the United States (and seek to serve the people in our own back yard and within our borders) then we only share 5% of God's heart. God has a heart for the entire world. (I'll agree with that. John 3:16 makes that plainly clear.) But Platt's explanation for why we can't stop in the United States is terribly weak. He goes on to give examples from members of his congregation ("faith family") who are embracing "a greater dream." Each of them is doing consistent, gospel-centered service in their communities, oh and they spend a week or two a year in another country serving. The impression he gives is that each of them have a heart for a people group overseas, but isn't that the same as having a heart for people in the poor neighborhoods of your hometown? Are we to give more importance to the people of Sri Lanka simply because they live in another country? Don't the gang bangers of the United States need Jesus as much as the orphans of Nigeria? Are the single mom's of our communities in less need of a savior than the single mom's of third world countries? Platt bangs the drum of "all nations" (Matthew 28:19), but never mentions Acts 1:8 where Jesus tells his disciples they will share the good news beginning in Jerusalem and spreading out from there. Positives He does make some good points about discipleship in Chapter 5. And the closing chapters have some practical thoughts on how we can turn our hearts towards the needs of others. When is challenging people to read their bibles, prayer for others and make sacrifices for greater needs ever a bad thing? Negatives Platt takes a few pot shots in this book. He calls out video venue churches as being shallow. And takes an indirect jab at Joel Osteen (while it's well deserved it didn't seem necessary). So in this respect I think he painted with too broad a brush at times. His thoughts seemed rather scattered to me. One chapter didn't necessarily follow another. Again, I think he offered some good points in the book, but they were too varied to try to follow his line of thinking from one chapter to the next. One annoying aspect was how scripture was quoted throughout the book. Most often references to scripture were directed to footnotes which were tucked away at the back of the book. I quickly lost interest in flipping to the back to see which passages he was alluding to. In the end I feel like Platt wrote this book before he had given time for all of his thoughts to come together. It seems like he's simply struggling to minister to an affluent congregation while maintaining a proper perspective on the needs of others around the world. To
bp0602 More than 1 year ago
I had the privilege of listening to the audio version of David Platt's Radical. It was provided through the reviewer's program at christianaudio. I had read other reviews of this book and was excited to be able to get the audio version. In this book readers are challenged by David Platt to examine their Christian walks. Are we living what the Bible says, or do we change the true message of the Word to fit to be something that will be more convenient for our lives? The author gives a radical challenge....radical in the view that it is much different from the way our culture says we should live or what the culture says it means to follow Jesus. We have the mindset that we must achieve what is known as "the American dream" and we usually fully believe that that dream is exactly what God wants us to have. But is that what He has called us to when we follow Him? Does he want us to have bigger houses, bank accounts, and fancy church buildings when people all around us and all over the world have never heard the Gospel? I found this book to be very challenging personally. I let my husband listen to it as well, and he agreed with me that the author really has a good point. This author isn't just saying we need to be doing things differently; he is actually doing them with his own life and family. I would encourage you to read this book and be challenged yourself in your thinking and hopefully even change how you live. The audio version was provided through christianaudio Reviewers Program.
CallieNicole More than 1 year ago
Several months ago I heard about the book "Radical" by David Platt. The sub-title particularly caught my eye "Taking Your Faith Back From The American Dream." Now, I am pretty fiercely patriotic, so when I saw the sub-title, I wasn't sure what to think about this book. I get rather defensive whenever it appears that someone is criticizing one of the things that I think makes America great, and that includes the freedom that we enjoy in America to work hard toward our goals and provide a good life for our families. I was expecting it to be one of those anti-American, liberal-minded type books, but something made me read the first chapter anyway (it was available to read online). After reading the first chapter, I realized that the topic of this book really wasn't even close to my initial impression of it, so I decided to request it for my first book to review, and I must say, I found it challenging and not anti-American at all. David Platt clearly states early on in the book that "Certainly hard work and high aspirations are not bad, and the freedom to pursue our goals is something we should celebrate." That helped to clear up the initial impression I had received from the title, and the rest of the book focused instead on warning American Christians to not let the American Dream distract us from our higher loyalty and calling as Christians - which includes glorifying God (instead of ourselves and our own abilities), reaching the world with the gospel, giving of our resources in order to further the gospel and help the needy, personally working to bring the knowledge of Jesus to those who don't know Him, and not being afraid to give our lives in these biblical pursuits. I think the underlying points that Platt brings to light in this book are valid and biblically sound, but I sometimes take issue with the way he says them. There were a couple such instances in the book where I felt the point was stated in a confusing way, but they were minor enough that they weren't a major issue - the underlying points were sound. I just made notes in the book to clarify for myself for future reference. Overall, I found this book to be very challenging. Most people are going to feel uncomfortable reading this book; I certainly did. Platt brings up biblical commands that aren't comfortable to consider - such as guarding against materialism, giving sacrificially, and going personally to "make disciples of all nations". However, no one ever said that following Christ would be comfortable - in fact, if we're feeling comfortable, we probably aren't giving as much of our lives to Him as we should be. It is so easy to fall into that comfortable place, and David Platt brings a full-on, biblical attack against that kind of attitude. I was convicted, especially by the chapter on materialism, and I find myself thinking of practical ways I can apply what I've read in "Radical" to my own life. I would recommend this book to any Christian who is feeling a little too comfortable or content in their current walk with Christ - it will challenge you, and it will lead you to think more deeply about what we are called to do as followers of Christ - and that definitely makes it worth reading in my opinion. Note: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This is my honest opinion on the book.
CraigFalvo More than 1 year ago
Today, I am looking at the book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the America Dream and The Radical Question by David Platt as a part of the Radical blog tour. Radical: "What is Jesus worth to you?" This is the thesis behind Radical. According to Platt, Western Christianity become complacent. Being a disciple of Christ is something that is done in soft, comfortable pews or chairs and Christianity has become about us. Platt contends that this is not the way Christianity should be and proposed a radical paradigm shift for the church. According to Platt, "[S]omewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable. We were settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves." (7) This shift frees us from bondage to comfort and sends us out into the world to live as disciples of Christ. For this shift to happen, we need to commit to believe what Jesus says and commit to obey what Jesus says. Only then can this radical shift take place in our lives and in the life of the church. Platt spend the rest of the book expanding on what it means to believe and obey Jesus in the world today. This might mean we go to places we don't want to go. This might mean we sell all of our possessions. This might mean we serve people we never noticed before. This book is the wake-up call many churches and parishioners need today. I give Radical 4 out of 5 stars. The Radical Question: Having just read Radical, I thought The Radical Question was a little redundant as it was the companion booklet for Radical. The stories in The Radical Questions were told almost verbatim in Radical. In my opinion, this was done as a way to reinforce the concepts from Radical. So, while I thought it was repetitive, I think it did serve a purpose. Disclaimer: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah as a part of the Blogging for Books program. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expresses in this review 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."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't say this often but this is the best book I have read in a while, outside of the Bible of course. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by Dr. David Platt is written with such clarity and conviction that it begs you to incorporate its call into your life. This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. When this opportunity presented itself, I was intrigued. An author I had never heard of with a title that screamed to be read. As I read each page I was drawn to read the next. By the end I was read to sign up and try the Radical Experiment, you'll have to read the book to find out more. Platt calls us from a life orchestrated around pursuing the "American Dream" to pursuing a life of real discipleship. He mixes personal stories, others testimony and Biblical exposition to show the benefits and obedience of this radical life. Actually this radical life isn't so radical but the life that Jesus called His disciples to so many years ago. If you want a book to challenge your life and faith this is just the book you need to pick up this summer. If you are fine with complacency and the status quo, stay away. I hope like me you'll read this book and consider its challenge. I believe you'll be blessed if you do. If you want to read an excerpt of the book before you commit, click here to read the first chapter.
Michelle_Archer More than 1 year ago
The reason I picked up this book was because I wanted to strengthen my faith in God and to learn how to follow His will. This book covers just that topic, how to learn God's will by turning from the American Dream. Radical opens up talking about underground churches, which I like. I have long respected Christians in closed countries and pray for their strength, during this day and age of Christian persecution; which is worse then it has ever been in history. Then it talks about how you can be a radical Christian and implies you will be a strong Christian like underground church members. The book goes in depth on a 5 point plan to become a stronger Christian: 1. Pray for the world 2. Read the entire Bible 3. Sacrifice your money 4. Give your time for God 5. Join a Church or Small Group to help you grow in your faith If you do these five points you will be a Radical Christian, and I agree with all of these 100%. I need to read my Bible more often, I should go on a mission trip, I try to keep track and pray for both local and world problems, I also give what I can to church and charity, and I am an active church member. But I don't consider myself a true Radical Christian, at least not what I want my version of Radical to look like. I guess this book is perfect for Christians who go to church, then live like anyone else the rest of the week, and for middle road Christians who do the actions but don't share their faith. David Platt also brings some strong points to mind like; How can we sit in comfortable multi-million dollar churches while children starve to death? Shouldn't we be more concerned about people's eternal lives then what fast-food joint we should eat at? Just he never gave a good solution about how to solve this. Other then donate, but American churches are not going to stop expanding and building. VBS still helps teach young kids, Retreats still save eternal lives, so I don't know how David Platt expects us to stop growing our churches yet do all he wants in the American church. Over-all this book is a good read, just I don't think this book covers what it said it would. Use it as a motivational plan to strengthen your faith, by doing the 5 point plan, but don't expect a radical change. I know that, at this time, I don't have the strength to deal with half of what most underground church members do, but I hope to some day with God's strength. So I guess yes, follow his step by step and you will be a stronger Christian, but I think radical is not the right word. Thanks to Waterbrook publishers for giving me this book to review.
ReadingGG More than 1 year ago
In Radical, pastor David Platt encourages us to turn our backs on the American dream life - sell all our goods and go to foreign countries to preach the Gospel. He lost me when he began putting down the people who say there are so many people in America who need help before we reach out to the rest of the world. He likes to quote scripture throughout but he does Mr. Platt purposefully not quote Acts 1:8 where is talking about Jesus showing himself to the disciples after his resurrection and giving them His instructions? In this passage, Jesus says "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Sprit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth." It seems pretty clear that Jesus is saying start at home and when you complete that task branch out, yet Pastor Platt only wants us to go to the uttermost part of the earth. I'm wondering if Pastor Platt likes having the opportunity to visit the uttermost parts of the earth on the dollars contributed by his flock. The author subtlety puts down Joel Osteen and his religion of wealth. On page 137 he says "More than anything, I don't want to be the rich young man. And I don't want to ignore the fact that the lure toward becoming him is always stronger than I would like to admit." So the reader can help but wonder if Pastor Platt lives in a mansion or a typical suburban home - does he drive a Mercedes or a Ford - does his wife shop at Neiman Marcus or J.C. Penney? I'm just saying. This is one book where I want to know the teacher is practicing what he preaches.
JodyJ More than 1 year ago
David Platt reminds us that in many countries, Christians risk their lives just to worship Jesus Christ in today's society. He makes you stop and think about your own Christianity, and re-examine your life and priorities. It does make you feel a bit uncomfortable as you read it, but comfort isn't all it's cracked up to be, Jesus doesn't want us to be comfortable he wants what is best for us. We have replaced the Jesus of the Bible, with a Jesus of our own creation, one that is more comfortable and "fits in" with the American dream. Many of our churches today have placed comfort over Jesus, and that is why we find mixed up versions of the Gospel and Christians walking around today with the wrong idea of what it really means to be a Christian. This book is a MUST read for anyone who calls themselves a Christian in today's society. This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. Get your copy today: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781601422217
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book very challenging and thought-provoking. It starts off a little scary, i was sure we were headed into "sell everything and go to the jungle" territory, but it turned more to be a "be willing to... and do what you can and are called to". Still it raised a lot of very hard questions, and some readers are bound to be unhappy with where the book leads them.
Soulwinner More than 1 year ago
Radical best describes the intensity of this book. It¿s a book that explains the type of faith we are to reclaim and live out. It explains the importance of the Great Commission and how we have neglected our duties as Americans because we have become complacent with our health, wealth, and security. It calls us to be a radical disciple, in the same spirit of the apostles in the 1st century. Although it can be a bit preachy at times, it is nonetheless a powerful, riveting, convicting, and important book. It¿s one of the most important books a Western Christian can read in our modern times. Discipleship and evangelism are waning in our nominal churches, and it must be reclaimed if the kingdom of God is to gain more influence around the world. I highly recommend it.
Nomikaki9 More than 1 year ago
"Radical" was a very easy read- about two to three days if totally devoted. Platt clearly explains to his fellow Christians that we are too unmotivated enough to spread the gospel. He uses examples of his "faith family" and people that he encounter around the world to get to his point. One major set-back is that references are in the back, but otherwise, the book is very inspiring to all readers and challenges them to live out a life that glorifies God. The best part of the book is a one-year challenge he posts to his readers at the end. It is a great story to discuss in classrooms and churches alike.
Libbi_Heart More than 1 year ago
What would you do if I told you that in this day and age, many Christians aren't taking God's word with it's literal meaning? What would you do if Jesus asked you to sell everything you had and give the money to the poor. Would you do it? Or would you join thousands of other Christians in this misinterpreted version of the Bible? David Platt explores just that in this two-hundred and seventeen page book. He uses examples of Christians around the world who are suffering for Christ; and they are suffering more than just by unkind words. If you are a Christian who wants an amp on your Christian life, then this book is for you. As a book that was written by a, well, radical human being, this book challenges me to examine the scriptures for myself, and to take their meaning literally. This book completely turns the average person's idea of the "American Dream" upside down (Hence the upside down house on the cover. Don't feel bad, I thought it was a mask too:).One of the questions I had while reading it though was, "What would happen if every Christian in America did everything in this book?" It would most likely change the face of the earth. However, I must say that I do not agree doctrinally with everything he says, though I won't go into detail. Overall, with this books useful tips and convicting message, I think it is a good book, despite the few doctrinal errors.
JoshKing More than 1 year ago
Platt's book is all about a sacrificial abandon to and for the Gospel. He integrates moving stories and testimonies but is transparent enough to shine light on his mega church and seemingly dream-career as a young pastor. You can not read this book and not see Platt's desperate love for the Scriptures and missions. At the onset of the final chapter he sums up the 'claims' of the previous chapters, "Real success is found in radical sacrifice. Ultimate satisfaction is found not in making much of ourselves but in making much of God. The purpose of our lives transcends the country and culture in which we live. Meaning is found in community, not individualism; joy is found in generosity, not materialism; and truth is found in Christ, not universalism. Ultimately, Jesus is a reward worth risking everything to know, experience, and enjoy." There are only three books I have picked up and been distracted from life by. This is the latest. Parts of the work express thoughts and convictions that I have carried but only in an infant stage of development. David pushed me to uncomfortable conviction. While many times I would want to shout an Amen and storm the doors of excessive churches most times I felt as though if I were to die reading I would have nothing to show, my life has been wasted. I can not say for sure but two undergirding theologies seem to work through the writing. First I can not help but wonder if Platt is reformed. He certainly sounds as if he is. There is a huge emphasis given to God's sovereignty and the point of missions being worship. Which leads to the second 'theology' that of missions or missional living. Many books call for a change in perspective but Platt goes one step further issuing a call to specific action. He does so with the concluding "Radical Experiment' in which he challenges readers to; pray for the entire world; read through the entire Word; sacrifice money for a specific purpose; spend time in another context and commit there life to a multiplying community (a local church) all within or for one year. Every believer should read this book and seek to apply the truth it expels. He writes from a pastoral perspective which makes it both applicable for the minister and the lay disciple. At the same time he holds both to the unbelievably satisfying and daunting task that Christ laid out before us. Every nonbeliever or seeker can read this book as well. This is what we believe as Christians. I realize that we as believers often give very convoluted impressions of what motivates us but David Platt is able to rightly address our shortcomings at the same time cast the vision we were chosen for. Review originally posted at, http://jowiki.tumblr.com/#602404247
AshleyKWells More than 1 year ago
If you are ready to read a book that will literally change your life...then this is the book for you! This is a MUST read book for Christians. I first heard David Platt in person at the Adopting for Life conference. His words were so powerful, as soon as I heard he was publishing a book...I knew I wanted to read it! He has this way of speaking that is completely and uttering just pointing straight to Christ and proclaiming His glory, and I love it, and his written word does the same for me! *I received a copy of this book to read and review from WaterBrook Multnomah.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So amazing, life changing and easy to read!?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just buy it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
youngbag More than 1 year ago
My husband has read this book 4 times now and I am on my first read. If you are a christian, looking to make your church and then the world a better place, you should read this. It is changing our outlook on life, our role in our church, community and the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hwoodward More than 1 year ago
It really makes you think are we really doing enough to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was quickly reminded of how insignificant I am & how big God is. Makes you think outside the box. If you're ready to take a dive, this is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago