This book has really challenged me spiritually and has allowed me to fall in love with Jesus all over again. The book offers a realistic view of the "american dream" allowing readers to ask themselves real life shaking questions about life motives and purpose. Being challenged to do more and be more is what this book accomplishes and my walk with Christ is more active and alive than ever!
Although I agree with David's premise that the Church needs to wake up and stop thinking about themselves, he is practicing typical Baptist bashing with shame tactics in this book. Yes if you are a true Christian, you'll have a heart for service and ministry. Sitting idle is not an option. But to imply that everyone must have an active role in missions, is both non-scriptural and twisting of the scriptures.
Do we ignore what the Bible teaches about the body of Christ. 1 Cor 12, Rom 12 and Eph 4:11-16 apply. It is not Biblical to say that everyone must be evangelist. The great commission was a directive to the Church to make disciples. The entire body of the church has that mission. But the body is made up of many parts, some internal and some external. When a person teaches Sunday School, they are helping the church fulfill the mission of evangelism. When a person serves as a greeter or in the kitchen or in the choir, they are helping the church fulfull the great commission. Some people have the role of being the church's liver and cleaning up the toxins of poor doctrine. Such a person needs to come along side of David Platt.
What I find even more scary is that I can take some high pressure marketing advertisements for financial newsletters, the ones claiming that they will make you a millionaire, and lay it side by side with some of these chapters and you see that although the subject matter is different, the tactic of manipulation of the reader is identical. Where is the Holy Spirit in his teaching? The bible is clear that the desires of service place in our hearts comes from Him. Pragmatism is not the way of the Lord. The Bible says that God's ways are foolishness to us and vice versa.
I'm sure all bashing ministers, who heave boulders of burdens on their congregation each Sunday, love this book and sell it in their church book stores. Christ said his yoke is easy. This book places a burdensome weight of, "You are not doing enough." on to the reader. Don't fall for it.
This book really drives home how far "modern Christianity" has taken us from Biblical teaching. Paul wrote half the New Testament chained up in a dungeon where he was beaten, starved, and sick almost to the point of death just because he followed Christ. He never once complained about how his 'religious freedoms' were being infringed upon. In fact, he made it clear that he was honored to suffer for Christ's name. Wow! Have things changed!
While it contains some good information, Platt seems to be saying that Christians MUST do overseas missions to be a "real" Christian. Are some called to go overseas? Yes. Are some called for other work? Yes. I don't think it was his intention, but based on what Platt says in his book, he seems to believe only the overseas work matters. If that is correct, he is wrong. Consider Paul's journeys in Acts. While traveling, he stayed with believers in various cities. Under Platt's model, there would be no one in those cities to exercise the spiritual gift of hospitality. There would be no one in church A to donate to those in need in another city.
What about the single parent? What about someone with severe disabilities? What about the believer who is homeless? Must they all go overseas? I don't think so. All can (and should) pray for those spreading the Gospel. Any other work they do should be based on the spiritual gifts bestowed upon them. While they can exercise radical faith, such faith may be in their local church, with a small group, in their family, their community, etc.
In my review, I indicate I would recommend this to a friend. That is with a caveat that reflects my review. Platt has many good things to say, but his fundamental premise as it seems to be presented in the book is flawed.