The Radical Question and A Radical Idea / Combined volume - eBook
We have here a followup to the widely read volume Ã¢ÂÂRadicalÃ¢ÂÂ by David Platt. That book, I have learned, is changing the way some look at church. This book, apparently, expands on the earlier book. I have not read yet that earlier book, but some who have criticize this volume as being just a condensation of the earlier book and not worth the extra expense. IÃ¢ÂÂll leave that choice with you as I just consider this volume.
The core of the Ã¢ÂÂRadicalÃ¢ÂÂ question in the first half of the book is: Is Jesus worth it? That would seem to be a no-brainer as Mr. Platt readily admits, but he works to examine if we really feel that way. In the process he shows that we often act opposite to Jesus Himself. For example, we are consumed with crowds while Jesus was often turning them away. His concerns and goals were different from ours.
He finds fault with our massive building projects while we spend miniscule amounts on needs around the world. Some might feel he blurs the line between social projects and the Gospel. He is challenging but I feel that way myself as I read him. I can, however, certainly agree with his appeal that Christ is worthy of our lives.
The second half of the book is the idea for taking Ã¢ÂÂRadicalÃ¢ÂÂ forward. He criticizes our reducing church to a staff of paid professionals providing spectators a worship experience. I was about to think he wanted to put all of us full-time pastors out to pasture, but he finally confessed that was not his point as he himself was a full-time pastor! In truth he has a great point. We need all involved, not just a few. It would make such a difference in our churches were we to turn this around.
So this is an easy, quick read that will spur thought in our busy lives. You might want to give it a look.
I received this book free from the publisher. 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 CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255.
January 2, 2013
Radical, yet compact
This one is a bit harder for me to review than I expected. First off, I love it, but I preferred the 2 books this one is based on. So, I felt slightly disappointed, but it is unfair to judge this one on those merits. (It would be like reviewing the summary after reviewing a beloved book.) If you have read the other two books, this may not be the book for you. However, the gist of those books is contained, so I really do love this one. I have friends who do not do much reading, due to lack of interest or time, and I am thinking that this would be perfect for those friends. Hopefully, this shorter, more compact book, will lead them to wanting to know more about the impact they can make on others. Even if they don't choose to go more indepth with their reading, this is a perfect size for anyone to refresh and renew the commitment their faith walk. I pray it is a catalyst for me to seriously consider my priorities and the emphasis I place on Jesus and sharing Him with others.
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."
November 14, 2012
What is Jesus worth to you?
In Asian countries believers in Jesus Christ face hardship every day. Every day they are faced with the potential loss of home, family, freedom and their very life. And yet they still continue to meet together with their fellow believers to worship. They travel, often on foot and in the middle of the night, many miles just to meet with others. They spend their time not praying for a release from the relentless persecution they face, rather they spend their time worshiping, truly worshiping Jesus. Praising Him for who He is, for what He has done. They have an uncanny grasp on who Jesus really is.
A grasp it seems most people of European descent, which includes the country IÃ¢ÂÂm proud to call home, lack. ItÃ¢ÂÂs not that we think Jesus is less than God, we know He is very God and very man. But weÃ¢ÂÂve made Him a god in our own likeness.
My husband told me a quote he heard,
Ã¢ÂÂGod made man in His likeness,
And man returned the favor.Ã¢ÂÂ
Now that might be true for Americans, but I doubt itÃ¢ÂÂs true for all Americans or even all Christians worldwide. But it does bear pondering.
David Platt in his book, The Radical Question, says,
Ã¢ÂÂBut do you and I realize what we are doing at this point? We are molding Jesus into our image and making Him look like us. And the danger now is that when we gather to sing and lift our hands in worship, we are not actually worshiping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead, we are worshiping ourselves.Ã¢ÂÂ
His question then is, Ã¢ÂÂWhat is Jesus worth to us? To you?Ã¢ÂÂ What are we willing to give up for the cause of Christ? Would we willing give up our multi-million dollar churches? Our homes? Our cars? Our weekly dinners out? Our Starbucks? Our designer clothes? Are we willing to live in the land and lap of luxury and not crave our slice of the American pie? Can we live trying to keep up with the Joneses only not materially but spiritually? Can we look at someone living life sold out to Jesus Christ and say, Ã¢ÂÂI want that! Only I want more than what they have!Ã¢ÂÂ ? Can we?
This book was very convicting. It was also what I had been thinking and pondering in my own life lately. I donÃ¢ÂÂt want to settle for mediocre Christianity. I want to dive in. I want to be immersed in Jesus.
There was only a couple of things I didnÃ¢ÂÂt care for in the book. I am really about sick to death of Christians trying to guilt trip American believers. God placed each one of us in America for a reason. He could have placed us in Asia or the Middle East or Africa. But He, in His infinite wisdom set us here. Our boundaries are the borders of the United States of America. But our influence reaches world wide. Yes, I am blessed. Yes, compared to most of the rest of the world I am rich beyond compare. But it is because God and His grace, His plan and not my doing.
The other thing, yes we are commanded to help the poor. Why do we think the poor are only those lacking vast financial resources? What about the rich business man who is poor emotionally? Or spiritually? Are we not to care for and help those as well?
Why do we equate helping with giving a hand-out? Look at all the aid the USA has provided both at home and abroad, have we wiped out poverty? Have we made anyone rich with our handouts? No. In fact, I might dare go on to say, weÃ¢ÂÂve made the problem worse. The way to help the poor is not to give them a handout, but a hand UP. Even for those in the church.
It is one thing to help financially when someoneÃ¢ÂÂs needs exceed their income at that time. It is another thing to enable someone to not work for their living, to not work for and earn everything they have. The Bible very clearly states, Ã¢ÂÂif a man does not work, he wonÃ¢ÂÂt eat.Ã¢ÂÂ (yes, that is my paraphrase.)
So while we are running around handing out money hand over fist to those we think are poor, we are completely ignoring their real need. Which is Jesus. Money does not heal all wounds. Those poor are not just lacking finances.
Of course before we can see Jesus as the true answer to their needs, we have to realize He is the true answer to our needs as well.
November 29, 2012
David Platt has combined the question from his ground-breaking and fresh book, Radical, with the collective call of all believers from his second book in the series, Radical Together, to form this small volume. This edition is two for one, containing both of his short publications, The Radical Question and The Radical Idea. Together these two short works form concise introductions to his major works.
The information in this edition is nothing we havenÃ¢ÂÂt heard, but it has been long forgotten and neglected by many Christians today. Platt challenges believers to be radical in their faith by asking the question: What is Jesus worth to you? He follows this question with the idea that people are the instigators of real growth in the church today. It is peopleÃ¢ÂÂnot performances, places, programs, or professionalsÃ¢ÂÂwho come together with radical obedience to ChristÃ¢ÂÂs commandments that will spread the gospel with an unstoppable force. If the collective community of the body of Christ would come together and pursue Christ and each other for the love of Christ, nothing would be able to stop the viral spread of the gospel.
I received this book free of charge as part of a Blogging for Books program and was not obligated to write a positive review.
November 20, 2012