Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream - eBook  -     By: David Platt
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Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream - eBook

Multnomah Books / 2010 / ePub

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CBD Stock No: WW12715EB

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Product Description

Take a transforming journey in authentic discipleship. As the pastor of a large and wealthy congregation, David Platt began to see a discrepancy between the reality of his Church and the way Jesus said His followers lived. In Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, Platt examines how American Christianity has manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences and challenges readers to rediscover the path.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9781601422224
ISBN-13: 9781601422224
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description


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...


In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple--then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a "successful" suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus.

Finally, he urges you to join in The Radical Experiment -- a one-year journey in authentic discipleship that will transform how you live in a world that desperately needs the Good News Jesus came to bring.

Author Bio

DR. DAVID PLATT, President of the International Mission Board, is deeply devoted to Christ and His Word. David’s first love in ministry is making disciples, sharing, showing, and teaching God’s Word in everyday life. He has traveled extensively to serve alongside church leaders throughout the United States and around the world. 
A life-long learner, David has earned two undergraduate and three advanced degrees.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (A.B.J.) from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theology (Th.M) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  He previously served at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as Dean of Chapel and Assistant Professor of Expository Preaching and Apologetics, Staff Evangelist at Edgewater Baptist Church in New Orleans, and eight years as the Senior Pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL. David has written several books, Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me and most recently Counter Culture (to be released February 2015).
David founded Radical (Radical.net), a ministry devoted to serving churches and disseminating disciple-making resources toward the end that the gospel might be made known in all nations.
David and his wife Heather have four children, Caleb, Joshua, Mara Ruth, and Isaiah.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


In his very provocative book, Radical, David Platt challenges the status quo and the way the Church does business. Arguing that American church culture runs counter to the gospel, he compels readers to forsake the American Dream "in radical abandonment to the person and purpose of Jesus Christ." He contends that taking back our faith involves actively and seriously committing ourselves to spread the gospel to all nations, owning responsibility for helping others grow in Christ, and literally caring for the poor. He then shows how we can reclaim our faith by obeying the words of Jesus, trusting God and focusing on heaven.

Platt, pastor of a 4,000 member church in Alabama, attacks the "affluent model of Christianity and church" and describes what radical obedience to Jesus in today’s culture might look like. In a straightforward manner with a sense of humility, he points out blind spots in American Christianity. In a voice of urgency he urges Christians to reframe our thinking and orientation to life. Instead of asking, "What do we need?" we should be asking, "What can we give?"

Platt makes his case by pointing to historical figures and ordinary people who have done what is radical in obedience to biblical mandates, counter to the world's definition of success. He also uses biblical examples and abundant Scripture references to show that "the mark of Christ followers is that their hearts are in heaven and their treasures are spent there." He closes with a challenge for his readers to participate in The Radical Experiment. This one-year challenge has the following five components: pray for the entire world, read through the entire Word, sacrifice your money for a specific purpose, spend your time in another context, and commit your life to a multiplying community.

Radical asks tough questions and presses for a response. It will step on toes and call many readers up short, but earnest Christians cannot read it and remain unchanged. It has the potential to have the same kind of impact as other widely read, influential Christian books such as The Purpose Driven Life, In His Steps, and The Prayer of Jabez. Highly recommended. – Dr. Pamela Jordan-Long, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Editorial Reviews

Responses to Radical

"In his compelling new book, Radical, David Platt delivers a powerful picture of the church in America today that, on key points, stands in sharp contrast to what the Bible shows us about the person and purpose of Jesus Christ. David challenges Christians to wake up, trade in false values rooted in the American dream, and embrace the notion that each of us is blessed by God for a global purpose—to make Christ’s glory known to all the nations! This is a must-read for every believer!"
—Wess Stafford, president and CEO, Compassion Intl.

"We have moved into a generation of young leaders who have a passion to surrender the American dream if necessary in order to embrace fully, compassionately, and wholeheartedly a bigger dream—the Great Commission. I have never been challenged by an author more than I have by David Platt. Read Radical, be blessed, and be changed."
—Johnny Hunt, president, Southern Baptist Convention, and pastor, First Baptist Church of Woodstock

"Radical will cause you to bounce on a spectrum between two words: ouch and amen. Tough truths do that. They challenge us to examine our lives and then choose the lasting over the temporary. Read Radical if you’re ready to live differently."
—Gregg Matte, senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Houston

"David Platt’s book will leave anyone who sincerely engages with his challenge dissatisfied—and faced with a decision: What will authentic faith look like in my life? This book has the potential to revitalize churches today to practice a radical, biblical lifestyle that can transform society and reach a lost world."
—Jerry Rankin, president, International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention

"The church of the Lord Jesus has been seduced by a skilled seductress: the American dream. David Platt exposes this enemy of authentic Christianity and provides a way of escape through a radical faith that leads to a radical obedience. I am not the same after reading it. I trust that will also be true for you."
—Daniel L. Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"It is almost impossible to keep the idols of our own culture from influencing us, whether we want it to happen or not. This is certainly true when it comes to the so-called American dream. We need our eyes opened! We need to be called out! In this challenging and thoughtful book, David Platt shows us the way to live for Someone and something bigger."
—Darrin Patrick, founding pastor, The Journey, St. Louis

"Sometimes people will commend a book by saying, ’You won’t want to put it down.’ I can’t say that about this book. You’ll want to put it down, many times. If you’re like me, as you read David Platt’s Radical, you’ll find yourself uncomfortably targeted by the Holy Spirit. You’ll see just how acclimated you are to the American dream. But you’ll find here another Way, one you know to be true, because you’ve heard it before in the words of the Lord Jesus, perhaps most forcefully in the simple call ’Follow me.’"
—Russell D. Moore, dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Through solid examination of the Scriptures and compelling testimonies from believers enduring persecution, my friend David Platt pulls back the curtain on subtle dangers weakening the church in our Western culture. Radical is the urgent call we need to care more about the spiritually lost and physically impoverished people of the world."
—Ed Stetzer, president, LifeWay Research

Product Reviews

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Life changing
    January 15, 2015
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book has opened my eyes to the places in my life that I didn't realize were keeping me from furthering God's Will. I have since changed the way I live life, spend money, give money, and God has shown me that He is with me every step of the way. Thank you for selling this book. A life changer, and for that I am grateful.
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    December 23, 2014
    This book is an important book to read. Makes me think about what I can do to increase my life to serve Him better.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    challenging book
    December 8, 2014
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I am not sure i agree witbh everything in this book, but the way it challenges many parts of the american lifestyle is enormously valuable.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
    October 2, 2014
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have an excellent Pastor's library with over 35 years of books in it.

    THIS BOOK IS THE BEST. A MUST, MUST, MUST READ if you're a serious Christian. Most won't be up to the challenge. I bought more just to give to folks to challenge them.
  5. Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Are David Platt's "Radical" Ideas Biblical?
    July 2, 2014
    Justin Joseph
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    Source: http://bit[dot]ly/1lUQlqN

    Radical, by definition, is to be concerned with or tending to concentrate on fundamental aspects of a matter. This is what Pastor David Platt (Brook Hills church) calls American Christians to be as far as following and obeying Whom he believes is the "real Jesus" in his book titled by the same word. What does being radical look like, according to Platt? Well, the book gave me the impression that it's carrying a daily burning passion for missions and serving the "less fortunate" so they'll believe the gospel. Unfortunately, despite its noble desire to jolt American Christians who don't seem to mind their spiritual slumber and apathy, I think Radical comes off as shame therapy and wanting to guilt trip said Christians. And I also think that some of the Scripture you encounter does not teach what the book suggests it does. Radical, while hardly a bust, is one of few books I've walked away from disappointed.

    I agree with Platt that it's sinful for a Christian living in the United States to pursue the "American Dream", to become wealthy and/or famous for the sake of it. The concept, while not inherently wrong, does promotes self-aggrandizement. The idea is to climb the income and corporate ladders, acquire a national or global reputation, collect expensive stuff, and beat everyone else to it all in order to enjoy luxury and unprecedented comfort as others gaze at you with envy. It is possible to become wealthy to the glory of God, but definitely not fame. Regardless, the core principles of the American Dream do not line up with the gospel's demands on one's life. Yet I also think it isn't wise or encouraging to assume that Christians living in America are by default pursuing such worldliness, and I got that vibe a lot reading Radical.

    Take wealth and possessions for example. Platt references the conversation between Jesus Christ and the rich, young ruler in Mark 10 as a biblical mandate for ridding oneself of possessions. Yet wealth and possessions, just like the American Dream, aren't inherently wrong. A believer in this day and age can be wealthy and have things, and still be godly, especially if they obey the command to share it (I John 3:17). The promise of material gain was exclusive to the Old Covenant; there is no guarantee of it now, but that doesn't mean God is opposed to wealthy Christians. Ultimately I didn't understand what Platt was aiming for in pointing out Mark 10. Should Christians feel bad about having things?

    How much is too much? Is there a biblical balance? Is it wrong to have a nice vehicle, a comfortable house, a stable nest egg? Should believers stick to thrift stores and making meals from scratch? Will people believe the gospel simply because we give up our things? These are questions that crossed my mind, and I'm not confident they were answered.

    With respect to Mark 10, I believe Jesus is actually exposing a deadly idol in the self-righteous rich man's heart. The ruler believed he was rightly-related to God due to his wealth. Yet Jesus was not demanding that he unload. The text implies that the fellow was greedy, but Christ wasn't after that.

    Instead, Zacchaeus is an exemplary example of what sharing looks like. Looked upon as a disgusting, extorting tax collector_ Jesus changed the heart of the crooked businessman who then went above and beyond repaying those whom he cheated. The key is he did so of his own accord, because he was thankful for and loved Jesus, not because some local rabbi demanded it. The Macedonians whom Paul writes about in II Corinthians 8 are another great example of giving from the heart. Essentially, we must have the maturity to evaluate the things we have on an individual basis according to what Scripture truly teaches. Is every thing I possess a necessity? Of course not. Are they blessings from God? You bet. Do I use them for sinful purposes at times? I'm sure I do. Should that disqualify me from having them in the first place? Well, for that matter no one should own anything. This is what I think each believer needs to consider in light of their possessions.

    I also think some of Platt's views about the world at large are misinformed. Mercy missions may have value, but poverty and disease are altogether impossible to eliminate. Both exist as a result of the curse. Christ even made clear [to Judas Iscariot] that the poor would always be among us. It's strange then to suggest that American Christians have an extraordinary obligation to shoulder the burden of fighting hunger and disease in "less-developed" countries. Don't get me wrong; I would never criticize helping the truly needy, but that isn't a command you find in the Great Commission. Ironically, the "American Dream" in a way actually helps Christians to help the needy! By doing business in the United States, we create opportunities (read: jobs) for people to be lifted out of poverty and help civilization battle disease. Nonetheless, God isn't surprised by these hardships. He actually ordains them, and is in full control of them. He never intended for there to be enough wealth and possessions in the world to ensure that no one goes hungry, thirsty, or without basic shelter. Is it sad? It is to most people, but it's not as though God is cruel by allowing it. Soon these problems won't even exist, but for now God's edict is for people to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, not to be comfortable and well-off their entire lives. Plus, He promises to provide what He knows every last person needs. God has placed us here for a different purpose.

    That purpose is to live out the gospel, and share it. And I do agree with Platt that Christians ought to burn with much more desire to spread the truth of Christ. But notice how I didn't emphasize "American" there. This is the job of all Christians, not just those that happen to reside in the United States. If God calls me one day to a foreign field, I hope I respond in faith and obedience, but I'm not going to go somewhere just because I'm an American Christian. To that end, I find David's claim that there are at least 4.5 billion unsaved people in the world just odd. I don't know how he knows that, or how all the people that he mentions are now genuine Christians due to the mission work done by the people of Brook Hills. I'm definitely thankful for their work, but let's leave the judging of who's saved and not saved to God.

    I'm not surprised if you're thinking by now that I'm suggesting Radical is a waste of time to read. I don't think it is at all. I appreciate all the examples of Brook Hills mobilizing to care for those in the members' local communities, those internationally, and how the gospel has been given through it all. I just respectfully disagree that it needs to be done according to the reasons discussed above and those I've not mentioned. Guilt is never a biblical motivation to live or give the gospel. I don't think that because others might be considered have-nots, or simply don't have as much, that Christians ought to empty their homes and/or financial accounts. Love and grace must be the driving forces behind any ministry. Any other reasons are unbiblical.

    On the flip-side, if you're often or always after the latest and greatest toy, if you grumble at the thought of giving your monies to kingdom work, then David and I both invite you to allow God's Word to examine your heart. Instead, we ought to love serving Jesus Christ by serving His church, and of course demonstrate obedience to the Great Commission. We must care for others as He did.

    Any decisions to give of things, money, time, etc., must be bathed in prayer by the believer. Usually choices along these lines are not so simple, and the consequences can be very unpleasant for choosing the wrong thing. I do think it would be exceedingly wonderful if more Christians were more radical for Jesus Christ, but as it stands, I don't think they necessarily need to be in the way Radical seems to want.
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